What I’m Reading: The Girl from Loch Bras d’Or

Allene's Visit-3

The view from the Highland Village Museum, Iona Nova Scotia

Last summer a good friend came all the way from Calgary to visit me and Josh (and not-yet-born Joseph) here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. I absolutely love my home here on the East Coast of Canada and couldn’t wait to play tour guide!

After visiting my parents in PEI, we decided to take the ferry and do a quick visit to Cape Breton Island.

If any of you are familiar with Cape Breton, you might be familiar with this image:

The most famous view in Cape Breton: the Cabot Trail

The most famous view in Cape Breton: the Cabot Trail

It is an absolutely beautiful drive along the Cabot Trail up near the Cape Breton Highlands National Park of Canada. I knew that we would not have enough time to do that part of CB, so we decided to do a sight-seeing trip to a little less well-known spot: Bras d’Or Lake.

Map of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

Map of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia

We did the drive around Bras d’Or Lake, and stopped in to the cutest and most quaint little museum: The Highland Village Museum. It’s “a living history museum and cultural centre that celebrates the Gaelic experience in Nova Scotia.” Using buildings and actors, visitors are taken through the history of the settlement of Cape Breton. To this date, it has been one of my favourite vacation experiences and I highly recommend it to anyone who is visiting that part of Cape Breton.

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When we got back to Halifax, we decided to hit up some garage sales to see if my friend could find a legitimate Nova Scotian souvenir. That’s when we came across this treasure of a book!


Penned by author Margaret MacPhail, it is a story about a young girl growing up on Cape Breton in the late 1800’s. More of a series of short stories than a novel, I am having such a great time reading this book and fantasizing about life back then.


Before she left to go back to Calgary, my dear friend slipped the book back into my possession as a souvenir for me! Josh and I are planning a trip to Calgary soon, so I am bound and determined to finish the book so that I can bring it to her.

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Here are some of my favourite lines from the book so far:

“We of the young generation wanted no part in the old world.” (Ha! It seems the “young generation” hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years)

“We had roast goose, plum pudding, and the fixings. Every last bite, except the raisins in the pudding, came from our farm and garden.” (see..even they were interested in locally sourced food!)

“‘It’s and old saying, ‘When you eat fish don’t eat the bones or you may be choked.’ She went on placidly, ‘There is so much good in the Bible, you need not question what you don’t know.”‘ (There is some wisdom in that…I think…)

“It was a great day for Cape Breton when the Intercolonial railroad was completed to Sydney. It spelled an end for the Trader and costal schooners, that until then were the only available means in our area to send farm supplies to Sydney…What a fast, new world opened up for us!”

Allene's Visit-2


2 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: The Girl from Loch Bras d’Or

  1. Lilly's Mom

    Greetings from Southern California. Your photos are absolutely beautiful! I had the honor of visiting your lovely city of Halifax a few years ago on a cruise. It’s a beautiful part of the country – in fact all of Canada is beautiful!


    1. MalloryBrisson

      Hello…I’m so glad you stopped by! I used to work at a chocolate store on PEI and enjoyed when people from the cruise ships would come into the store. I loved hearing all the accents from south of the border 🙂 Yes, Canada is beautiful. I have been so fortunate to have visited all 10 provinces (no small feat!) and am amazed at the beauty that is right here on our doorstep. My husband and I have been planning our US road trip for a couple of years now. We don’t have anything down on paper yet, but we can’t wait to go and see our neighbours to the south!



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