The King's Daughter
|Original title||Jeanne, fille du Roy|
|Genre||Historical, Young adult novel|
The King's Daughter (French: Jeanne, fille du Roy) is a historical novel for young adult readers by Suzanne Martel, first published in 1974. It follows the life of Jeanne Chatel, one of the King's Daughters of New France in the seventeenth century.
Jeanne Chatel is an orphan who lives with her grandfather until he dies of illness when Jeanne was only 10. Unable to live alone, Jeanne moves into a convent. She is an adventurous, boisterous girl, creating and telling the other girls grand, romantic stories. She also shows an aptitude for healing and herbal medicine. At the age of 18, Jeanne is offered to become a King's Daughter and travel to New France. Jeanne immediately agrees to this and sets out to New France with her friend Marie. Together they embark on their 41-day trip across the Atlantic ocean. Along the way, Marie falls in love with a sailor named Jean.
The two girls arrive in New France in August, 1672 and are welcomed by the Lieutenant, their fiancées and a group of Hurons. Marie, having fallen in love along the way, becomes saddened at the thought of marrying someone else. Jeanne realizes that in order for Marie to be happy, someone else must marry the man that was chosen for her. Jeanne then takes the decision to get married in Marie's place. When Jeanne meets her new husband, she is sorely disappointed. Simon de Rouville is rude, callous, and unfriendly. However, the ever-determined Jeanne decides to stay and make the best of her situation.
As her new life in the wilderness begins, Jeanne faces many hardships. And, in spite of constantly being told that she reminds everyone of Simon's first wife, Aimee, Jeanne stays to make a better life for her husband and his two children, Nicholas and Isabelle. Eventually, Jeanne and Simon fall in love with each other, and Jeanne grows strong as a result of her new life. She also cultivates her talents as a healer and becomes well known in the area. Her love for her husband and pride as his wife wills her to even masquerade as a boy and save Simon's trapper's license.
The book ends with an attack from the Iroquois aboriginals, a constant threat in New France. The de Rouville family survives, after many other conflicts.
- King's daughter, Susanne Martel