Published in: 2017
Edition read: Paperback
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.
So I was intrigued by the book description when I picked this up at the library, and then feared I’d grabbed one of the preachy christian fiction books by mistake (yuck). Thankfully, this was not the case, despite what many people tag this book as, or the even the author may say. The religion is low in this book, but the history is rich.
This book is about the history of the early days of the colony of New Orleans and the practices that were put in place, from shipping over convicts (hey, no judgement here. My country was populated the exact same way!) to the forced marriage between convicts to the fake dowries, rampant stealing, war with the native peoples, food shortages… it was a hard life for anyone coming over and with little support from France, they were basically left to fend for themselves.
Julianne is a strong character and I quite liked her throughout the book. She faced a lot of hardships that a weaker person wouldn’t have been able to, and there is hope at the end that maybe, things might start to get easier. This is a period of history I know little about, but found to be very fascinating. This book has led me to want to learn more, and read more, about this time and place and the people who came to live in such a strange land. Back to the library I must go!
The mark of the kind rating: 7/10
Would I re-read it? Surprisingly, yes.
Who would I recommend it to? People interested in historical fiction and American history
Author’s site: http://www.jocelyngreen.com/books/fiction/the-mark-of-the-king