Title: Until That Distant Day
Author: Jill Stengl
~ MY REVIEW ~
Seeing the gorgeous cover and realizing it was written by Anne Elisabeth Stengl's mom, Jill Stengl, I was quite excited to read Until That Distant Day. Happily, I was not disappointed in this fascinating historical set in the country of France (French history always interests me).
Centered on a young widow and her brothers during the perilous French Revolution, we journey along with Colette as she struggles to find where her loyalties lie ... and what is righteous and true in the violent setting of rebellion. Also, love whispers, and secrets are unveiled. In the end, who will survive? And will Colette and Pascoe keep their close relationship or be torn apart by politics?
All in all, a vivid historical tale. Raw, real, and deep, Until That Distant Day explored and revealed a devastating and changing time in France's history. From the destitute to the more wealthy, we see this precarious world through Colette's eyes. It could make you think of the movie Les Miserables (which I will clarify that I had some issues with the latest version, but it still was an intriguing story). Love the French words scattered throughout this book! And the subtle romance was just ... grand. I had an inkling pretty early on that they might end up together, but just wasn't sure. It really made it sweet in the end though! Lovely characters, Colette and her man. I just really felt Colette sometimes ... felt her pain, her fear, her confusion, her longing, her guilt. There were times I connected, and that's really great when you can do that with a character! *smiles*
Pascoe got on my nerves a bit. And also the young mother that Colette helps out ... she was hard to like at times. But they certainly added a lot to the story, and you saw their outlook of life and came to understand them more in the end. The doctor and his daughter were splendid characters. And I really enjoyed Colette's brother, Etienne. A really great array of characters overall. And each with such unique, clear personalities. Wonderful job, Mrs. Stengl!
I found the overall story in Until That Distant Day epic and deserving of five stars. ... But, it was a bit hard to read some of the scenes. It was a brutal time in history. Lots of fear. Much unneeded, insensitive violence. The mass slaughtering scene in particular was awful. But I do appreciate the history. Just a heads-up that there's some slightly graphic violence in this book ... caution to younger readers!
But really an amazing, unusual novel in the end. I was surprised by ... I don't know ... just plain surprised. It was different. In a really good way. *smiles* I like to find novels that have the kind of depth and feeling that Until That Distant Day had. Interested in big historical events? The history of France? A story of redemption, pain, pasts, and ultimately, joy? Give this one a try! I look forward to reading more by Jill Stengl.