Sanctuary by Molly Noble Bull (Tsaba House, 2007)
Rachel Levin knows at an early age that she’s different – she’s a German-born Jewish girl growing up in France during the 1700s, where Jews and Huguenots (French Protestants) were especially despised. She spends years hiding her ancestry as a means of survival, even when she meets the love of her life, a Huguenot named Louis Dupre.
Two weeks before her wedding, French soldiers murder Rachel’s parents and Louis. She escapes with Louis’ brother Pierre and a group of Huguenots, but is far from being safe. Their goal is to reach Scotland and reunite with Pierre’s mother and younger brother, but obstacles crop up all along the way. A forced marriage during her period of mourning, a French military captain who wants Rachel as his mistress – or dead – and spies at every turn keep Rachel and Pierre on the run for months. By the time this first book in the Faith of Our Fathers series ends, Rachel and Pierre have each learned new ways to trust God and each other even when nothing seems trustworthy.
Spiritual messages: Rachel has spent years trying to fit in with French Catholics so no one suspects her Jewish background, but she doesn’t really understand who God is or the purpose of Jesus Christ and His ministry. Through every situation, Pierre nurtures the kernel of faith in Rachel, embodies Christ’s love for her, teaches her about Christ and helps her see that we’re always safe in the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1).
Molly helps the long-ago days of France, England and Scotland come alive with her details about everyday life. I’m so glad I live a much more pampered life than Rachel (something about water basins that freeze overnight, slogging through mud and snow to another country and feeling lucky to get a bath every couple of weeks just doesn’t sit well with me LOL)! Years ago, I got pulled into another series of Scottish books from the same timeframe and really enjoyed the return trip with Molly. If you like historicals with a bit of romance and intrigue, Sanctuary just might be the book for you.