Just another author in world of words
THE HISTORICAL NOVELS (2005-2015)
While researching World War II for a term project, Jenn North, Jo Carruthers and Jas Green find secrets that bind them together. Why weren’t the Nazis prosecuted for the murder of more than forty Royal Winnipeg soldiers, including Jo’s great-grandfather? Why won’t Jaslyn’s mom tell her anything about her father’s side of the family? Jenn discovers a lot more than she wants to know about her great-great grandfather. Are these secrets best forgotten, or should they be told? Rather than building to a traditional climax, Forgotten Secrets forces us to think. Should we feel guilty about a relative’s wrongdoings? How do we cope when something is good in one generation and bad in another? Is there anything to build our lives on?
As an historian I’m used to thinking about the past and asking longitudinal questions. It’s intriguing that Canada faces the same problem now as Jenn’s great-great-grandfather faced during World War II: how many refugees should we allow in?
ISBN: 978-1-928112-11-2. 255PP. 5X8 inches. Ages 12+. $20
THEO BENTLEY’S WAR OF 1812
Will Theo avenge the loss of his family and his home and burn down the White House? That’s the central question in this novel about the War of 1812. Theo has vowed retaliation on the American Army that invaded Canada and destroyed everything he loved. How he can do it is the question. He’s only thirteen and the militia won’t let him join up. Then a friend of his family offers the chance of his lifetime — spying for the British in Baltimore? During the long trek from Canada to Baltimore, Theo learns that Americans are not much different from the people he knows. Some good, some bad. Furthermore, he gets to like some. Will that be enough to stop him waging war against the United States? Or will he keep his vow and avenge his family?
ISBN: 978-928112-04-4. 5×8 inches. Ages 11+. $20.
THE WAHMURRA SERIES
When Chloe Murray’s mother disappears from Wahmurra, Australia, people search everywhere. Nobody thinks of looking in the past. Four years later, Chloe herself is catapulted back to 1833 where she hears about Lady Peter Kendricks, a woman who sounds and looks suspiciously like her mother. While she waits to meet the mysterious Lady Peter, Chloe makes friends with Thad Compton, a young convict. Life in 1833 proves hectic. Someone wants to kill her. Thad is always a hairsbreadth away from being flogged. Danger is everywhere. Eventually Chloe must choose between her two worlds–between her mother’s love and Thad’s friendship in 1833; or her dad, his love, and all the opportunities of the twenty-first century.
ISBN: 978-9879376-0-5. 5×8 inches. Ages 10+ $17.50.
After writing THE CONVICT’S THUMBPRINT, I wondered what anyone and, in particular Thad Compton, would miss most after being zapped two hundred years into the future.
In this sequel to THE CONVICT’S THUMBPRINT, Thad doesn’t have to imagine. It’s happened. Born in 1820 and zapped into the 21st century Australia, he’s trying to adapt to our technologies and medical miracles. At times he feels that none of the real him is left after he gets braces on his teeth, his leg rebroken and set straight, and his Cockney accent changed. He’s unprepared for school but gradually finds that his fate is intertwined with that of the school’s bully. Winning or losing a rowing race will decide their futures in so many, many ways.
ISBN: 978-9879376-7-4. 5×8 inches. 10+ $20.
THE SOPHIE MALLORY SERIES
Here’s what one reviewer for CM Magazine said about my historical novels for young adults and specifically Sophie’s Exile:Boissery manages to incorporate that historical and geographical knowledge into the story in a manner that provides an authentic and generally appropriately gloomy, challenging backdrop to the main story events … Again including strong, complex characters, Sophie’s Exile is more plot-driven and features a more engaging narrative than the earlier books in the trilogy. Middle school readers with an interest in history will enjoy Boissery’s writing. Schoolteachers desiring to employ historically accurate fictional writing in the classroom will do well to consider the classroom inclusion of Sophie’s Exile.
2006 Word Guild Award — Winner, Young Adult Fiction
Sophie Mallory’s American family knows everything about fighting the British. It’s the family tradition. But after she comes to Lower Canada in 1838, rebellion becomes personal when she’s taken prisoner. Befriended by Luc, a young rebel, she comes to see its many sides – the deep wrongs underlying the passionate revolt, the politics, and the brutal savagery of its aftermath.
This is no ordinary novel about our Canadian past. Its two wonderful characters face complicated problems of friendship, loyalty, and betrayal and begin questioning their families’ political beliefs. In Sophie’s Rebellion, Beverly Boissery deftly weaves adventure, excitement, sadness, humour, and personal growth.
It is 1838, and in the wake of the rebellion in Lower Canada, Sophie’s and Luc’s worlds are falling apart. Luc is powerless as his only brother stands trial for treason, while Sophie searches for clues to her father’s mysterious disappearance. Meanwhile, her scheming brothers threaten to rip away Sophie’s inheritance. Luc’s brother is sentenced to die by hanging, and then, when it seems nothing more can go wrong, Sophie thinks Lady Theodosia Thornleigh, who has always been her strongest support and hope for the future, may secretly be planning to leave her young charge. Without family to protect them, Sophie and Luc can trust no one but each other but can their desperate bid for independence withstand attacks from the justice system and the adults around them?
