1742, Eastern France...because of her father's Huguenot beliefs and arrest, aristocrat Suzanne Richelieu, and her seriously ill mother, must escape Versailles—praying they reach safety before they are caught. They reach their prearranged destination only to find it is far from safe and Suzanne must make a difficult choice before she leaves—in disguise—on her own for a safe haven by way of the Aachen Cathedral in western Germany and then the American colonies.
Circumstances bring German peasant, Johan Rousch, and Suzanne together. Johan feels led by God to bring her to safety on his family's farm—risking his life and possibly that of his family. Suddenly Suzanne's brother arrives along with the French army, warning that they plan to burn the area and that her pursuer is not far behind, forcing her and Johan to flee. With no money left, and a relentless pursuer after her, there is only one way to secure passage on board the ship to Philadelphia—become indentured servants. On the long journey to the colonies of America, Suzanne becomes gravely ill and Johan has a Priest on board marry them. However, once she begins to recover, she has no memory of the wedding. And Johan finds himself questioning if they are truly married—since arriving in Philadelphia, he has seen the “priest” who married them aboard the ship dressed as a surveyor and a Quaker cleric, but not as a priest. Is he really a priest and are they really married? What are God's plans for them in the colonies?
Wow! Carrie Fancett Pagels has written a fantastic, gripping story set in the 1700's spanning France, Germany and the American colonies. Suzanne and Johan soon became favorite characters along with her brother and his girlfriend and many interesting secondary characters. In addition to the character who had evil intentions, we clearly see the turmoil as Huguenots were persecuted and even killed for their beliefs. All of which had me reading late into the night to read “just one more chapter” to see would happen next.
I loved Suzanne's strength, courage and devotion to her ailing mother. I loved how Johan turns to and trusts God in all things, following His leading in his life—even if it means danger....and danger follows close behind him and Suzanne as they flee. I enjoyed watching their budding romance despite their class distinctions, which is prohibitive of a romantic relationship between them. I overjoyed to see their spiritual growth—especially Suzanne's as she learns that she must have her own faith and build her own personal relationship with God—a life-changing turning point in her life. They both had to learn to adjust to a new life in a new country, while keeping their unwavering integrity intact.
It is apparent the research for this book has been extensive, giving the reader a glimpse of the turbulent times, the rich history and culture of the early 1700's. The descriptions of each area—France, Germany and the colonies of America—is so well written I could envision them in my mind as I read. I love that Suzanne and Johan's story is based on the author's own family from her families genealogy research.
Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter is a fantastic, gripping story that takes the reader on a journey of suspense, intrigue, secrets, deception and betrayal. Joy, sorrow, grief, hope, integrity, class differences, persecution for a different faith, indentured servitude, courage, romance, fear, spiritual growth—God's provision, love and courage captivate the reader. I highly recommend this book and patiently—well, not so patiently—await the next book.
~I received a PDF copy of this book, this is my honest review~
This ebook is ON SALE today on the Pelican book site for half off! So Friday, June 3rd, swing by to pick up a copy of Saving the Marquise's Granddaughter (available in three different formats on the site)!