Jocelyn Green's novel The Mark of the King is set during the early 1700's in the new province of New Orleans. After being wrongly accused in Paris, Julianne Chevalier is shipped to a new continent in order to start over and to procreate the new land in the name of France. This new direction is not something Julianne saw for her life nor was it one she particularly chose. Yet she finds herself embarking on a new chapter with a stranger by her side. What will this new life look like, and will she ever find happiness? Throughout the twists and bends in the journey, Julianne beings to wonder if her life has been cursed, because sorrow seems to surround every part of her existence. And she wonders if peace will every come.
Julianne's one goal for her life was to become a midwife. And even though she believes her skills are good, there is still regret that taunts her. Past mistakes hit her at the most inconvenient times, which causes others to mistrust her abilities. People even go so far as to mock her and belittle her role in life. Eventually, she will meet women who will come to depend upon her and who will help her to see how precious she is in the Lord's eyes. No matter what men may think of her, Julianne must press on and prevail in this new wilderness home of hers.
As a soldier in the king's army, Marc-Paul Girard knows how to handle his men. He wants to do what is right regarding this new territory; however, there are many individuals who are only concerned about their own personal gain. When it comes to treating others with respect, there are so few who actually step up to the task of being honorable. And there are even some who play both sides. How can one ever decipher the truth behind a man's heart? Marc-Paul must make some very serious decisions when it comes to the men who serve beside him, the Indians he must trust with his life, and the woman he comes to love. How can he serve all of them faithfully? Does he have what it takes?
This book was wonderful and quite a long story, which is great if enjoy thicker books like myself. Even though the characters had stretches of struggles, I was happy that the author also took the time to write about the joys each character felt or encountered. Sometimes books tend to stay on the negative aspects of a person's life, and the character never gets a chance to breathe. In turn, the reader never gets to breathe either and begins to wonder if hope and redemption will ever occur for that character.
I am happy to report that is not the case with this novel. Even though there are definite bits of heartache that touch each individual, it is truly a tale of the human spirit. Life is not perfect, and Julianne and Marc-Paul definitely experience the truth of this statement as they try to live out their days in the rugged landscape of New Orleans. They must learn who they can trust, and they must deal with those who abandon certain morals. As a reader, shocking events do come, and it interesting to see how the characters deal with the aftermath. I highly recommend reading about Julianne in order to see where her path takes her in life. It shows that whatever turmoil you may face in life, God is always by your side, and He will rescue you from the places that seem to be too far from His reach. As you remember, that nothing is too great or too small for Him to handle.
This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for my copy.
About The Book
*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.
*Synopsis is from the back cover of the novel.
About The Author
Jocelyn Green inspires faith and courage as the award-winning author of ten books to date, including "Wedded to War," a Christy Award finalist in 2013; "Widow of Gettysburg"; "Yankee in Atlanta"; and "The 5 Love Languages Military Edition," which she coauthored with bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman. A former military wife herself, her passion for military families informs all of her writing as well as her numerous speaking opportunities. Jocelyn graduated from Taylor University with a BA in English and now lives with her husband and two children in Iowa.
Visit her at www.jocelyngreen.com.