Even though we live in a state that borders Canada, we know very little about Canadian history.  The novel Promised to the Crown by Aimie K. Runyan tells the story of the late 1600’s in Canada when the area was a French colony.  As a method to encourage the population to create stable communities, the French king paid the boat passage and a dowry for young women of good character who would travel to New France.  They were expected to marry and raise large families.  This story follows three women who have very different reasons for leaving home.  Nicole was driven from France by poverty.  Her family needed the money from her dowry to keep their farm going.  Rose had been orphaned and when she was taken in by an uncle, she was abused.  This was her best opportunity to escape an intolerable situation.  Elisabeth had worked very hard in the bakery owned by her father.  When her beloved father died, her mother quickly planned a remarriage and Elisabeth felt there no longer was a comfortable place in the family or business.  These women faced difficult situations in a raw, new country.  In addition to primitive and cold conditions, there wasn’t a supportive society in their new home.  This is an inspiring story of what it takes to build a new country.

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