The Survivor by Paul Almond
(Alford Saga)

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...story’s gradual shift from a tale of man versus nature to that of the individual set against bureaucracy is conceptually sound. But the idea of six more books about this character — or, more likely his kids...is just too gruelling to contemplate.
-National Post arts

Synopsis

Thomas Manning, branded a deserter from the British Navy, is forced to change his name to James Alford to avoid the death penalty. Determined to forge a new life on the Gaspé Peninsula, he struggles to survive the harsh landscape and win the hand of Catherine Garrett. After working in harsh sub-zero woods, he saves the life of an orphan working in a sawmill, and so gains crucial lumber to build a homestead out of intractable wilderness. But first he must battle murderous brigands to rescue a starving bull calf he hopes will be the first of the oxen he so desperately needs to clear his land. Finally, heroically surviving Canada’s worst-ever famine, he faces down implacable bureaucracies to keep the farm he has been fighting to bring under cultivation.A captivating and fast-paced adventure, THE SURVIVOR is Book Two of the Alford Saga, a series chronicling two hundred years of Canadian history, as seen through the eyes of one settler’s family.
 

About Paul Almond

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Paul Almond is one of Canada's preeminent film and television directors, and he has directed and produced over 130 television dramas for the CBC, BBC, ABC and Granada Television. He has now turned his talents to writing a series of novels based on his own family's pioneering adventures in Canada. Paul Almond lives on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec and in Malibu, California.
 
Published June 10, 2011 by McArthur & Company. 220 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
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National Post arts

Below average
Reviewed by Adam Nayman on Jun 24 2011

...story’s gradual shift from a tale of man versus nature to that of the individual set against bureaucracy is conceptually sound. But the idea of six more books about this character — or, more likely his kids...is just too gruelling to contemplate.

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