I made an observation I thought is worth mentioning.
My father's family goes back to Scotland in 1791 on one side and to the Mayflower itself (Capt Thomas Rogers) in 1620. My mother's father and mother came to Canada in 1911, escaping drudgery and poverty in Germany.
None of my family from these sides feel any subtraction from their/our integrity and identity by having willingly and enthusiastically left places thousands of miles away. We have reunited with relatives in Germany and it was joyful and we have shared many stories, pictures and laughs. My 93 year old Mom and my cousin Christian's 93 old Mom Luzie - first cousins - never met face to face, but they did become aware of each other and the reunion was a memorable event for both families.
But there were no tears of sadness of a re-connection to something lost, just tears of joy of something found.
My first novel was about Cuba and over the years I've corresponded with many Cuban exiles who deeply and sadly miss a Cuba that they have never visited, or left when they were very young. The sadness seems integrated in their basic view of life and their souls. Their success in the USA is almost a slap in the face of the dictators that took over their homeland and forced them to leave.
Similarly I see this in the Acadians descendants who were forced to leave almost 10 generations ago. Up until only a decade or so ago, they had only spiritual memories of where they were really from. They had made their way in an awful place and lived there, but a large portion of their souls remained in Beaubassin or Grand Pre or other little villages named after their families.
Why the difference?
I think because of the reason for their dislocation.
One group - my Scots/Welsh and Germans left for opportunity; to go to some place better. Or at least a place that could not be worse.
The others, the Cubans and Acadians, left not because they wanted to, but because they were shoved onto boats and made to leave.
This difference in historical reference and narrative affects the emotions and understanding of a people's collective identity. One who is in a place because of the choice of his or her ancestors has a different emotional attachment to it than one whose ancestors were driven from their home.
"Tintamarre", I hope, will bring the descendants of Acadia's exiles closer to an understanding of not only the terror suffered by their ancestors, but also their triumph.