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May 09 , 2010

“Le Point de non Retour” (The Point of No Return )


Imagine leaving all you know behind for good to head for a land so far away and different that it is beyond your wildest dreams? That is what the Hebert family did. In fact, they had a very profitable business in running an apothecary in downtown Paris and all was perfect. That is for anyone else, but them. Yet their dreams pushed and drove them to run for the unfathomable new world so far across the ocean. In those days, Canada was a vast wilderness filled with mystery and promise .Untouched and raw. Anything could happen. Louis Hebert went ahead to the new world to see what it was all about and in hopes of bringing his family there to settle.

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His wife Marie, however, was not to be undone for though she was safe in Paris in the beginning of it all; she was acquiring skills of her own to survive and prepare for making their dreams a reality. She learned the skills necessary to survive in the rough and open terrain of New France with no possibility of help. Marie was raised as the daughter of a wealthy merchant and her husband was a successful apothecary-would she learn those new skills required for a family to survive alone so far from any aid? Then, what about actually getting there? It was so far away and almost inaccessible.

Follow Louis Hebert as he learned to navigate the politics of the era. France was more than eager to jump aboard to settle in the New World, yet they had plans of their own. They wanted all they could gain in profits from there and the fur trade was just showing its promise. King Henry IV was more than willing to have his people settle in the infinite terrain overseas, yet not too thrilled about funding them. He had his eye on the profit and thus the fur monopolies were started. Once they were underway, the wars began for full control over territory in the New World. Then there was the land battle...Enter Samuel Champlain, a young navigator and cartographer who inquisitively had his eyes on finding a route to the Orient where he could see in his dreams of wealth and riches - cities populated by the French along the way. Yet, the land drew him and roped him in. Trip after trip from France to Arcadie-the land he sought to claim for France, the land found his heart warming even more with each trip he made. Will he find his trade route? Well, history tells us that answer of course. In addition, there was Jean Poutrincourt, a nobleman from a daunting lineage. This was a man who saw hope and glory. He was the younger son and had luckily inherited his fair share of his family's estate, yet it was not enough. He wanted more. He saw in his dreams at night a huge Chateau on rolling hills and his descendants growing fat off the food of the land. He spent every penny he owned and from his wife's dowry in doing all he could with each cell of his aging body to make his dreams come true. With his wit and charm, it almost seemed possible, yet; again, there was the politics of the era. Road block after roadblock and with the will of all-somehow they managed to take that first terrifying step in a land so very far away from all they had even known. Such bravery and determination is noted well by the author in this epic tale of such remarkable and profound people.

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