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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Book Review: Look to the East by Maureen Lang


Look to the East by Maureen Lang
Book 1 in The Great War series
Paperback, 368 pages
Tyndale House Publishers, Inc
September 2009
★★★★☆

Genre: Christian Historical Fiction

Source: Received from Holly at Bippity, Boppity, Book in a giveaway
“A village under siege. A love under fire. 
France, 1914 
At the dawn of the First World War, the small village of Briecourt is isolated from the early battles while a century-old feud between the Toussaints and the de Colvilles still rages in the streets. But when the German army sweeps in to occupy the town, families on both sides of the feud are forced to work together to hide stragglers caught behind enemy lines. 
Juliette Toussaint may have been adopted from a faraway island, but she feels the scorn of the de Colvilles as much as anyone born a Toussaint. So when she falls in love with one of the men in hiding—a wealthy and handsome Belgian entrepreneur—she knows she’s flirting with danger. 
Charles Lassone has been waiting in the church cellar, safe from the Germans for the moment. But if he’s discovered, it will threaten the entire village—including Julitte—and could cost Charles his life.”

This was a series that I have been dying to read for awhile because it is set during The Great War (WWI) and I have not read anything set during that era. I have had books 2 and 3 but was having a difficult time finding book 1. I can honestly say that this was worth the wait!

This book takes place in a small village in France where the villagers had a feud like the Hatfields and the McCoys. Throughout the book we meet characters from both sides of the feud and see them grow and come together during a time of great turmoil for their town. It shows how in the face of adversity things can be put aside for the time to deal with a greater issue.

This is a Christian fiction novel and the religiosity is upfront but not the absolute focus of the entire novel. The main character, Julitte, prays at many times throughout the novel but it is very fitting within the events they are going through. She questions God and how they could be put through such events. These are common occurrences during times of war and created a depth to her character and felt very fitting and believable to the setting.

The beginning of the novel was my only issue with the whole book. It was a little slow and awkward. I think it needed a little more in the exposition of introducing us to the characters. Once we get into the war period, the story comes together, it picks up and charges to the end. One of the strongest aspects of the novel is the emotions of the characters. You can vividly feel the fear, love, and internal struggles that they face and were the aspect that really helped suck you into the story.

The main character of book 2 is mentioned briefly in passing in this book and I can’t wait to find out more about her.

Maureen Lang also has written the 2nd and 3rd book in The Great War series, Whisper on the Wind and Springtime of the Spirit respectively. You can visit Maureen’s website for additional information about the book. If you would like to preview the story before reading it, why not try out this excerpt of the book?

Reviews of this book by other bloggers:

Here are some choices for purchasing the book: Amazon, B&N, RJ Julia (my fav indie bookstore).

 

 



Copyright © 2012 by The Maiden’s Court

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for the review I'm becoming more and more interested in the period before, during and immediately after WWI, so this might be something I'd enjoy.

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    1. Me too! It is a period that I have only read one book about so far. I really enjoyed how this story wasn't set on the front lines but you got to see how the war affected a small town close to the front.

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  2. I'm a little picky about my Christian Historical Fiction. I feel like it can really be butchered, but this one sounds pretty dang good :)

    -Kate the Book Buff
    Recent Post: Better Book Titles: Round 2

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    Replies
    1. I too am very picky with Christian Hist-Fic - I don't like it to feel too preachy and I like the history to be more of the front story and this book fit that bill.

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