After being imprisoned and branded for the death of her client, twenty-five-year-old midwife Julianne Chevalier trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling 1720s French colony of Louisiana, where she hopes to be reunited with her brother, serving there as a soldier. To make the journey, though, women must be married, and Julianne is forced to wed a fellow convict.
When they arrive in New Orleans, there is no news of Benjamin, Julianne’s brother, and searching for answers proves dangerous. What is behind the mystery, and does military officer Marc-Paul Girard know more than he is letting on?
With her dreams of a new life shattered, Julianne must find her way in this dangerous, rugged land, despite never being able to escape the king’s mark on her shoulder that brands her a criminal beyond redemption.
**I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.**
For me, one of my favorite parts of historical fiction, is learning about things I did not know before. After reading the first couple chapters of this book, I immediately did some brief research into the ways in which France worked to colonise what we now know as the state of Louisiana and some of the surrounding area. Needless to say, after that bit of research, I was impressed with the level of detail and historical truths that Green captured in her novel.
True to her style, Green does not shy away from hard things in this book. There are a few scenes that for some readers, I could see being a bit harder to swallow, but they are things that happened and contribute to this story. But beyond the historical elements of this book, there is a beautiful story told about these fictional characters where they learn about grace and mercy, forgiveness, shame and so much more.
I had a hard time wanting to leave the harsh world of these characters. Even more… leaving the characters. The people in this book are well developed and the plot is never once predictable. I found the book a bit difficult to put down because of this. So if you enjoy historical fiction novels, you’ll probably want to add this one to your TBR pile.
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