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Biography & Autobiography Women

Island Girl

From orphan to military wife

by (author) Jackie Muise

Acorn Press
Initial publish date
Jul 2021
Women, General, Military, Survival
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2021
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Jul 2021
    List Price

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The life story of Mary Elizabeth LeBlanc in Jackie Muise’s Island Girl is compelling and moving, not because she was highly unusual, but because she experienced, suffered, survived, and triumphed over challenges commonly faced by ordinary people during her era. She did so with inspiring fortitude and grace. Orphaned at an early age on PEI, she lives first with lightkeepers at Souris East Lighthouse, then with a St. Georges farming couple, Dolph and Jeannette Gallant, who become her beloved lifelong parents. With wartime, Mary is transplanted to Nova Scotia, where Dolph works in the Pictou shipyards building cargo ships, and where she marries Pictou native Fred Leblanc, who becomes a soldier. Afflicted and critically ill with tuberculosis, Mary dwells at length and gives birth in the Kentville sanitorium. Prevailing, she devotes herself to the roles, sometimes draining, often fulfilling, of a military wife and mother. During postings in Germany and New Brunswick, she copes with and finally confronts her husband’s alcoholism, while nurturing children through their struggles and victories. When we arrive at the end of Mary’s long life and story, we deeply admire and miss her as if she were our own cherished and extraordinary relative. We agree with the Chronicles of Narnia author C.S. Lewis that “There are no ordinary people.”

About the author

Jackie Muise is a freelance journalist and writer who lives and works from her home in Oromocto, New Brunswick. Writing is a second career for Jackie. After many years as a Communication Administrative Assistant in provincial health care, Jackie obtained her degree in journalism from St. Thomas University. Since 2010, Jackie has written for various health, feature and marketing magazines across Canada. She has also worked both in editing and print reporting for Brunswick News in her home province, and was nominated for the Best A&E Atlantic Journalism Award in 2014.

Jackie Muise's profile page