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Anna Maxymiw

Minique book cover image

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McClelland & Stewart

  • Fiction


Anna Maxymiw

A fierce outsider narrative about the so-called “witch in the woods,” a feminist fable, a haunting survival story, and a turbulent romance.

Minique is loosely based on the lives of real 17th-century figures—including Anne Lamarque, a Montréal woman who was accused of witchcraft in 1682.

Montréal, 1680s: Minique has a secret she can’t ever tell. She knows there are horrific consequences for girls and women who do not conform. She saw it with her own eyes when Anne, the aubergiste, was viciously marched through town and charged with crimes she didn’t commit. Besides, Minique has never had family members to tell. She remembers little of her mother, a fille du roi, who arrived in Montréal on a ship; she rarely sees her father, a coureur des bois who is often away; and she barely speaks with her Tante Marie, a stern, hard woman.

Years later, after a string of tragedies, Minique has abandoned the hostility of the town and its people. She has built a home for herself in the woods, outside the boundary of Montréal. But her solitary existence is interrupted when she learns that Antoine de Cadillac, an ambitious Frenchman with a violent past, is after a monopoly of the fur trade in New France. Though initially repulsed by his greed, Minique is powerfully drawn to him. Soon, their paths start to cross in unpredictable ways as Cadillac’s determination to learn more about the “witch in the wood” intensifies. They forge a reckless, passionate connection with an ever-shifting dynamic that Minique welcomes until she realizes that everything—down to the core of who she is and the secret she carries—is at stake.

By turns fierce, gripping, poignant, and menacing, Minique is historical fiction with a contemporary twist. Here is a one-of-a-kind story about a woman’s reckoning with her own power and what she will do to protect it.