An Historical Narrative Demonstrating God’s Redemptive Grace
The Mark of the King
by Jocelyn Green
Publication Date: January 3, 2017
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
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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.
My first experience with the work of Joceyln Green was Yankee in Atlanta in which a woman named Caitlin McKae disguises herself as a soldier during the Civil War. With The Mark of the King, Green has once again brought forth a historical account surrounding the life of a strong and courageous woman.
This time, Green’s heroine is Julianne Chevalier, a respected French midwife whose life suddenly takes a marked turn when she is accused of causing the death of one of her clients. She is imprisoned in the Parisian stronghold of Salpêtrière, and branded with a fleur-de-lis, an indelible reminder of her crime and a sign that she is the property of Louis XV.
The Mark of The King is a meticulously researched glimpse into a piece of history with which I was unfamiliar. Though we all learn about the Louisiana Purchase in our early American History, I’m sure most of us know little to nothing of Louisiana’s colonial origins. In 1720, when Julianne debarks in Mobile en route to New Orleans, Louisiana was worlds away from being the fertile land of gold and silver that the prisoners and other colonists were told awaited them. In reality, it was a harsh, dirty, unrefined swampy wilderness. Beyond that, it was a political cesspool in which tensions between the British and French, being played out through the manipulation of the Chickasaw and Choctaw, were brewing.
It’s in this desolate landscape where Julianne endures hardship, famine, poverty, and natural disaster while encountering danger, disease, and death. Though the reading is sometimes slow going, Julianne is as likeable a heroine as she is determined, and readers’ heartstrings will be tugged as they watch her withstand judgment and loss, and abuse both mental and physical. Luckily, though, readers will be able to put the box of Kleenex aside, as Julianne also finds love and grace. Because, in addition to being about faith and forgiveness, The Mark of the King is ultimately a tale of redemption.
— Dawn Teresa
4 of 5 Hearts. A Thoroughly Researched Historical Narrative Demonstrating the Boundless Power and Reach of God’s Redemptive Grace.
There’s a lot to love about Jocelyn Green’s The Mark of the King. Thoroughly researched, the book will teach you much about a part of history you’ve likely never encountered. You’ll have no trouble pulling for Green’s tenacious heroine while also being enlightened, or maybe just reminded, about God’s ability to redeem and restore.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I would like to thank Jocelyn Green and Bethany House Publishers for providing me access to this title. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”