“Princes of the North 1909” -Review

Novel by Cindy Bouchard

  • DougInNC book review

‘Princes’ uses sharp dialogue and clean crisp prose to delivery a straightforward story that is “only the beginning.” One may continue to follow the tale of the Hamilton family members in the remainder of the seven-book series by author Bouchard.

“Go North, young man.” That might have been the mantra for youthful Vancouverites seeking adventure and fortune, akin to the United States idiom of “go West.” Teenager Jeff Hamilton has assumed the parental role in his family and is seeking neither adventure nor fortune, just a means to create a stable life for his brother, two sisters, mother, and (perhaps someday again) absentee father. As far as we know and as far as we go (1909) this seems to be his only, dutifully all-consuming desire.

Younger brother Bill is the one seeking avenues of adventure that can particularly be found in the wilderness; he makes his own way north. The older of two sisters, Natalie, seeks fortune and adventure in her own way; she often forces the family to look the ‘other way.’ A younger sister matches Jeff’s desire and attitude for stability; Heather experiences rapid highs and lows that challenge her natural instinct for positivity.

This novel is easy to follow, possibly suitable for the mature YA reader, and seems too risqué for a tween. I enjoyed the flow of the book, my introduction to British Columbia culture (of the time), and the ability of the author to portray personalities through their activities in definitively ‘show not tell’ narrative.

4 thoughts on ““Princes of the North 1909” -Review”

  1. I agree, Dough, it does sound interesting. This would be a fun way to learn some more of Canada’s history in the early 20th century.
    Are you planning on reading the other volumes in the series?


    1. Hi Tanja. I do not expect to read author Bouchard’s entire series. I read “Princes …” as a light introduction to BC coastal history. I now shift my focus to natural history of the area, with one or two of the books by Cannings. I may be traveling to that region soon.

      Thanks for checking in. Speaking of books that teach me about an area, I hope your book signing goes well for “People and Places …” this last weekend in April.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Doug,
        How exciting that you might visit BC soon. I have never made it there, but from all I know, it’s a gorgeous province. It’s a great idea to read a few books about a potential destination before a trip, which should really enhance your experience of the area.
        I appreciate the good wishes for the book signing!

        Liked by 1 person

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