At the darkest hour of their lives Sophie and Luc must use intelligence, ingenuity, and courage in the struggle to secure a bright future for themselves and those they love.
In the aftermath of the 1838 rebellion in Lower Canada, Sophie Mallory’s father is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment in Australia. But there is no question about what Sophie should do: with her guardian, Lady Theodosia Thornleigh, and Luc Moriset, she sets sail for Sydney. She finds Australia an outside-down country. The water goes down the drain the opposite way, half the population are (or have been) convicts. In one notorious incident, her father, Benjamin, and the Canadian convicts arrest police. Lady Theo even finds herself renting a house from her own servants.
Shortly after they settle in Sydney, Sophie and Luc make friends with the Hendricks twins. Luc quickly chums with Billy, but Sophie astonishes everyone. She loathes, despises, and abominates Polly. Luc despairs of her, and Lady Theo compounds the problem by sending Sophie to Polly’s boarding school. When the school closes temporarily, due to an outbreak of scarlet fever, the girls rashly decide to make their own way to Polly’s house in the country. Not surprisingly, they’re kidnapped by bush rangers. During their escape, Polly’s feet become dangerously infected when she jumps onto an oyster bed. Trying to avoid recapture, Sophie must make her way across Port Stephens in a one-oared rowboat to save Polly.
When her father and Luc’s brother are pardoned, Sophie faces the biggest decision of her life to that point – whether or not her place of exile will be her home.
In 1839 fifty-eight men left Montreal for the penal colony of New South Wales. They were ordinary people who had been caught up in the political whirlwind of the 1838 rebellion. Even though they were all civilians, they had been tried by court martial. Convicted of treason, their properties forfeited to the crown, they paid a heavy price for rebellion. And as convicts in Australia, they were considered the lowest of a bad lot. During their years there, however, they earned the respect of Sydney’s citizens.
The legacy of the Canadian rebels changed Australian convict history because these men, unlike their British counterparts were determined by reunite with their families, either by returning home or bringing their loved ones to Sydney. As a Sydney newspaper said some fifty years after they left Sydney, they were “greatly mourned by the poor” and all who knew them.
They are true, forgotten, Canadian heroes.
The book made the front page of the Montreal Gazette and was reviewed in the Globe and Mail, The Australian and in other areas far from Montreal and Sydney such as
Toowomba, Queensland: A Deep Sense of Wrong is an intriguing account of an obscure episode which links two of the oldest members of the Commonwealth, as well as being a tribute to the hardihood and integrity of those simple souls who survived their clash with an alien authority. No facile read, this, but well worth the effort,
Guelph: Beverly Boissery…is both a trained historian and a novelist. In her book A Deep Sense of Wrong, she combines these skills to turn what might have been a solid but dull historical study into a fascinating story that interweaves political and legal history with a concern for the fate of individuals.
A DEEP SENSE OF WRONG was also published in 1996 by Allen & Unwin, St Leonards, Australia
ISBN: 1 86448 105 6
and in French by Lux Editions of Montreal in 2011.
Written together my husband, F. MURRAY GREENWOOD
In 1754 Eleanor Powers was hung for a murder committed during a botched robbery. She was the first woman condemned to die in Canada, but would not be the last.
In Uncertain Justice, Beverley Boissery and Murray Greenwood portray a cast of women characters almost as often wronged by the law as they have wronged society. Starting with the Powers trial and continuing to the not-too-distant past, the authors expose the patriarchal values that lie at the core of criminal law, and the class and gender biases that permeate its procedures and applications.
The writing style is similar to that of a popular mystery: “Harriet Henry lay dead. Horribly and indubitably. Her body sprawled against the bed, the head twisted at a grotesque angle. Foam engulfed the grinning mouth.” Scholarly analysis combines with the narrative to make Uncertain Justice a fascinating and engaging read.
There is a wealth of information about the emerging and evolving legal system and profession, the state of forensic science, the roles of juries, and the political turmoil and growing resistance to a purely class-based aristocratic form of government.
An excerpt from a review in Ontario History: Uncertain Justice is another fine work of serious scholarship…which nonetheless will interest any reader with an historical bent.
Written together with my great friend, BRONWYN SHORT
Gold. With that one little word and its promise of fabulous wealth, people from all parts of the world came to British Columbia in the 1850s and 1860s. Most were ill equipped for the difficult terrain, the icy water, and the inhospitable climate. Some found the motherlode. Others settled for becoming rich merchants. Most became impoverished, and a large number lost their lives. With new roads and new settlers, the gold rush helped build Canada’s West. This pictorial history tells the stories of the Fraser and Cariboo gold rush and of the lives involved in that tumultuous but decisive event in Canadian history.
This was a fun book written about something neither Bronwyn or I knew anything about. Nevertheless, it received solid reviews and made us instant experts.