In 1610, John Guy established a small colony in Cupids, Newfoundland, on the very edge of a world unknown to Europeans. Two years later, he brought a shipment of supplies to his all-male settlement: 70 goats, 10 heifers, 2 bulls, and 16 women. A Roll of the Bones tells the story of some of these nameless women by tracing the journeys of three young people—Ned Perry, Nancy Ellis, and Kathryn Gale—who leave Bristol, England, for a life in the struggling community. Ned dreams of altering his fate with the promise of a New World. Kathryn only wishes to follow her husband—little dreaming she might find romance outside her marriage. And Nancy, the servant girl, has no desire to leave Bristol, but her fealty will ultimately test her ability to survive.
A vivid reimagining of settler life in the early seventeenth century, A Roll of the Bones is the first in a trilogy of novels wrestling with the realities of colonization. Here, Trudy J. Morgan-Cole presents an array of unforgettable characters inhabiting the space where two worlds will collide, where the limits of love and loyalty will be tried in a harsh and unforgiving landscape.
“Think you know the history of New Found Lande? Think again. Morgan-Cole cracks open the past and lights it up. The women settlers of Cupids—a “parcel of females”—star in a gripping story of identity, class, sexism, colonialism, and outright survival. A refreshing and fascinating look at a neglected side of Newfoundland’s history—the experience of women."