Reviewed by Rel Mollet
Look to the East by Maureen Lang
"Look to the East is engaging, informative and inspiring."
Julitte Toussaint has been ostracized for years in the tiny French village of Briecourt, a community divided by a forgotten dispute between the Toussaint and de Colville families a century ago. Isolated from the early stages of the Great War, the villagers keep up their petty disdain for each other until the jackboots of the German army drown out their arguments with fear and retribution.
Rumours spread by the de Colvilles keep the German soldiers wary of Julitte which provides her with a temporary reprieve from enforced work. When a faithful visit to her little church for prayer reveals a man hidden in the cellar of the church, Julitte's heart is placed in danger, too.
Wealthy Belgian Charles Lassone struggles with his captivity in Briecourt's church cellar, desperate to do something to stop the German advance through France and into his homeland. Yet any attempt to escape could endanger the villagers doing their best to keep him alive, especially the intriguing Julitte.
Look to the East is a beautiful rendering of the terrifying and fascinating era of the First World War as seen through the eyes of a small village at the mercy of the German troops. With fine detail Maureen has brought Briecourt to life from the countryside to the bakery, the village church to its eclectic inhabitants. Expert characterisation enables to reader to live the experience through the eyes of not only the main characters of Julitte and Charles but the town gossip, the compassionate Father Barnabe and even a German Hauptmann. Maureen's story is a reminder of the courage and sacrifice so many made while trapped by the German occupation and the faithfulness of God in a time of overwhelming fear. Look to the East is engaging, informative and inspiring and I am looking forward to more in this Great War series.
Rel Mollet is a lawyer, wife and mother of three young daughters and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Reading has been her passion since childhood. She is a Book Club Co-ordinator and has her own website ~ relzreviewz ~ dedicated to reviews and author interviews with the sole aim to support authors writing from a Christian worldview. She believes Sir Francis Bacon's (1561 - 1626) creed, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body".