Enthralling and adventurous, The Pioneer is Book 3 in the Alford Saga, a series chronicling 200 years of Canadian history, as seen through the eyes of a settler’s family.
The riveting Alford Saga continues with James Alford, the Deserter, battling old age and ferocious winters, but even more crippling, the departure of his son and only heir, Young Jim, who sets out on snowshoes for Montreal, 700 miles away. Arriving at last in Montreal, Jim is driven by starvation into a back-breaking job constructing the Victoria Bridge. Jim finds lodgings with an Irish widow in Griffintown, and falls in love.
After being deceived in this romance, he rejects the bitter realities of urban life and returns to the Old Homestead and its community of pioneers. His ageing father recruits him to rally recalcitrant neighbors to found a school for their children and a church for their worship in Shigawake.
I feel that this story is a very warm, gentle and authentic portrayal of early Canadian settlers and the hardships ensured by them. I enjoyed listening to the voice of Paul Almond as he told the story with such love for his characters (ancestors).