Mazo de la Roche leaped to prominence as one of the most successful writers of the 20th century when the first novel in her Whiteoaks of Jalna series won the Atlantic Monthly prize in 1927. The award was hailed not only as a triumph for de la Roche but as marking the coming of age of Canadian literature. In this insightful biography, Joan Givner recovers the hidden life of Mazo de la Roche, revealing her genius for producing undemanding yet titillating narratives that grew out of an adolescent daydream. Givner argues that although critics balked at the Gothic excesses of de la Roche's plots and the sexually bizarre adventures of her characters--which they saw as products of the feverish imagination of an unmarried woman with little experience--her fictions were, indeed, firmly rooted in her own experience. This work will appeal to all the many Jalna fan worldwide, and to lovers of biographies.