Sunday, March 18, 2018

A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

My thoughts:  From the very first page of A Refuge Assured I was enthralled with the grace of word-smithing that the author used to describe people, places, and events. Beautiful! They came alive. You felt the wind, saw the grass sway, experienced the cold. 

This is not a book to skip through. No, you'll want to savor the writing. Not only the writing, though, as you will find Jocelyn Green is an astute researcher and conveyor of the history that makes the story realistic. 

The time shortly after the end of the American Revolution was a harsh time for the newly formed country. People were trying to settle into life in this brand new land and politics and governing were in the formative stage. At this time across the Atlantic, the country of France was experiencing its own revolution. It was a bloody, horrific time for aristocrats, royalists, and even merchants who plied their trades with the hated upper class.

This story is not about the war on the battlefield with guns, cannons, and sabras. It is a war of conflict, fear, exile, petty differences, new politics, and misplaced directions. It is hard. It is fearful. It is a beautiful rendering of the times.

Some major points in the story are:

  • French Revolution
  • Mystery of the child-king, the Dauphin
  • Whiskey Rebellion and America's resistance to the excise tax on whiskey
  • Expatriates of France settling into a hidden community tucked away in the wilds of Pennsylvania as they await the possible return to their own country
About the book: Vivienne Rivard fled revolutionary France and seeks a new life for herself and a boy in her care, who some say is the Dauphin. But America is far from safe, as militiaman Liam Delaney knows. He proudly served in the American Revolution but is less sure of his role in the Whiskey Rebellion. Drawn together, will Liam and Vivienne find the peace they long for?

For the history buff among you.......
It was anticipated that France's King and Queen would escape the Revolution with their children and flee to America for refuge. The community of Ayslum was developed for aristocrats and for the royals. The king and queen, however, did not escape the gullietien and the fate of their children remained the stuff of legend and hearsay. You can find in the annulls of Pennsylvania history the story of Aysluym Pennsylvania. Drawings of the house prepared for the king and queen still exist.(picture from the website and garnered via a Google search.)

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House to facilitate a review. Opinions are my own, alone, and are freely given.

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