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The scope of this massive novel is the settling of "New France" which we know as Canada. The story centers around two men who come in as indentured servants and are granted their freedom and a bit of land after a few years of hard work. This epic covers multiple generations and as we see one man go on to become one of the logging magnates, the other marries a native woman and has a hard climb upward. As the loggers move in, the natives are forced out as are the voyageurs who tried to straddle both sides. The people are brutal, the land is brutal and the coming civilization and loss of ancient hardwoods is heartbreaking. Annie Proulx uses such beautiful language to describe the scenery that we feel the hardships and brutality against the first settlers and native people all the more.
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