Book Reviews

Book Review: A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

200Lacemaker 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.

What I Loved: From the very first chapter, I recalled just why I love Green’s writing so much. She has a way of bringing history, romance, action, and God’s truth together in one enthralling package. A Refuge Assured was a ride from start to finish. The pages kept turning with tension lurking around every corner.
I appreciate how she brings the harsh realities of life to bear on the characters without discrimination. For more sensitive readers, they would like to know that Green has a bit more of a graphic nature. A Refuge Assured deals with some difficult violence in the first few chapters but things mellow out into a more comfortable level. Don’t mistake me, I wouldn’t say it was outside of Christian Fiction bounds, but, for those who are uncomfortable with violence, especially those who are unfamiliar with the realities of the French Revolution, some of those scenes may come as a shock to you. I wouldn’t say Green glorified in the violence but she did bring the reality of it to the reader’s attention.
The spiritual aspect was on the lighter side and only really came into focus at the end of the novel. However, the characters often sought God throughout their trials.
The romance was endearing. But I’d say it was the history that really took center stage. I’m fairly new to the French Revolution so there were new details to learn here. From the start, I felt like I was able to view history through the eyes of someone who walked through it, and that’s what Historical Fiction should do for the reader. One of the rare aspects of the French Revolution was how it colored things here in America. I found this very interesting and learned a great deal about my early country.

Rating and Recommendation: I highly recommend it for those who enjoy general Historical Fiction, fiction featuring the French Revolution or Post American Revolution, and for the Christian Historical Fiction fan. I’m giving it 5 stars.

~ I received a copy from Net Galley. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for my review.

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