The Hangman in the Mirror
By Kate Cayley
(Annick Press, Hardcover, 9781554513574, 229pp.)
Publication Date: July 2011
List Price: $21.95*
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"A strong-willed 16-year-old girl fights for survival in 18th-century North America. "
Francoise Laurent has never had an easy life. The only surviving child of a destitute washerwoman and wayward soldier, she must rely only on herself to get by. When her parents die suddenly from the smallpox ravishing New France, Francoise sees it as a chance to escape the life she thought she was trapped in.
Seizing her newfound opportunity, Francoise takes a job as an aide to the wife of a wealthy fur trader. The poverty-ridden world she knew transforms into a strange new world full of privilege and fine things -- and of never having to beg for food. But Francoise's relationships with the other servants in Madame Pommereau's house are tenuous, and Madame Pommereau isn't an easy woman to work for. When Francoise is caught stealing a pair of her mistress's beautiful gloves, she faces a future even worse than she could have imagined: thrown in jail, she is sentenced to death by hanging. Once again, Francoise is left to her own devices to survive . . . Is she cunning enough to convince the prisoner in the cell beside her to become the hangman and marry her, which, by law, is the only thing that could save her life?
Based on an actual story and filled with illuminating historical detail, "The Hangman in the Mirror" transports readers to the harsh landscape of a new land that is filled with even harsher class divisions and injustices.