Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Love's First Light

Jamie Carie’s Love’s First Light tells a story of the horrors of the French Revolution from the perspectives of a young French Aristocrat and a young widow whose husband died for the Revolutionary cause. These two people meet in a cemetery where Scarlett has gone to mourn her lost husband. Christophé, the only member of his family to escape the Guillotine has gone into hiding, only daring to go out in the dark of the evening or early morning.

As they grow to care for one another, they realize that they need to confront their pasts in Paris. For Christophé, he must confront the past of the man that killed his family. For Scarlett, it is her husband’s uncle, the man who holds the power over her family’s livelihood and survival. Unfortunately, they must both confront the same man. Will their love survive their differences?

This novel has a way of grabbing your heart with her descriptions of the way Christophé and his sister respond to the deaths of their families. You can feel their reactions to the sounds of the Guillotine and the screams of their family members. It really made it real and demonstrated that visceral reaction that a good writer wants their readers to feel. In a business where the first one hundred words are what you have to pull the reader in, these scenes are great examples of novel beginnings that suck your reader into the story and into the characters, and refuse to let go.

I’ve recently been reading about Regency period in England (see The Secret History of the Pink Carnation), and the war of espionage that ensued between France and England after the Revolution, and I thought this book really offered a different perspective on the war and the horrors of the revolution for the people who lived through it.

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