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.
From the first page, I was instantly taken with "Look to the East." The story is woven so powerfully, the writing is rich, the characters are real and likeable with their faults, virtues, and vices. I love the amount of Christianity between the pages of this book--not too blatant, not too preachy, but subtle and true. This is truly the best historical Christian fiction I have read in such a long time! My husband and I were recently discussing that most Christian fiction is simply entertainment. This book is so much more than that! Maureen Lang is a cut above the rest and is one of the few modern authors I have found who can hold a candle to classic literature.
Pick this one up, and the rest in the series! I promise you won't be disappointed. As for me, I can't wait to read the other books in this series!
I FINALLY got to read this book! I've been wanting to for quite some time now, ever since reading the second book of the series, Whisper on the Wind. When I reviewed that book, I mistakenly thought the books in the series were not connected character-wise. Apparently, I had just never read a good description of Look To The East! I read the back of the book and saw the name "Charles Lassone" and I was like, "That's Isa's brother!" So yes, they are connected! :)
I really liked Look To The East- more than Whisper on the Wind (although I recently re-read the book and liked it better the second time). The character of Julitte was so sweet, and I loved her relationship with Charles! One thing that really blessed me in Look To The East was the spiritual content. Julitte's faith -and later Charles's- was so genuine, and such a part of who the character was. A lot of Christian fiction simply throws in a few prayers, a Bible reference or two, and calls it a day. The stories are harmless, but don't have much take-away value. But in Look to the East the characters truly lived their faith. I felt that throughout the story Julitte was honestly trying to honor the Lord in whatever she was doing. The part where she gave away the eggs- oh, it would have never even crossed my mind to do that! Charles and Julitte weren't perfect by any means, but they were characters you could look up to instead of thinking about them, "that was so stupid; why did you do it?", which is something that sadly happens a lot for me when I read fiction. Look to the East was both spiritually edifying and historically informative (I got waaay too excited when Nurse Edith Cavell appeared on the scene...another historical figure that had special meaning in our family, but I'm not going to bore you with the details :)