The year is 1789. France is reeling under the impact of a civil war between its social classes. When a secret agent from Rome joins forces with a vindictive politician bent on revenge, the stage is set for an explosive outcome that will shake the country to its core.
Meanwhile, Queen Marie-Antoinette engages the help of her lady-in-waiting, Viviane de Lussan, in a desperate battle to keep her throne… and her head. But how can she win a struggle she seems fated to lose?
Amid the chaos of the revolution, Viviane’s heart is torn between a nobleman who sacrifices everything for her and a peasant who promises true freedom.
Saturated with suspense and lavish detail, Bride Tree combines elements of alternative history with Biblical allegory. The result is a romantic thriller that will grab you by the heart and never let go.
My Thoughts: I found the concept behind Bride Tree to be extremely interesting. Robinson’s choice to use alternative history (which in a nutshell uses real historical setting and some historical events while changing other events or the timeline to suit the story) really paid off. It gave him room to change things as needed in order to keep the reader guessing and offer the story even more possibilities.
There were some of the characters who could have been written with more depth. But the spiritual content was the real highlight here. His spiritual angle was spot on! In many ways, I was often reminded of The Holy War by John Bunyan. He shared an amazing picture of how our fallen hearts are often led astray by the sinful temptations offered by Satan, and likewise how Christ draws us back to Himself with unmatched beauty and contentment. There was also a clear picture of Christ’s sacrifice as well as His fickle acceptance while here on earth.
I do want to give a slight warning. There were adult topics on the table, but it was never graphic or displayed in detail. It was always only alluded to or mentioned by name. Those who are familiar with the French Revolution will also understand the extremely violent nature of the setting. For those who aren’t familiar, you should know up front that this one includes a great deal more bloodshed. All that being said, there was a balance of honest human behavior and carefully crafted descriptions at work here. It was almost as if Robinson had decided to be just blunt and open about what happens but at the same time without going into further detail.
For me personally, as a conservative reader, I liked this type of balance. I struggle more when the author shares moment by moment details (or feelings and sensations if we’re speaking of sensual moments).
Rating and Recommendations: I give Bride Tree a solid 4 stars. If you enjoy the French Revolution or allegories, I think you’ll want to give this one a try.
~ I received a copy from the author. All thoughts are my own. I was not compensated for this review or required to give a favorable one.