Maria Chapdelaine

Maria Chapdelaine

3.5 2
by Louis Hemon

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Maria Chapdelaine is the quintessential novel of French Canada, the single undisputed classic, opening up new understanding of the past for each generation that reads it, challenging artists to explore and recreate that lonely heroic world afresh.


Maria Chapdelaine is the quintessential novel of French Canada, the single undisputed classic, opening up new understanding of the past for each generation that reads it, challenging artists to explore and recreate that lonely heroic world afresh.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Louis Hemon (1880-1913) emigrated from France to Canada in 1911, fell in love with Quebec, and was run over by a train in 1913—a month after he had submitted the manuscript of his epic tale, Maria Chapdelaine, to Le Temps in Paris. Published in Canada in 1916, it has since become the quintessential novel of French Canadian life. The story of lovely young Maria's life and loves amid the chill hardness facing pioneering Quebecoise is here abridged for a younger audience. The artist Rajka Kupesic's graceful naive paintings have the look of a medieval calendar in a book of hours, her seasons pinpointing the labors thereof with brilliant color and simplicity. The shy beauty of Maria herself is set against this changing landscape with a knowingness that only comes from a deep love of the land. This is a beautiful and moving book. 2004, Tundra, Ages 5 to 10.
—Kathleen Karr
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-Based on Hemon's novel, which was first published as a serial in France in 1914, this heavily illustrated abridgment opens up a little piece of Canadian history that readers will find engaging. Fraught with hardships and heartbreak, the lives of Maria and her family are a constant struggle. Illness and death and backbreaking work are always in the backdrop, yet somehow the beauty of the harsh surroundings and the unfailing hope for happiness permeate the story. As the young woman helps her mother with the never-ending chores that feeding and caring for a large farm family entail, she dreams of her suitor, Fran ois, and of what her life might be some day. After his death, reality dictates that Maria must take a suitor who is right for her family, rather than for her, and she is at peace with her decision. The lovely writing is filled with interesting dialogue. Oil paintings on linen perfectly complement the details and the mood of the story. The rugged landscape, the seasons, the costumes of the times, and interior details are all intricately portrayed. The characters are painted in exaggerated and sometimes unnatural angles, which adds an almost primitive look to the story, which could not be more appropriate. Kupesic demonstrates a connection to these almost 100-year-old characters that the author surely would have appreciated.-Corrina Austin, Locke's Public School, St. Thomas, Ontario, Canada Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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CHAPTER HI FRANCOIS PASSES BY One morning three days later.... CHAPTER III FRANCOIS PASSES BY NE morning three days later, on opening the door, Maria's ear caught a sound that made her stand motionless and listening. The distant and continuous thunder was the voice of wild waters, silenced all winter by the frost. "The ice is going out," she announced to those within. "You can hear the falls." This set them all talking once again of the opening season, and of the work soon to be commenced. The month of May came in with alternate, warm rains and fine sunny days which gradually conquered the accumulated ice and snow of the long winter. Low stumps and roots were beginning to appear, although the shade of close-set cypress and fir prolonged the death-struggle of the perishingsnow- drifts; the roads became quagmires; wherever the brown mosses were uncovered they were full of water as a sponge. In other lands it was already spring; vigorously the sap wasrunning, buds were bursting and presently leaves would unfold; but the soil of far northern Canada must be rid of one chill and heavy mantle before clothing itself afresh in green. A dozen times in the course of the day Maria and her mother opened the window to feel the softness of the air, listen to the tinkle of water running from the last drifts on higher slopes, or hearken to the mighty roar telling that the exulting Peribonka was free, and hurrying to the lake a freight of ice-floes from the remote north. Chapdelaine seated himself that evening on the door-step for his smoke; a stirring of memory brought the remark: "Francois will soon be passing. He said that perhaps he would come to see us." Maria replied with a scarce audible"Yes," and blessed the shadow hiding her face. Ten days later he came, long afte...

Meet the Author

Louis Hémon was born in 1880 and was raised in Paris, where he qualified for the French Colonial Service. Unwilling to accept a posting to Africa, Hémon embarked on a career as a sports writer and moved to London. He was also developing talent as a fiction writer. He sailed for Quebec in 1911 and died in 1913.

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Maria Chapdelaine 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was surprised when I found a dozen books with the word chapdelaine in the title! I was searching all the people in my familys names. But I found it when I searched my mom's.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago