The Deserter is the first book of the Alford Saga. Imagine you’re in a swaying hammock on a British man-o’war around 1800, riding out a harsh spring storm in a deserted estuary. Behind those high red cliffs lie a hundred miles of uncharted wilderness, populated only by ferocious indigenous peoples. If you jump ship and are caught, you will be branded a deserter - subject to death by one thousand lashes. What can you bring to help you survive? Within minutes, the ice-strewn waters will freeze your body and claim your soul. Even if this were your one chance for a life in the New World, would you jump?
Thomas Manning did, and his leap into uncertainty begins the epic tale of a pioneer family, one of the many who built our great nation. Through his and his descendants’ eyes, we watch one small community’s impact on the great events which swirl about them and bring conflicts they must face in their struggles to create homes and families. After Thomas Manning’s leap to freedom, he is captured by the Mi’kmaq, has life threatening encounters with wild animals, livesthrough a barren winter in the highlands of the caribou with a tribe who befriends him and falls for a Mi’kmaq maiden. Absorbing, touching and full of adventure, The Deserter is Book One of the Alford saga, a series chronicling 200 years of Canadian history, as seen through the eyes of a settler’s family.