"What a vivid and complete world . . . vigorous and intense, energetic and absorbing. Clare Clark is one of those writers who can see into the past and help us feel its texture. An extraordinary feat of imagination." -- Hilary Mantel, author of Wolf HallNew York Times Book ReviewEditor's Choice * Longlisted for the Orange Prize For fifteen sols a day and a trunk of linen and lace, she had sold herself into exile, the property of the King of France until, in a savage land on the other side of the world, a man she had never met might take her in marriage It is 1704, and Elisabeth is among those virtuous few who will be known as casket girls, women recruited through churches to travel from France to Louisiana as wives for its lonely, struggling settlers. Educated and skeptical, she has little hope for happiness in her new life, but she finds herself surprisingly, passionately in love with her charismatic, ruthlessly ambitious new husband. Betrayal is as much a part of the new world as the old, though, and Elisabeth will find many surprises in her new home deception by those she loves and love for those she never expected to know. "Powerful . . . Clark s commitment to historical color is matched by the dramatic arc of an engrossing story." Washington Post "Genuinely a story to lose yourself in, an intense and satisfying read." Times (UK) CLARE CLARK is the author of The Great Stink, a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and The Nature of Monsters. "