Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Welcome to the world of unicorns.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

In Search of Memère and Pepère's Homestead

Today is the day I leave for Saskatchewan in search of Memére and Pepére's homestead near Val Marie, Saskatchewan. As I approach the end of my historical novel, Fields of Gold Beneath Prairie Skies, I've grown to know my grandparents much more intimately than ever before. I've learned who this jolly, little French-Canadian man from Trois Rivières really was, and what this mysterious lady from Belgium endured as they took up a homestead in the 1920s only to have their dreams dashed by the Depression era.

But there are more than just them I seek to know. It's also my great grandfather, Levi, and his wife, Emma, as well as the uncles and aunts who convened each Christmas, playing their fiddles and guitars, their Quebecois joie-de-vivre lighting up the festive season. I'm hoping to find their house in Ponteix as well as the graves of my baby aunts and uncle who died in infancy.

And finally, there is one more person I must mention -- A pioneer doctor named Dr. Onile Lupiens. A man who devoted his life to his practice, often treating patients for free, lighting fires in peoples' homes who were too sick to tend to it themselves during the Spanish Flu. A more devoted man never existed.

Who knows what I will find when I arrive. In the meantime, here is the blurb and cover of my novel, slated for release in September, 2017. 

French-Canadian soldier, Napoleon, proposes to Lea during WWI, promising golden fields of wheat as far as the eye can see. After the armistice, he sends money for her passage, and she journeys far from her family and the conveniences of a modern country to join him on a homestead in Saskatchewan. There, she works hard to build their dream of a prospering farm, clearing fields alongside her husband through several pregnancies and even after suffering a terrible loss. When the stock market crashes in ’29, the prairies are stricken by a long and abysmal drought. Thrown into poverty, she struggles to survive in a world where work is scarce, death is abundant, and hope dwindles. Will she and her family survive the Great Depression?


  1. Good luck on your pilgrimage. I have a similar family background. The family homestead stood on the border of Alberta and Saskatchewan. These courageous and hardworking folks built the prairie provinces and helped make Canada the great nation it is today. I will want a copy of this book when I am in Canada this September.

  2. I'm so happy you are bringing our family's story to life. I can't tell you how excited I am to read it.

    1. Be sure to read my latest post. I tried to make it somewhat funny.