It is my pleasure to host author, Jill Stengl, today! We’ve been anticipating her book since last year, and it’s finally here! There’s an interview and giveaway! But first, my review of her latest book, Until That Distant Day …
About the Book
Colette and her brother Pascoe are two sides of the same coin, dependent upon one another in the tumultuous world of the new Republic. Together they labor with other leaders of the sans-culottes to ensure freedom for all the downtrodden men and women of France.
But then the popular uprisings turn bloody and the rhetoric proves false. Suddenly, Colette finds herself at odds with Pascoe and struggling to unite her fractured family against the lure of violence. Charged with protecting an innocent young woman and desperately afraid of losing one of her beloved brothers, Colette doesn’t know where to turn or whom to trust as the bloodshed creeps ever closer to home.
Until that distant day when peace returns to France, can she find the strength to defend her loved ones . . . even from one another?
“Jill Stengl is one of the rare authors with the ability to transport the reader to another world–a delightfully rich world of scent and sight and sound.” – Kim Vogel Sawyer, bestselling author of Echoes of Mercy
“Award-winning author Jill Stengl has created her greatest work yet in the inspiring and moving Until That Distant Day.” Jill Eileen Smith, bestselling author of the Wives of King David series.
4 out of 5 (stars)
This is a complex story of general fiction intertwined with France’s revolutionary history, where philosophy clashes with religion, and life and romance manage to grow and thrive despite harsh conditions, real fears, and daunting uncertainty. The characters are at first presented as ordinary people living ordinary lives in the city of Paris until they are thrust into circumstances that question their love/devotion toward one another, and threaten to misplace their loyalties.
Colette is so sure that the love that binds her family together will never be broken, especially the relationship between her and her brother, Pascoe, and therein she finds her security and her strength of personality. But when France starts to undergo a revolutionary change, everyone is compelled to take a side, and even those who refuse to do so are not left unaffected by the choices of those that do. Colette’s family is thrust into the heart of France’s chaos, causing the most unexpected events to unfold, almost tearing her family apart. In the middle of it all, Colette is made to see the true nature of each of the ones she holds dear, and starts to question her judgment on each of them. Those once thought charismatic, insightful and trustworthy, suddenly didn’t seem so, and the one considered dull and unassuming, showed himself to be full of wisdom and inner peace, after all, a sturdy pillar for her to lean on at a time she needed it the most. Colette tries to make sense of life in the midst of the confusion, even admitting her error in making her brother the source and life of her identity, the cost being a total lack of understanding her life’s purpose, afterward. This leads her on a journey to discover God, and to redefine what life and love is really all about.
In the end, the characters learn that they have no control of the future—only God does—and good is very much present despite the rule of evil and fear; peace and steadfast faith is possible despite tribulation, hate, and menace, and , love, romance and life full of hope is possible even in the worst of circumstances.
This is a read that will leave you pensive on matters of love, forgiveness, division, and faith. Despite the many elements in the book—politics, romance, family, etc—everything came together neatly so that it wasn’t cumbersome and confusing to a reader. A very well written book.
*Although I offer this review to the public, it is my opinion and simply that. My thanks to Rooglewood Press for a free copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
And now, a Q&A with Jill!
~ Question ~
“What inspired you to write this story?”
~ Answer ~
Hello Miranda! Thank you so much for joining my very first blog tour!
Nearly ten years ago I wrote a novella set during the French Revolution for a Barbour collection called Masquerade. The original inspiration for this probably came from one of my favorite novels—either Scaramouche or A Tale of Two Cities. I honestly don’t remember!
I liked my little story, yet it in no way captured the setting, the drama, the horror, the human tragedy that was Paris in 1792. Not long after it was published I stopped writing, feeling burned-out and empty of ideas. But the history I had learned while researching the novella remained in my head and heart. When the rights to that novella returned to me, my daughter urged me to attempt rewriting it into something a little longer and deeper. I struggled for months, writing drafts that went nowhere.
Then Anne Elisabeth suggested I invent a viewpoint character who could pull together all the other characters I had been playing with. Colette came into being, and voilà! A story began to emerge and ended up turning into a full-length novel.
Thank you, Jill, for that wonderful answer! I’m glad Anne encouraged you to publish another book. It opened my eyes to a lot if things I didn’t know about the revolution. I hope you having fun with this tour, yes?
There will be a giveaway of lovely gifts! To join in, just follow this link.
Get the Book!
You can get the book on Amazon here!
Want other opinions on this lovely read? Good! Here’s the list!
May 13 – Giveaway Winner Announced
Jill Stengl is the author of numerous romance novels including Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award- and Carol Award-winning Faithful Traitor, and the bestselling novella, Fresh Highland Heir. She lives with her husband in the beautiful Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she enjoys her three cats, teaching a high school English Lit. class, playing keyboard for her church family, and sipping coffee on the deck as she brainstorms for her next novel.
She blogs at Books, Cats, and Whimsy. Do stop by and follow her to keep up with all her writing and reading-related activities!