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Maria Chapdelaine

Louis Hémon

Book Overview: 

Maria Chapdelaine is one of the most famous French Canadian novels. It is the love story of Maria Chapdelaine, daughter of a peasant family in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region of Quebec. It is often seen as an allegory of the French Canadian people, describing simple joys and great tragedies, the bonds of family, the importance of faith, and the strength of body and spirit needed to endure the harshness of life in Canada’s northern wilderness.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Foins, quite alone, a tree that he was cutting for firewood slipped in falling, and it was the Indians who found him by chance next day, crushed and half-frozen though the weather was mild. He was in their game preserve, and they might very well have pretended not to see him and have left him to die there; but they put him on their toboggan, brought him to their camp, and looked after him. You knew my father: a rough man who often took a glass, but just in his dealings, and with a good name for doing that sort of thing himself. So when he parted with these Indians he told them to stop and see him in the spring when they would be coming down to Pointe Bleue with their furs-Francois Paradis of Mistassini,' said he to them, will not forget what you have done ... Francois Paradis.' And when they came in spring while running the river he looked after them well and every one carried away a new ax, a fine woollen blanket and tobacco for six months. Always after that they used t. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"Maria Chapdelaine" is a true Canadian classic. I read it in French in high school and now in English on my ipad. The translation is good but the editing was less than stellar with lots of spelling errors.

Like all great literature, the tale is symbolic of much more than the lot of the book's cha...more

A classical story depicting rural life near Lac St-Jean at the turn of the 20th century. I thought it was beautiful and interesting, but Maria, the main character, was a little too saintly for my taste.
It felt like Hémon was teaching women a lesson through his tale...Something like, "Hey girls,...more

Time stands still, for a moment, in Louis Hémon's Maria Chapdelaine, allowing us a view into a society that faced an internal upheaval, stemming from its very roots. While Hémon was penning his novel, Québec was undergoing a mass migration of its French Canadian citizens into the United States: b...more

دوستانِ گرانقدر، این رمان بنظرم به نوعی عشق و احتیاجات زندگی همچون زمین را مقابل یکدیگر قرار میدهد و البته میتواند اهدافِ دیگری را در دلِ خود داشته باشد
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عزیزانم، داستان مربوط میشود به کوچِ مهاجرانِ فرانسوی به سرزمین کانادا.... خانواده ای به نامِ <شابد...more

I read a different French edition, but close enough. An allegory of sorts. Pastoral. Roughly idyllic or idealized version of French Canadian "frontier" life around the turn of the last century. I did enjoy the colloquialisms, such as the French-speaking Canadians referring to themselves as les Ca...more

Maria Chapdelaine is the story of Maria, a girl living in rural Quebec in the early days of the twentieth century, and the hardships that come with living at this time in this place. It addresses themes prevalent in Canadian Literature; that of climate, isolation and hard work in overcoming both....more

Maria
Why
Won't
You
Love
Lorenzo

This story is so removed from the reality of modern life that it is easy to understand why some readers might find it difficult to relate to. It is, however, a true depiction of a particular time and place (e.g.: Early 20th c. in Québec, in a remote area of French Canada.) My own grandparents and...more

Don't read this if:
-you're depressed
-it's the beginning of winter
-you're about to move to a cabin in the woods, especially if you're going to clear unbroken land and farm it. This book will make you run screaming towards the nearest city.

Although this is an interesting period piece, the sheer tyr...more

Oh. My. God. Was this book every boring. Although well-written, Maria Chapdelaine is about a girl whose father spends his entire life slaving away to build farms in the Canadian wilderness. Once his farm is complete, however, he gets bored, moves away, and begins the process again, willfully cast...more

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