Marie's Story

by Nora Ryan



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 4/21/2008

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 5.5x8.5
Page Count : 122
ISBN : 9781425155353

About the Book

Set amidst the sweeping landscape of rural Haiti, Marie's Story chronicles the life and adventures of Marie and her brother Gustaf. Orphaned after their mother dies from a mysterious illness, Marie and Gustaf have returned from the Caribbean island of St. Georges to live with an aunt on the slopes of Pic La Ferriére. The children earn a little money helping to guide tourists up to La Citadelle, a great fortress at the top of the mountain. Their fragile world starts to unravel as Marie too becomes ill and one of her best friends is sent to work as a domestic servant in the nearby city of Cap Haïtien.

The reality of her illness and its connection to her mother slowly works its way into the fabric of Marie's life. Her interaction with a kaleidoscope of characters creates a reflection of the adult world and its impact on Marie and on her comprehension of unfolding events.

Bridges between the material and spiritual realm are depicted as the story is told during the dying moments of Marie. Inspiration for this work stems from three trips which the author made to Haiti including one in February 2004 in the weeks prior to Aristide's removal from office.

This story puts a human face on AIDS and brings the reader into the lives of children, illuminating their struggles and triumphs in a haphazard and uncertain world.

About the Author

Nora Ryan was born and educated in Ireland. She emigrated to Canada in 1980 with her husband and two small children. A health educator by profession her special interest area is in family life and mentoring. She has traveled extensively in the Caribbean. Two years living on a small island in the Caribbean provided the inspiration for "Across the Great Divide" and "Cracked Conch."

Nora first traveled to Haiti in October of 1998 to complete research for "Across the Great Divide." Captivated by the rugged landscape and the vibrancy and tenacity of its people, she returned in 2001 and again in 2004. These subsequent trips to Haiti provided her with the background for Marie's Story.

A member of the Baha'i Faith, Nora enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her extended human family in far away places. Spiritual themes are evident in both "Across the Great Divide" and Marie's Story. Nora draws from the rich writings of the Baha'i Faith when exploring social issues. For further information on the Baha'i Faith visit

Nora Ryan is a pen name. The author has chosen this name to honor her paternal grandmother who was born in an age when women did not have a voice. To contact the author e-mail: or visit: