Jennifer DeBruin

Author | Entrepreneur | Speaker

A Walk with Mary

Inspired by true events  


William Phillips, a young blacksmith, sets out to find a place he can call home with his beloved wife, Adelaide. Settling in the idyllic village of Moulinette, situated on the banks of the mighty St. Lawrence River, he could not have imagined this vibrant, bustling place would one day lie under dark waters.

Their daughter Mary, raised in a generation known for its stoic resolve, is witness to some of the greatest events in modern history: the tuberculosis pandemic, the Great Depression, war, and the St. Lawrence Seaway. For Mary, all came with price.

Near the end of her journey, Mary, no longer bound by the expected decorum of playing the role of daughter, wife, or mother to a growing family, is able to allow her vibrant, long-repressed spirit to re-emerge. Yet, just as the waters washed away Mary’s beloved village, so now Alzheimer’s is washing away her memories.

Before it is too late, Mary’s granddaughter, Eliza, realizes that if anyone is to ever truly know who Mary is, her story needs to be told. What she finds lurking beneath the surface of her reserved grandmother are the hopes, dreams, losses, and disappointments of a lifetime.


  • ISBN #978-0-9947461-0-8
  • Trade Paperback | 257 Pages | Dimensions: 9 × 6 × 0.68 in
  • Full colour, laminate cover; natural colour interior pages
  • Genre: Fact-Based Historical Fiction
  • Original Publication Date: 2012
  • Language: English
  • Printed in Canada


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Reader Feedback after History Links


Explore the History of the LOST VILLAGES of the St. Lawrence River

You Can’t Go Home Again: The Lost Villages of the St. Lawrence by Jennifer DeBruin (Reader’s Digest Online; Originally Published in Our Canada Magazine)

Sunken Villages – Aerial Photographs. St. Lawrence River’s Lost Villages. Sunken Villages Project by Louis Helbig

Interview Clips & Video Segment: Jennifer DeBruin, Granddaughter of Mary (Seymour) Eamer of the Lost Village of Moulinette, ON

St. Lawrence Seaway at 60: Development uprooted lives, villages lost (Montreal Gazette) Excerpt: “It is a story of home; it is a story of connectedness and when that connection is broken, how do you reform?” said DeBruin.”

The Lost Villages Museum, Long Sault, ON

Lost Villages of the St. Lawrence River, Canada’s Atlantis (Video/Article; Global News)

Let the Flooding Begin! (Video; Length: 16:20; CBC Archives)

The St. Lawrence Seaway is Completed (Video; Length: 14:23; CBC Archives)

Queen Elizabeth Officially Opens the St. Lawrence Seaway (Video; Length: 10:42; CBC Archives)




(Plot revelations have been removed from reader feedback)

“A Walk with Mary was an outstanding book. You’ve hit every  emotion in this old man’s heart! Every chapter keeps giving and giving, and I’ve just had the aromas of butter tarts (at the barrister’s home) and banana bread (at Mrs. Wright’s home) waft through the sun porch, as the sun goes down. I enjoyed it so much, and it meant so much to me, having lived in and around the community of Moulinette.  So many aspects of the story touched my life. Incredible! ” – Jim Brownell, President | Lost Villages Historical Society


“I just finished reading “A Walk With Mary” What a beautiful story…I felt I was right there on every page. I cried when the babies were born and when there was a death. I sort of feel like the invisible aunt that watched over the lives of everyone…wonderful… I absolutely loved it!!!  Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 5 out of 5 hearts ”  B. Outhouse


“I just wanted to say that I LOVED A Walk With Mary.  Such an enjoyable read!  It was lovely the way you wove facts with a beautiful story… Thanks again Jennifer for writing such a lovely book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it.” M. Craigen


“I read A Walk with Mary and fell in love with every minute of it. Jennifer writes in such a way that the book flows from one chapter to the next with such vivid description of what life was like during this time period. It really made you feel you were living life right there with the characters. Not many books can make me cry but this one did. FANTASTIC job! Can’t wait for the next one!” M. Legault


“What I like most about the book is your writing style that immerses readers into the picture…Your mix of fiction and fact makes it very  readable. Thanks.” J. Ford


“…have just finished reading it this morning (couldn’t put it down).  You write beautifully…wonderful descriptive and powerful emotive passages. Thanks for a very good read.” K. Grant


“I just this minute finished reading “A Walk With Mary” by Jennifer Debruin. It’s her family story of the flooding of Moulinette and the lost villages. I’ve know that story all my life, but have never heard it told in such a thought provoking, human way. Thank You Jennifer for writing this beautiful story of “Mary’s life”. Everyone else… yourself a favour and read this… will touch your soul!!!” M. Franklin Silmser