Proulx’s tome is not an easy, fun read, but well worth the effort for a diligent reader. Barkskins traces the history of two families from 1693 to the present day. The Duke family begins with Charles Duquet, a Frenchman who acquires Canadian land for the purpose of sawing timber and shipping it short and long distances. Rene Sel is his indentured servant who marries marries of woman of the Mi’kmaw tribe, and has heirs who continue to practice the rituals and traditions of their tribe for several centuries. By following both families and what they represent, Proulx artistically depicts what has happened to the forests in North American for the last three hundred years. In addition, she has provided her readers with a number of unique, not-to-be-forgotten characters. Barkskins is a monumental, satisfying work of literature.