Title: ACADIAN DRIFTWOOD
Subtitle: ONE FAMILY AND THE GREAT EXPULSION
Author: TYLER LeBLANC
Genre: NON-FICTION, CANADIAN NON-FICTION, HISTORY, ACADIAN NON-FICTION
Length: 240 PAGES
Publisher: GOOSE LANE PUBLISHING
Release Date: JUNE 2, 2020
Price: $19.95 CDN
Rating: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦 🇨🇦
– A Hill Times’ 100 Best Books in 2020 Selection
– On Canada’s History Bestseller List
Growing up on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Tyler LeBlanc wasn’t fully aware of his family’s Acadian roots — until a chance encounter with an Acadian historian prompted him to delve into his family history.
LeBlanc’s discovery that he could trace his family all the way to the time of the Acadian Expulsion and beyond forms the basis of this compelling account of Le Grand Dérangement.
Piecing together his family history through archival documents, Tyler LeBlanc tells the story of Joseph LeBlanc (his great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather), Joseph’s ten siblings, and their families.
With descendants scattered across modern-day Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, the LeBlancs provide a window into the diverse fates that awaited the Acadians when they were expelled from their homeland.
Some escaped the deportation and were able to retreat into the wilderness.
Others found their way back to Acadie. But many were exiled to Britain, France, or the future United States, where they faced suspicion and prejudice and struggled to settle into new lives.
A unique biographical approach to the history of the Expulsion, Acadian Driftwood is a vivid insight into one family’s experience of this traumatic event.
In the introduction of Acadian Driftwood, author Tyler LeBlanc writes:
“As a longtime fan of reconstructed historical non-fiction and its ability to take readers to the time and place in question and bring history alive, I have tried in these pages to give the [Acadian] Expulsion a similar treatment. This book looks at the event from the point of view of those who experienced it. It is not a grand history of the Acadian experience. I’m not a historian, and I have no thesis to advance. This is a personal book about ten siblings, all ancestors of mine, who found themselves tossed from their quiet pastoral lives into the turbulent world of eighteenth-century geopolitics… The Expulsion of the Acadians from their homeland had a direct effect on over fifteen thousand people, yet we know very few of their personal stories.”
As a person born in Ontario, Canada, I am embarrassed to admit I knew almost nothing about the expulsion of the Acadian people from Canada’s East Coast during the mid 1700s. This is a reprehensible failing of the Canadian educational curriculum. I remember taking classes in American history, but the history of our own country was skimmed over. And (of course) any shameful or negative history was ignored or “whitewashed.”
When I met my husband (an Acadian from Prince Edward Island) and in the years since, I have been fascinated by the plight of the Acadian people as well as their grit and tenacity which has allowed their community to grow and thrive to this day. My husband’s last name is Gaudet and what initially drew me to this particular book was the fact that one of the author’s ancestors was “Françoise Gaudet” who was born way back in 1623 and was married to “Daniel LeBlanc.” Further research on my part will have to take place before I can confirm whether or not this is a common ancestor.
ACADIAN DRIFTWOOD is a remarkable work of creative nonfiction. Author Tyler LeBlanc has researched his genealogy and through extensive investigation into historic documents, he has been able to write a narrative of what real people went through during the time period of the Acadian Expulsion in the 1700s.
I have read several books about the Expulsion and have even visited the Acadian Museum in Miscouche, on Prince Edward Island, and ACADIAN DRIFTWOOD is unique in the very best way.
Most books and historic documents concentrate exclusively on the lives and actions of the people in power and their lives. What has been missing, until now, is an account of the lives of ordinary people and the hardships they endured.
Tyler LeBlanc brings his ancestors to life and allows readers a look into what happened to them and how ordinary people were affected by the decisions made by politicians and military leaders. Most of these decisionmakers were people who were never seen by the Acadians whose peaceful lives were shattered and whose families were scattered over thousands of miles.
“Though this narrative is full of pain and suffering, it is a story of survival.” I am in awe of the grit and the tenacity of the Acadian people. It would have been easy to allow themselves to be assimilated into the English culture. Despite the attempted genocide of their people, the Acadians held fast to their beliefs and their culture and are still practicing those same values today. Their belief in the power of family and faith has created a group of people who are some of the best, most honest, honorable and hardworking people I have ever met. Although I only married into this culture, I am proud to be a part of the Acadian community.
Whether you already have a firm grasp on the history of the Acadian people, or know absolutely nothing about them, this book will inform and inspire you. By mixing together personal stories with the actions of historic figures, and events, the author has written a compelling narrative that is not to be missed.
I rate ACADIAN DRIFTWOOD by Acadian-Canadian, Tyler LeBlanc as 5 OUT OF 5 STARS ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Tyler LeBlanc was born and raised in a tiny fishing village on Nova Scotia’s south shore. He studied history and journalism as an undergraduate and holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction.
His writing has appeared in This Magazine, Modern Farmer, Explore, Dal Magazine, and the Coast.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links:
ABOUT THE PUBLISHER:
Based in Fredericton, New Brunswick’s capital, Goose Lane Editions is a vital part of Canada’s ever-morphing publishing landscape.
Whether it’s homegrown Canadian fiction, singular collections of poetry, books on contemporary art, or courageous stances on environmental issues and global politics, we provide book lovers with great reads that inspire, spur conversation, and stimulate minds.
We seek to represent a balance of voices and proudly embrace Queer Lit as well as First Nations and Inuit authors and artists who are shaping & transforming our perspectives.
Goose Lane’s backlist includes:
Reading by Lightning by 2019 Governor General Award winner Joan Thomas
Strange Heaven by 2013 Giller Prize winner Lynn Coady
Riel Nason’s The Town That Drowned, winner of the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize (Canada and Europe)
Marcello Di Cintio’s Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, the recipient of the 2013 Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing.
And oh yes, there are also a few image-laden CMA Award winners, including Catherine Coles’s GWG: Piece by Piece
Sarah Milroy and Ian Dejardin’s From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia
Heather Igloliorte’s SakKijâjuk: Art and Craft from Nunatsiavut
and Anthropocene: Baichwal, de Pencier, Burtynsky.
As we enter the third decade of the 21st century, Goose Lane Editions will continue to embrace diversity, fresh voices and novel perspectives. We will keep on sharing stories that challenge, startle, and enlighten — and enhance our ability to be surprised and to be inspired.
To learn more about this Publisher visit the following links: