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Look to the East (The Great War) Paperback – June 28, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Great War Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Set in the French hamlet of Briecourt, Lang's first novel in her Great War romance series teems with conflict. Caught on the front lines of WWI and further torn by a senseless family feud, the village reels with uncertainty, fear, suspicion and blame. Julitte Toussaint, as made excessively clear by her perfection, is the story's pious heroine who has unique spiritual gifts and a mysterious history that elicits wonder and, unfortunately, rejection by many of her neighbors. However, refugee and Belgian gentleman Charles Lassone sees past the rumors surrounding Julitte as she brings him food during his time of hiding in the village's church. Their virtuous love story acts as a foil to other subplots involving vanity, greed, pride. The most damning comparison Lang overemphasizes is between the chaste relationship of Julitte and Charles and the suggested sexual fall of her best friend. Lang's novel is a cautionary tale as well as a romance within an exciting framework of war, secrets and blissful reunions. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"Lang's novel is a cautionary tale as well as a romance within an exciting framework of war, secrets and blissful reunions." --Publishers Weekly Magazine, July 20, 2009

"This is an intriguing historical tale with a romantic subplot enhancing the deep look at life during an occupation. Julitte is terrific as the lead protagonist who holds the insightful story line together, as her love with Charles is pure and in stark contrast to a village filled with the seven deadly sins. Readers will enjoy this cautionary tale that resonates today at a time when outright lies by leaders are acceptable because the means no longer matter if the end is achieved." --Harriet Klausner Reviews

"Lang's couple doesn't experience enough time together for a satisfying romance, but the accounts of survival during dire circumstances make the story interesting." --RT Book Reviews Magazine, October, 2009 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Great War (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 357 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414338953
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414338958
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,616,393 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Maureen Lang has been writing stories since the age of ten, when she figured out a way to write the stories she feels like reading. Since then she's become the award-winning author of over a dozen published novels. In the last ten years her faith has directed her to write stories that reflect Christian hope and traditional values. She's also been an active member of the disability community since her oldest son was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome, a genetic form of mental retardation. Maureen loves going on research trips to get a feel for the settings of her novels, and lives in the Chicago area with her husband, children, and lovable Labrador Retriever. Visit her on the web at www.maureenlang.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Maureen Lang has done it again, written a beautiful story and it is about World War I.

There is an old feud between two families, the Toussaints and de Colvilles in the little village of Briecourt France.

The village finds itself isolated from the rest of war torn France as the enemy marches forward, taking their homes,food, clothing and anything else that they can grab. The isolation forces the village people to take a second look at their circumstances as they learn to depend on one another. They take in people that have been caught behind enemy lines and hide them, even learning to help them escape to other places to help France and themselves be saved. But is it too late?

Charles Lassone is one of the strangers who is hidden in the Church. He is a Belgian entrepreneur.

An outsider all her life in this village, Juliette Toussaint is adopted but when she helps everyone around her, she discovers Charles and as she helps him, she realizes she is falling in love with him. She struggles with scorn and hunger as she helps him to escape to warn the people of France where the Germans are and the predicament that the village is in. She prays it won't be too late and the entire village is destroyed with the people who have lived there for over a century.

Maureen has painted a beautiful picture of the country side of France with it's simple villagers. I enjoyed every step of the way with Juliette and her handsome knight in shining armor. I believe you will too as you immerse yourself in a wonderful story of heroism and what happened during World War I.

Paulette L. Harris
Free lance author/speaker
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Format: Paperback
Julitte Touissant is an outsider in her small village. Her adoption to the Touissant clan automatically means her rejection by her village's other feuding clan, but she is set apart in other ways as well. Her birth parents were missionaries on the Isle of Lepers and the village of Briecourt fears she may still carry the disease. As if that weren't enough, many of the villagers also believe she can do miracles. As the German army sweeps through the French countryside Julitte may see God answer her prayers that the century-old feud end. Yet in the process she may lose her life--and her heart.

This novel was hit-and-miss for me. I wanted to like this book, but in the end there were too many holes in the plot and unbelievable turns to really make it work for me. I enjoyed the characters of Julitte and Charles--the would be soldier who finds himself hiding out the war in a church basement--but the book's final climax seemed contrived. How did the German soldiers know to search for an object hidden in Julitte's home that no one else in the village knew was there? Would the family of an orphaned girl be desperate enough to rescue her out of occupied France and attempt to turn the course of the war, yet not willing to adopt that same orphaned girl at the age of five? And would Julitte's mouth-to-mouth resuscitation of her drowning brother be enough to convince an entire village she could do miracles? It's interesting that Julitte has visions of people entering heaven when they die, but why is it important and why does she suddenly lose that ability at the end of the book? Julitte is obviously a woman of great faith, but why does it seem that hardly anyone else in the village shares that faith? And would even a woman of great faith endure such suffering with such little doubt?
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Format: Paperback
Sometimes I feel like books set during WWI doesn't get as much attention in fiction as WWII stories tend to. I don't know if it's because WWII has more American support or if it was just more "glamorous" but either way I just don't feel like there are enough stories about that time period. Therefore I'm always excited to see books from the European perspective because that's even less tackled area especially in terms of Christian fiction.

The story takes place in France right as WWI is breaking out and deals with several different nationalities in a small village. As with many small villages, there's lots of feuds that are going on with families. Even in the midst of German soldiers raiding their village and forcing them to do things against their will, it's amazing at how some of the families insist on keeping the feuds alive. Instead of joining forces, they are dead set on keeping things apart. The culture of the town is showed in full force and helps to bring the story to life. It is obvious that Lang has done her historical research in creating this story.

Romance is also a big factor in the story as Julitte and Charles find themselves being thrown together during this turbulent time. I honestly didn't really find their romance to be all that interesting. Separately as characters however their stories were much more intriguing as they have to get past the German soldiers in order to survive.

I hate to admit this but I wasn't really a big fan of this book. I normally love Lang's works and have had enjoyable times reading them. However, this book just did not gel with me. I don't know exactly what it was. Maybe I couldn't connect with the character or I didn't feel that they were very developed.
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