I strongly recommend Susan Glickman’s historical novel The Tale-Teller. Esther, the main character, is one of my new heroes and inspirations, along with Katniss. (Is Jennifer Lawrence too old to play her?) Esther is a young Jewish woman (we’d call her a teen-ager today) who disguises herself as a male and gains passage on a ship sailing from France to New France, at a time when a female could not travel to New France without official permission, and Jews were not allowed.
It’s a beautiful story, beautifully written, with magical and revelatory micro-tales. So many memorable characters, which Susan manages to bring to richly-hued and multi-faceted life in such a relatively short space. Susan has been one of Canada’s finest poets for many years, and her poetic chops complement the narrative, never interfering. The story is replete with despicable villains, benevolent helpmates, and ambivalent types in whom empathy and a sense of justice wars with fear and self-interest — all of them thoroughly believable and convincing.
This is a novel I’d readily recommend to young people as well as those of us who know who Justin Trudeau’s father was.