Wednesday, March 7, 2018

"A Refuge Assured" by Jocelyn Green

About this book:

  “Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard never imagined her craft could threaten her life. Yet in revolutionary France, it is a death sentence when the nobility, and those associated with them, are forced to the guillotine. Vivienne flees to Philadelphia but finds the same dangers lurking in the French Quarter, as revolutionary sympathizers threaten the life of a young boy left in her care, who some suspect to be the Dauphin. Can the French settlement, Azilum, offer permanent refuge?
  Militiaman Liam Delaney proudly served in the American Revolution, but now that the new government has imposed an oppressive tax that impacts his family, he barely recognizes the democracy he fought for. He wants only to cultivate the land of his hard-won farm near Azilum, but soon finds himself drawn into the escalating tension of the Whiskey Rebellion. When he meets a beautiful young Frenchwoman recently arrived from Paris, they will be drawn together in surprising ways to fight for the peace and safety for which they long.”

Series: As of now, no.

Spiritual Content- Psalm 142:5 at the beginning; Scriptures are quoted & remembered; Prayers; Talks about God; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers, praying, & blessings over food; Mentions of churches, church going, services, & priests; Mentions of Christmas; Mentions of Providence; Mentions of Quakers; Mentions of sins; Mentions of Paulette not believing in God or an afterlife, but she later wonders about forgiveness; A few mentions of those in the Bible; A few mentions of thanking God; A few mentions of faiths; A few mentions of Heaven; A mention of the birth of Christ; A mention of Godspeed; A mention of a miracle; A mention of crossing oneself;
             *Note: A couple mentions of ghosts; A mention of being ‘damned’; A mention of a talisman; A mention of a hex.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: an ‘idiot’, a ‘stupid’, two ‘shut up’s, three ‘hang it all’s, and six forms of ‘blast’; Mentions of curses (said, not written, including one by Liam and one by Paulette); Trying to kill a child four times (semi-detailed, not successful); A fire, smoke, & explosion (semi-detailed); Being shot (x2), hit, blood/bleeding, & passing out (semi-detailed); Being nearly strangled & injuries (up to semi-detailed); Being attacked/thrown glass and manure at (up to semi-detailed); Being pushes in a busy street & nearly ran-over (up to semi-detailed); Injuries, Pain, Blood/Bleeding, & Being Tarred (barely-above-not-detailed); Stitching someone up (up to semi-detailed); Drinking wine at dinner; Smelling hard liquor & watching others drink (up to semi-detailed); A young boy is given alcohol & gets drunk (barely-above-not-detailed); Nightmares (up to semi-detailed); Set during revolutions (semi-detailed); Many, many mentions of murders, beheadings, guillotines, those soon-to-be executed, & those in favor of it (semi-detailed); Many, many mentions of wars, revolutions, rebels, violence, & deaths (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of dead bodies, ligaments from those bodies on pikes, blood/bleeding, & horror (semi-detailed); Many mentions of pain, injuries/wounds, beatings, being shot, blood/bleeding, stitches, scars, & screams (up to semi-detailed); Many mentions of alcohol/wine, drinking, drunks, & taverns/bars; Mentions of a murder (semi-detailed); Mentions of a plan to kill a child; Mentions of people being burned alive; Mentions of fighting, hitting/slapping, gunshots/bullets, & massacres; Mentions of hangings & being hung; Mentions of tarring & feathering others (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of crimes; Mentions of illnesses, symptoms, vomit, vomiting, & deaths (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of slavery, deaths, & slaves killing their masters (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of young boys that died (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of threats & abuse (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of arrests, imprisonment, & prisons/jails; Mentions of debts; Mentions of fires & smoke; Mentions of an attempted kidnapping; Mentions of hatred, prejudice, & revenge; Mentions of nightmares; Mentions of cigars, pipes, tobacco, & smoke; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of gossip & rumors; A few mentions of a young girl watching her parents die; A few mentions of thieves & stealing; A few mentions of animal manure; A couple mentions of a bully & getting a black eye; A couple mentions of gambling; A couple mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of frostbitten toes being amputated; A couple mentions of using the bathroom outside (barely-above-not-detailed); A mention of sarcasm.

Sexual Content- a hand kiss, a semi-detailed wrist kiss, a cheek kiss, a head kiss, a not-detailed kiss, a semi-detailed kiss, a forced boarder-line semi-detailed // detailed kiss, and detailed kisses; Touches, Dancing, Embraces, & Nearness (up to semi-detailed); Unwanted Touches & Suggestions (up to semi-detailed); Noticing & Smelling (barely-above-not-detailed); A man tries to get Vivienne to be his (she assumes) new mistress (she will not); a ‘whore’; Mentions of a fourteen year old maid being impregnated by the master of the house & forced to have an abortion (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of Vivienne being illegitimate child & her mother being a courtesan/mistress, also entertaining her lovers, and being faithful; Mentions of adultery, adulterers, & affairs; Mentions of courtesans & mistresses; Mentions of kisses & kissing (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of chaperones, virtue, & scandals; A few mentions of a young, unmarried woman being pregnant & wanting a rushed wedding; A few mentions of a man wanting to leave his wife for another woman; A couple mentions of unwanted advances; A mention of blushing & longing over the thought of having babies; Love, falling in love, & the emotions;
             *Note: A few mentions of the butt of a gun; A mention of a low-cut neckline; A mention of a woman’s too small shirt; A mention of a man’s muscles (barely-above-not-detailed); A mention of kicking someone’s groin.

-Vivienne “Vienne” Rivard, age 28-29
-William “Liam” Delaney, age 38-39
                                P.O.V. switches between them, Paulette (9x), & Henri (6x)
                                               Set in 1794-1795 (Prologue set in 1792, Epilogue in 1802)
                                                        413 pages

Pre Teens-
New Teens-
Early High School Teens-
Older High School Teens-
My personal Rating-
I always have a “catch-22 dilemma” when have to read and rate historical book set during or around wars.
I hate the unjustness of those time periods. It honestly makes me dislike history so much and feel sick to my stomach.
But, because I do content reviews, whether historical facts or not, those parts are held up to the Philippians 4:8 standard of this blog.
And to be honest, a lot of history isn’t so lovely.
So, while, yes, historical can be awful, terrible, and horrible, I must be honest and give ratings based on how the author writes the details of those parts and how it’s handled. 
See what I mean about a catch-22?
Unfortunately, “A Refuge Assured” has this case.
Agree or disagree with what I’ve said or these ratings, Books for Christian Girls has a duty to stand by our values, list out the content in every book, and give whatever ratings we feel are necessary.
For our actual final thoughts:
Being my first book by this author, the prologue had me wondering what in the world did I just get myself into. The blood, murders, and gore were too much for myself.
For Vivienne, while I sympathized with her situation and I liked her drive to handle things, there was something about her personality that I felt clashed with my own. I can’t really put into words what felt off, but there was something.
Liam, well, Liam. It felt like it was forever until we met him. In actuality, it was only 57 pages. But, that’s still quite a while for a normal length book. This one was just over 400 pages and while the romance section really didn’t happen until the last 100 pages or so, there was quite a bit in that area. The Spiritual Content was a decent amount for a book this long, but I would have preferred more discussions and such. Will I ever try out this author again, though? We’ll have to see.
Personally, I further confirmed two things while reading this book:
            1.)   One of my least favorite time periods is the 1700s and you couldn’t pay me to live in that time period.
and 2.) I never want to be in politics. Ever.

See y’all on Friday with a new review!

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
*I received this book for free from the Publisher (Bethany House) for this honest review.

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