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Title: The Mark of the King
Author: Jocelyn Green
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
I read Jocelyn Green’s Civil War Behind the Line Series where she explores heroines who faced insurmountable odds to bring aid, comfort and more to the war effort. Now, the author brings to life a time where women were selected, forced to marry and then transported across the ocean to populate the colony of Louisiana.
Julianne is a midwife who had apprenticed for a long time before she worked as the main midwife women required. Her assistant now was once her mentor. When together they attend a birthing that goes horribly wrong, Julianne is not only sent to prison but marked for life as a criminal. Julianne has more than one reason to go across the ocean and that is to locate her only family member, a brother.
As I read, I couldn’t imagine being marked as a murderess for life and anyone who saw the mark would recognize its meaning. The shame and living without any hope of redemption is unimaginable and yet it was so at that time in France. I loved how Jocelyn did such an enormous amount of research that as a reader I easily picked up on as I kept turning pages. There are facts about New Orleans I had no idea of as well as history of the prisons long ago and in a different nation. I knew something about the mark as it has been portrayed in movies, but reading the novel made me more aware of the depth of shame attached to the irremovable brand.
Being forced to marry and choosing someone not knowing who they were and knowing that if Julianne didn’t choose one she was told one would be chosen for her, is unthinkable. Then, the way the guards would make sure the marriage was consummated before the couples left France was horrible. Simon was a character that I am sure was written to be a cad, though at times he seemed nice. While the time period isn’t one of my main choices for reading, I enjoyed the story more for its history.
It would have moved faster for me if there was some action and adventure like the author put in her other series. If you like a novel that has romance, history and a tale about grace that covers all marks of sin, then look no further!
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