A Refuge Assured (Jocelyn Green) – Review

5 stars

~ 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.

Genre:  Historical Fiction
Release date:  6 February 2018
Pages:  416
Publisher:  Bethany House

Amazon US  //  Amazon AU  //  iBooks  //  Goodreads  //  Koorong

~ Excerpt ~

Questions about Vivienne’s uncertain future surrendered to the overwhelming need to sleep. Before she could finish the prayer she began, she tumbled into an unrestful slumber, where memories distorted and twisted together. Rose whispering, “Save yourself. Do not object,” before climbing the platform to the guillotine. Sybille drifting home with a loaf of bread in one hand, hair askew. Armand begging forgiveness. Louis-Charles screaming for escape, scratching his uncut fingernails against stone walls.
When she awoke, she was filmed with sweat. Light from the streetlamp seeped through her open window, and the breeze swept a chill down her spine. Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, she went to the washstand and laved water over her face and hands, but she could not rinse the images from her mind. She crept back to bed and waited for her pulse to calm, gaze fixed on a cobweb strung in the corner near the ceiling. Outside, the night watchman called out the two o’clock hour and added that all was well.
All is well, she repeated to herself with a series of deep breaths. It was merely a dream. But it was more than that. An ache filled the empty spaces her losses had carved away. It was not only Rose she missed, or Paris. But to her dismay, her thoughts looped back to Sybille. The footing they had found themselves on was complicated and cautious. “I don’t expect you to forgive me for being who—and what—I am,” she had told Vienne one day, before the pox stole her senses. “I ask no loyalty or love. Just courtesy.” But Vienne was loyal. Eventually, she even grew to love Sybille, more from choice than natural affection. Once, Sybille had told Vivienne she loved her. She was mad by then, but Vienne had longed, beyond all reason, to believe it anyway. Now Sybille was gone. And Armand made it impossible to forget her.
Vienne had been wrong about grief, to think of it as mere sadness, to believe it could be dammed while inconvenient, or set free to run its course and then dry up. It was a crush in the chest, a sharp pull in the gut, pain that circled back without warning. No respecter of time or will.
Life and lacework with Tante Rose had seemed so stable and enduring, when in fact it was only an opera set struck down by revolution, and Vienne was the only one left standing on an empty stage. Where exactly did she find herself now? What role would she play here, and with whom? How quickly the relief of escape had faded. Now all she felt, besides loss, was lost. Lord, guide me.

~ Review ~

History lovers, grab your essential reading comforts then settle in for an enthralling story of revolution, rebellion, and the longing for refuge. I had no idea that lacemaking could make one worthy of the guillotine in Revolutionary France, but that is the ‘crime’ for which Vivienne Rivard, lacemaker to the Queen of France, is in danger of losing her life. And not even the newly-formed United States of America is far enough to escape revolution’s clutches.

Law and libertyThis story has everything a history lover could ask for. The setting is ripe with both political and personal tensions, and the characters are perfectly poised to explore them to the fullest. Still riding the wave of their own revolution, many Americans are cheering on the French Revolution: “Shall we Americans, who have kindled the spark of liberty, watch the bright flame burning in France go out?” But as Vienne rightly points out, “It’s not a bright flame of liberty. It’s a raging wildfire of bloodthirsty discontents.” Do the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity justify rebellion every time the government doesn’t act the way you want it to?

Untethered, like a loose threadAnd of course, none of this is merely hypothetical for these characters. Liam’s cousin, Finn, is caught up in the Whiskey Rebellion, a situation that is rapidly escalating, and Liam finds himself caught uncomfortably—and sometimes at a cost to his personal safety—between the law-makers and the rebels. Henri, a young boy who ends up in Vienne’s care, struggles with his memories of the Revolution and the dear playmate whose fate remains unknown, even as his own life becomes threatened once more. And Vienne just wants to find her place in this new country she’s been forced to seek refuge in. Will they ever find true asylum—beyond the place on the map?

Jocelyn Green’s writing is an absolute pleasure to read—as natural as breathing and rich in historical details that blend seamlessly into the narrative—and her characters will hold you in their grasp from the first page until the last. Not to be missed historical reading!

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.

~ About the Author ~

jocelyn-greenJocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning and bestselling author of numerous fiction and nonfiction books, including The Mark of the King; Wedded to War; and The 5 Love Languages Military Edition, which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. Her books have garnered starred reviews from Booklist and Publishers Weekly, and have been honored with the Christy Award, the gold medal from the Military Writers Society of America, and the Golden Scroll Award from the Advanced Writers & Speakers Association. She graduated from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, with a B.A. in English, concentration in writing. She loves Mexican food, Broadway musicals, Toblerone chocolate bars, the color red, and reading on her patio. Jocelyn lives with her husband Rob and two children in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

Connect with Jocelyn:  Website  //  Facebook  //  Twitter


About Fiction Aficionado

Homeschooling mum, word lover, reader extraordinaire, and follower of Christ
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction, New Releases and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to A Refuge Assured (Jocelyn Green) – Review

  1. Pingback: Weekend Book Buzz – 3/4 February 2018 | Fiction Aficionado

  2. sbmcmh says:

    Ah….I just finished this book and absolutely loved it. I’ve just learned a new word – “book hangover”….and this is definitely what I have right now after finishing A Refuge Assured.

    Liked by 1 person

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