The Order of Good Cheer (Paperback)

By Bill Gaston

House of Anansi Press, 9780887848162, 390pp.

Publication Date: September 1, 2009

October 2009 Indie Next List

“Bill Gaston perfectly parallels an account of Samuel de Champlain's explorations in Canada with a compelling, modern story. I loved this one.”
— Joe Foster, Maria's Bookshop, Durango, CO
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A fascinating yet little-known figure in North American history, the French explorer and mapmaker Samuel de Champlain was the subject of a recent best-selling biography by historian David Hackett Fischer. The Order of Good Cheer, a highly readable novel by master storyteller Bill Gaston, offers a beautifully shaded, fictionalized portrait of Champlain, as well as a marvelous window into Canadian culture past and present. In 1607, Champlain and his companions struggled to establish a French colony on foreign soil while warding off scurvy. Separated by the breadth of a continent and exactly 400 years is 21st-century blue-collar worker Andy Winslow and his friends, whose urban landscape is threatened by encroaching environmental and economic disaster. In alternating narratives, Gaston bridges the divide across land and time in this illuminating story about survival, love, feast, and friendship.