Praised by Hilary Mantel, Amanda Foreman, and the New York Times Book Review for her verve and intelligence . . . [and] the originality of her imagination,” Clare Clark has become a rising star in historical fiction.
Elisabeth is among twenty-three girls who set sail from France for the new colony of Louisiana to be married to strangers. Although she has little hope for happiness in her new life, she finds herself passionately in love with her new husband, Jean-Claude, a charismatic and ruthlessly ambitious soldier.
But betrayal is as much a part of the new world as the old, and when Elisabeth finds herself deceived by her husband she also finds herself bound to a poor cabin boy in a way she never anticipated.
Clark creates a world that is both incredibly real and incredibly dazzling. And with the same compelling prose and vividly realized characters that won her widespread acclaim for The Great Stink and The Nature of Monsters, she takes us deep into the heart of colonial French Louisiana.
Clark's descriptions of the landbrutally hot, swampy, fetid with stagnant, mosquito-breeding water, unprotected from devastating spring floods and autumn hurricanesprovide a richly atmospheric backdrop for the intertwined lives of three settlers who are newcomers to this unwelcoming terrain…Equally potent as the encompassing sense of place, the moral complexities that influence these characters infuse Savage Lands with emotional resonance. Clark's commitment to historical color is matched by the dramatic arc of an engrossing story.