Julia keeps a diary detailing her sexual fantasies, which she has with her at the moment of the blast that was the Halifax Explosion. She hides her diary in her coat, which is subsequently donated to a clothing drive for the individuals from the north end of the city who've list everything in the explosion. Peter discovers the diary and becomes fixated on its author, enlisting the help of his friend Stewart to find her.
Burden of Desire explores the repression and expression of sexual desire at the time of the First World War. It also offers a compelling fictional account of the impact on Halifax society of the Halifax Explosion.
In 1755, New England troops embarked on a "great and noble scheme" to expel 18,000 French-speaking Acadians ("the neutral French") from Nova Scotia, killing thousands, separating innumerable families, and driving many into forests where they waged a desperate guerrilla resistance. The right of neutrality; to live in peace from the imperial wars waged between France and England; had been one of the founding values of Acadia; its settlers traded and intermarried freely with native Mikmaq Indians and English Protestants alike. But the Acadians' refusal to swear unconditional allegiance to the British Crown in the mid-eighteenth century gave New Englanders, who had long coveted Nova Scotia's fertile farmland, pretense enough to launch a campaign of ethnic cleansing on a massive scale. John Mack Faragher draws on original research to weave 150 years of history into a gripping narrative of both the civilization of Acadia and the British plot to destroy it.