I enjoyed the historical aspect of this book. It was interesting to hear the perspective of the story as many of the books about wars I've read have been on American soil or about Americans in wars overseas. I saw how the author showed the problems with mysticism in the book as Julitte questions her faith in God when she no longer thinks she sees or hears from Him outside of Word and Sacrament. I appreciated that the authors showed the problems with mysticism, but I'm sure that the author did not understand that she did so. Instead of showing mysticism as a false teaching of the church, she brushed it aside as "God just isn't coming to you like that anymore." This is a problem for Christians who believe that God comes to us through Word and Sacrament and makes us less likely to read and buy your books and also can lead us away from our doctrine to this teaching of mysticism which can lead us to wondering about our own faith just as Julitte wondered about hers. That was a disappointing part of the book for me. I would not recommend this book to a friend because of the mysticism in it.
Although this book wasn't one of my all time favorite's, the story was very sweet and well written. I would definitely recommend it if your a big historical fiction fan like myself. I love war stories and although I've read better ones, this book didn't disappoint.
Before a long trip I bought the book 'Whisper on the Wind' and I absolutely loved it! (Then I let my best friend borrow it and she still hasn't given it back!) So I decided to read the sequel, unfortunately the library didn't have it so I got the prequel instead! So here is my review of 'Look to the East'
Look to the East follows the stories of Julitte Touissant, a young french woman, and Charles Lassone, a wealthy young Belgian-American during the first World War.
Julitte lives in the small village of Briecourt where a feud between the Touissants and the De Colvilles has divided the village for nearly a century. Because of suspicion surrounding her past she is barely accepted even among the Touissants. When German troops take over their village her whole life is turned upside down.
Charles is heading from France to Belgium, where he hopes to join the army and help defend his country, when his car is confiscated by the French army. With no car and all trains used for military purposes Charles has no choice but to continue on foot. His journey comes to a halt when he meets up with Belgian refugees who warn him that the German army is close by. Charles hides out in the woods where he meets up with a French soldier who was separated from his regiment. Eventually the two decide to leave their hideout in the woods and stay in the abandoned home of a friend of Charles. When they reach the mansion they find it already occupied by the German army so they hide out in a church in the nearby village of Briecourt.
While hiding in the church Charles meets Julitte. Julitte continues to return to the church to visit Charles and over time they find themselves drawn to each other more and more. But can they overcome both the war and Julitte's past?
I thought this book started and ended pretty well but the middle was a little slow. I also felt that many parts of the story that could have been detailed more were rushed, or ones that should have been more simple were drawn out far too much. The dialog felt natural and the plot felt fairly realistic. I personally love history and the historical side of the story was well done for the most part and I really got the feel of that time period.
I really felt like I got close to Julitte, I really admired her connection to God and how she gave him credit for everything even when people gave her the credit. I also liked that she told people that they could have a connection with God just like her, that there was nothing different or special about her other than that she had accepted God. I never really felt that way about Charles though, he just wasn't quite as real.
While this isn't necessarily a book that will end up in my list of favorites it is still a sweet romance and a worthwhile read.