In 1703, a war party of French soldiers and Abenaki warriors raided the Puritan village of seven-year-old Esther Wheelwright, killing several men, women and children and taking twenty-two captives. That Esther managed to survive the 200-mile journey by foot through swamps and forests to a Jesuit mission in New France is astonishing. That she was adopted, quite happily, into a family of her Abenaki captors is equally amazing. But for the Wheelwright family, who waited years before receiving word that Esther had even survived the raid, the abduction was a tragedy. Esther's release from her Abenaki family was finally negotiated through a French Jesuit who took her to the city of Québec—but it was too late. Esther, by then twelve years old, broke her parents' hearts by refusing to go home. They never saw her again. Instead, she remained in Québec, the capital of New France, where, against all odds, she went on to become Mother Superior of the Ursulines—and a pivotal figure after the siege of Québec in 1759.
Written by Julie Wheelwright, Esther's descendant, this book is a spiritual and an emotional journey of survival, and an awe-inspiring example of the human capacity for transformation.