Three Cuts of Courage
Nell Fraser and her brother board a ship to the New World to avoid capture after she rescues him from a Scottish prison. There, she meets and falls in love with Clayton Sheraton, an English gentleman far above her reach. When they reach Halifax, they go their separate ways; Nell never exposes her feelings for Clayton. When Nell’s hotheaded brother is discovered assisting American rebels in Canada, Nell must find him and warn him of the danger. The Micmac Indians whom Nell befriended are willing to help. To her dismay, Clayton leads the detachment sent to hunt down her brother.
Three Cuts of Courage is full of adventure and historic detail about Halifax circa 1775 and the wilderness surrounding it. Ms. Turner bases it loosely on one of her own ancestors who once broke his friend out of jail before escaping to Nova Scotia. The minor characters in this story do not seem fully developed, tending to be either all good or all evil. Some of the characters’ abilities to disregard racial and social class differences seem advanced for the time, but not out of character for this kind of adventure. The novel’s strength lies in its descriptions of life in early Halifax and the Canadian wilderness. Like a rough-cut gemstone, this story is beautiful, even without further refinement.