I have a soft spot for historicals about New Orleans. As many people do, I love learning about the history of where my people are from (Sidenote: Anyone want to write a historical about California? Specifically Southern California? Just tossing it out there). To think how cities first started always gets my attention.
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 really loved the history and research. This is a time period I don’t know much about, so my history nerd was all over it. It wasn’t easy living in 1720s NOLA and I appreciated that Green did not sugar coat or shy away from hard details and incidents. They played too important of a piece to not include.
I will say that bits of the plot and characters weren’t as unique as I was expecting or hoping for. While this wasn’t meant to be a mystery, there were many things I picked up on early on, so there were no big surprises or twists for me. While I wasn’t at all sad I read this, this wasn’t one of my top Green reads either.
What time period and location would you love to read about?
(Thank you to Bethany House for a copy of the book. All views expressed are my own.)
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