Title: A Refuge Assured
Author: Jocelyn Green
Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
About the Book:
Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?
Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.
After seeing so many rave reviews for this book I can now see why! Jocelyn Green is a new author for me, but I’m so glad I was introduced! At first I struggled because I wasn’t sure where the book was going, but then BAM! Plot Twist! (Nope, sorry not spoiling). In truth, it’s enough to see why the author didn’t share more on the back cover. When you don’t know what’s about to hit, it shocks you even more. The drama and characters felt so real that I felt as if I was standing right beside them. More than once I caught myself gasping or shouting “what??” (This comically not uncommon for me, but a clear indicator that the book is good enough to suck me in). The close of the 1700’s was a very dramatic time in history felt around the world. There was a lot of violence and upheaval while people desperately hoped for peace and rest. As the author shared in her notes at the end, while the main characters were purely fictional, many of the characters and events were real to the time. I felt history come alive with each of the character’s physical and emotional battles a page at at time.
This may have been my first book that I’ve read by Jocelyn Green, but I’m sure it won’t be my last! She was able to bring history to life in such a powerful way that I can’t wait to read her again!
*I received a complimentary copy from NetGalley in hopes of an honest review. Opinions expressed are mine alone.
Age Appropriateness: The book takes place in both France and America at the close of the 18th century. There are several references to the violence that occurred including the guillotine. There was a particular scene shared where a boy describes seeing his father’s head on a stick being paraded around town. While it can be upsetting to read, it’s unfortunately accurate to history. While as an adult I recognize a desire to protect kids from reading about violence, I personally remember being told more graphic details of the time in my 6th grade classroom. Having said that, my personal recommendation is for 13 and up.