This eighteenth century story slips the reader into an era when severe expectations cruelty thrived. Thankfully, those bondages are foreign to our time and experience. Revolutionary France had turned upside down as the guillotine destroyed way too many lives. Innocent people were disgraced or worse, all because of their wealth or wealthy connections. I will never be able to flippantly speed past any mention of this piece of history without thinking of the awful cost of lives and dignity. When hate flourishes so much is thrown into terror, wounded, and lost.
Jocelyn paints with vivid brushstrokes of elegant language the challenges, angst and depth of her character’s crisis and joys. Vivienne Rivard, lacemaker for the royal and wealthy, is in danger of losing her life, and she has lost so much already. Liam Delancy’s character is strong and compelling and ever so necessary for this story to develop. The varied characters and exciting plot decorate the pages, making this a must-read-again story for years to come!
A unique quality about this story is that Vivienne’s French ancestry is connected to the heroine, Liberty, in The Lacemaker by Laura Frantz! So, if you should follow my best advice and purchase or borrow A Refuge Assured from the library, make sure that you also do the same with The Lacemaker. I love a story with character connections to other series and this one leaps further to link authors and two publishing houses! This is a highly recommended read!
Questions for Jocelyn:
How did you get interested in studying the French Revolutionary War times? Somehow I came across a mention of refugees from the French Revolution making their way to Pennsylvania for political asylum. I dug deeper and deeper, reading narratives of people who fled, and I was hooked on this aspect that I had never heard of before. When I read that the entire lacemaking community of Chantilly was executed, I was shocked and intrigued. That’s when I began thinking of writing the story of a lacemaker who escapes to America.
I loved the real people you wove into this story. Which one was your personal favorite?
Eliza Hamilton. She only makes a brief appearance in my novel, but she was an incredible woman.
Was Asylum a real place? If so, are there any original buildings left to peruse?
Yes, it was! From 1793-1803, French Azilum, or Asylum in English, was a real settlement built in a horseshoe bend of the Susquehanna River in northern Pennsylvania. It was meant to be a refuge for Marie-Antoinette and her son, but even though they didn’t make it, dozens of aristocrats, priests, military and tradesmen did. You can still visit the location today, as I did for my research. None of the original buildings are left standing, but there is a reconstructed cabin and other structures built after 1803.
If you were to write a sequel to this story, what kind of heroine would you write about?
I would want to write about Tara Delaney, the hero Liam’s sister. In A Refuge Assured, she’s a feisty tavern owner in Philadelphia, widowed since the American Revolution. She’s full of personality, and I just have a feeling her story isn’t over.
Is there anything you would like to tell your readers about this story?
The primary theme is that of finding refuge in the Lord, when no physical place of safety seems to exist. But a secondary theme popped up through a character I didn’t plan on creating: Armand, the father from whom Vivienne had been estranged her entire life. The two flee France together, and through their relationship, a picture of reconciliation emerged. At one point Armand says to Vivienne, “One is never too old for a father’s love.” None of us are ever too old –or “too far gone”—for our heavenly Father’s love, either. And that is the greatest reconciliation story of all time.
Do you have other novels that are or will be published soon?
My next novel, Between Two Shores, will release Feb. 5, 2019. It’s set during the Seven Years’ War in Montreal, and the heroine is half-French, half-Mohawk. You can find more about the book here: http://www.jocelyngreen.com/books/fiction/between-two-shores
What an excellent interview Jocelyn! Thank you for taking the time and for caring for your readers! I did an earlier review for MARK OF THE KING, which was the first novel I read by Jocelyn Green! It was captivating! Again, thank you, Jocelyn!