By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Genealogy was the muse for an author with local ties in her second book centered on historical sacrifices made by her ancestors.
Author Jennifer DeBruin holds her newest book 'Shadows in the Tree.'
'Shadows in the Tree' by Jennifer DeBruin immerses readers into the world of a family in the late 1700s divided by land and power.
The Eamers are caught in the middle of an American Revolution that pushed United Empire Loyalists to abandon their homes and flee to Quebec.
Maria Catrina Eamer must take her young children into wild, unknown territory as her husband, Peter, is marked as a traitor and forced to stay behind.
"As I am from Cornwall, my own genealogy provides many interesting 'characters' in our history, among them the United Empire Loyalists," said DeBruin. "In exploring the incredible history the Loyalists experienced from their time in the Province of New York during the American Revolution, to their exodus to what is now Canada, it just seemed particularly interesting that when researching so little was known of what the women endured."
The Cornwall-native said the focus of the book is what Maria Catrina really sacrificed in the name of loyalty. DeBruin stressed that it's more than a tale of a courageous mother, since it delves into the impossible choices men also had to make.
"There is always intrigue and mystery in a family tree; always an interesting character to 'meet,'" she said. "I am very affected by the tragedy and the triumph of our ancestors and what we can learn about ourselves and what we are capable of in looking back. I take the lessons to heart."
DeBruin said her new book is, in a strange way, an adventure story. From the intrigue and turmoil of the American Revolution on the frontier of the Mohawk Valley, to the exodus through the untamed Adirondack Mountains, and finally to carving out a homestead from the forests along the shores of the mighty St. Lawrence River at what is now Cornwall.
"For me though, it is the story of a woman who is forced into a role reversal, in a time of strict social protocols, and how she rises to meet such a daunting challenge of safeguarding her family," said DeBruin.
The feedback on her second literary offering has been extremely positive. Especially since it's only in a pre-launch phase, and the e-book and main promotion are coming in early 2014.
"However, we (me and General Store Publishing House) wanted to release it in time for Christmas," said DeBruin.
The book is now available in select local retailers, Chapters.ca, Amazon.com and others.
For more information, visit www.jenniferdebruin.com.