'The deeply personal journey of a writer, surprising and illuminating, and for me, familiar in the most reassuring way as she loses herself in this compelling story' - Esther Freud, author of Hideous Kinky
Marguerite de la Rocque didn't exist before her guardian abandoned her on a remote island.
Abandoned, pregnant to a man she'd met on board one of the first ships sailing to settle what became Canada, Marguerite was forced to fight for her life against the treacherous wilderness of Nova Scotia, giving birth alone. When her guardian returned nearly two years later, her lover and her baby had died, but Marguerite had survived. Returning to France, her story was concealed so that her family's reputation might be protected.
Centuries later, a woman with small children of her own begins writing what she believes to be a television script about the life of Marguerite de la Rocque and her incredible story of survival against the odds. As she delves deeper into the hidden history of Marguerite and her extraordinary story of persecution and survival, the woman begins to question her ability to tell this story, or that of any woman in history, and in so doing exposes a fundamental truth about what it is to be both a writer and mother.
Combining historical text, autobiographical fiction and essay with the uncertainty of memory, Bear Woman is a deeply moving journey into what it means to be a woman, in a world in which men still hold power.