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A strong-willed 16-year-old girl fights for survival in 18th-century North America.
Françoise Laurent has never had an easy life. The only surviving child of a destitute washerwoman and wayward soldier, she must rely only on herself to get by. When her parents die suddenly from the smallpox ravishing New France, Françoise sees it as a chance to escape the life she thought she was trapped in.
Seizing her newfound opportunity, Françoise takes a job as an aide to the wife of a wealthy fur trader. The poverty-ridden world she knew transforms into a strange new world full of privilege and fine things -- and of never having to beg for food. But Françoise's relationships with the other servants in Madame Pommereau's house are tenuous, and Madame Pommereau isn't an easy woman to work for. When Françoise is caught stealing a pair of her mistress's beautiful gloves, she faces a future even worse than she could have imagined: thrown in jail, she is sentenced to death by hanging. Once again, Françoise is left to her own devices to survive . . . Is she cunning enough to convince the prisoner in the cell beside her to become the hangman and marry her, which, by law, is the only thing that could save her life?
Based on an actual story and filled with illuminating historical detail, The Hangman in the Mirror transports readers to the harsh landscape of a new land that is filled with even harsher class divisions and injustices.
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Kate Cayley is the artistic director and co-founder of For Stranger Theatre. The Hangman in the Mirror is her first novel for young adults. Her writing, including poetry and short fiction, has appeared in a variety of literary magazines. She is currently the writer in residence at the Tarragon Theatre in Toronto, Ontario.Review:
Not only is this book an intriguing insight into the history of denim, but it just might encourage young people to reconsider the manner in which they think about their world close at hand. (Megan Moore Burns booklistonline.com 2011-12-08)
The Hangman in the Mirror does everything good historical fiction should--give the reader a tremendously detailed sense of time and place while rendering the sights and smells of the era through the eyes of a protagonist whose emotions are relatable to a modern audience. (Molly Horan Foreword Reviews 2011-10-18)
There are several themes running through this gripping novel. One is the disparity between the lives of the wealthy and the poor. Another is the power of words. (Megan Moore Burns Quill and Quire)
Based on a true story, Cayley has taken a sliver of Canadian history and filled it out to become a fascinating flash of life in early Montreal. (Diane Cacciato Resource Links)
Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People (Canadian Children's Book Centre 2012-01-01)
A thoroughly engaging story that keeps readers riveted. (Canadian Children's Book News 2012-01-01)
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Book Description Annick Press, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M155451357X