Last Exile

Durham, Charles

Published by Minstrel, 1990
ISBN 10: 185424082X / ISBN 13: 9781854240828
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Synopsis: A towering saga about one man’s journey into the wild Canadian frontier of the eighteenth century—and into the passions that war within us all

A student in Paris, Gabriel Dublanche watched in horror while members of the forbidden Huguenot church were tortured and killed by the authorities. Profoundly affected, he fled home to Normandy, where disease and death threatened to destroy the region. But the pestilence paled beside the baser passion that battled for Gabriel’s own soul: revenge against the man who murdered his best friend.

With his new wife, Celeste, Gabriel set sail for Canada, a distant dark land of vast forest and wild, primitive people and of booming new cities. Gabriel could not have known that the bitter northern wind would drive Celeste further into her tormented mind . . . and that a cruel trick of fate would bring him face to face with an evil whose curse, it seemed, he could not escape. In a moment of blind fury, he would destroy his family’s only hope for happiness.

Forced to flee yet again, Gabriel’s refuge became the harsh wilderness of the Chippewa Indians. There, amidst the events foretold by the wise and beautiful Indian girl Philepenca, Gabriel would confront the questions that haunt men throughout the ages: Why in a beautiful world was there so much suffering? Why, Gabriel asked himself, am I driven to hatred, when all really I want is love?

This powerful epic—rich in character, faithful to history, crowded with events—soars to its deeply satisfying conclusion as Gabriel finally lays to rest the demons of his own heart.

From Publishers Weekly: This well-researched, expansive first novel moves at a leisurely pace through 18th-century France and Canada. Gabriel Dublanche, born in Normandy in 1715, inherits the "rambunctious curiosity" of his mother and the "unusually tender" character of his blacksmith father--a combination that proves dangerous. A student in Paris, he recklessly attempts to stop a public execution but is silenced by a more prudent onlooker (the father of a beautiful young woman, Celeste, whom Gabriel will later marry). His faith in God is cracked by witnessing this barbarity, and finally shatters when his friend Michel is murdered. Gabriel's subsequent thirst for revenge devastates his own family, causing an accident that destroys Celeste's sanity and brings Gabriel to Canada, where his own crimes force him to flee those he loves. He takes refuge with an Indian community, and only the devotion of two women renews his belief in God. Narrowly avoiding the didactic or maudlin, Durham's tale warmly embraces old-fashioned values and morals.
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Last Exile
Publisher: Minstrel
Publication Date: 1990
Book Condition: Fair

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Durham, Charles
Published by Minstrel (1990)
ISBN 10: 185424082X ISBN 13: 9781854240828
Used Quantity Available: 1
Better World Books
(Mishawaka, IN, U.S.A.)

Book Description Minstrel, 1990. Book Condition: Good. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP96154776

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