Upper Canada, 1804, on the edge of Chippewa territory. Flora MacCallum wakes from a malarial coma and witnesses the staggering loss her siblings have endured during their first days on the mosquito-infested banks of the Chenail ...cart . Lured by Lord Selkirk's promise of fertile grazing land and freedom far from the Highland clearances, Flora's father staked his life to bring his family across the Atlantic, alongside a motley assortment of Scottish islanders, to settle this deeply forested and foreboding land.
During the settlement's first bleak North American winter, Flora discovers hope through an unlikely friendship. The eldest son of a Chippewa chief offers Flora the gift of his mother tongue. It is a gift which shifts Flora's relationship with the land and the truth of her own spirit. As their furtive fellowship attracts attention, conflict arises in Baldoon. And among Flora's own family.
Set amid the privation of a struggling frontier settlement, the seduction of the natural world, and an intimate Chippewa forest camp, ANANGOKAA is the evocative coming-of-age story of a young woman who must determine what sacrifices she is willing to make for the life she longs to live.
About the Author
Cameron Alam lives in eastern Ontario along the St. Lawrence Seaway with her soldier husband, two children, playful dog and alpha cat.
Anangokaa is Cameron’s debut novel.
A remarkable love song to Indigenous peoples.
Fiona Alison, The Historical Novel Society
Anangokaa deserves to be on the bookshelf of every reader who is a fan of historical fiction. Based on the MacCallum orphans in Canada during 1804, Cameron Alam spins an exceptional and haunting story about loss, the determination to survive, and the quest for something better. Told by fourteen-year-old Flora MacCallum, Anangokaa is a brilliant portrait of two cultures – Chippewa and Scottish Highland – and the similarities that bind them. Anangokaa is an outstanding achievement.
Ann Weisgarber, author of The Glovemaker
Cameron Alam’s fictionalized account of a young Scottish girl’s first winter in Upper Canada melds the new world with the old in a true-to-life tale of the perils facing white settlers some 200 years ago. Historically accurate and rich in detail, Anangokaa not only tells the story of the hardships faced by the people of Lord Selkirk’s Baldoon Settlement, but more importantly, the book honours the Anishinaabe culture and the people of Turtle Island. Anangokaa also marks Flora’s journey from child to woman, outlining her sustaining, but taboo friendship with a Chippewa youth who shares with her the gift of his native tongue. We see how Flora’s fierce independence and brave heart guides her path through her first love, while navigating the tight social constraints of the times. Anangokaa is a must read for those familiar with the Baldoon Settlement, those who want to learn more about Ontario’s indigenous people and for everyone who cares about matters of the heart.
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter/Chatham Voice
Former reporter/editor with The Chatham Daily News,
Sarnia Observer and Wallaceburg News