Mazo de la Roche was an impoverished writer in Toronto when in 1927 she won a $10,000 prize from the American magazine Atlantic Monthly for her novel Jalna. The book became an immediate bestseller. She went on to publish sixteen novels in the popular series.
The Master of Jalna
First published in 1933, The Master of Jalna is Renny Whiteoak, who owns the old house and property. After the death of Grandmother Adeline, Renny attempts to carry on the family tradition. He and his wife Alayne have a daughter named Adeline, who has inherited her namesake’s red hair, strong will, and fierce temper. While Alayne is preoccupied trying to tame this wild, red-headed child, Renny has a love affair with Claire, the widow of his best friend. The whole Whiteoak family is back at Jalna, and Renny looks after everyone, including Claire and her daughter. He faces a financial crisis and struggles to keep the estate intact. This is book 10 of 16 in The Whiteoak Chronicles. It is followed by Whiteoak Harvest.