A Refuge Assured

Written by Jocelyn Green
Review by K. M. Sandrick

Lacemaker Vivienne Rivard flees the Terror of the French Revolution to relocate to the French Quarter of Philadelphia, along with other expatriates, including Henri, who may be the heir of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Accommodating to the new environment, Vivienne learns to make a living by baking bread, protects Henri from both disease and men who wish him harm, and gives her heart to a young American militiaman, as well as the father who abandoned her and her mother years before in France. In her quest for sanctuary, Vivienne finds the French Asylum, which was built in the Pennsylvania wilderness in a vain attempt to offer protection for Marie Antoinette from the guillotine, as well as refuge in her faith.

Green is the author of several historical novels that focus on everyday heroines thrust into key moments of conflict. Fans will not be disappointed in A Refuge Assured. Among the details of ordinary living, the novel threads insights about both the French and American Revolutions and conflict between central governmental rule and the rights of individual citizens. The book presents the views of the ruthless and radical Jacobins who wish to continue the Terror in France, foment revolt against the new U. S. government, and spur Americans to fight alongside French revolutionaries. It also shows the viewpoints of Alexander Hamilton’s Federalists, who seek to tamp down the rebellion over the taxation of whiskey in western Pennsylvania, and settlers who rise up against what they consider to be taxation without representation.