A historical fiction with a determined and strong-willed female lead. ‘Emilie’ by Ingrid Ramsdale explores the life of a noble Huguenot 16-year old, determined to do more with her life than society and her class demand of her. The scene in this story when Emilie is brutally beaten after being lured to a dangerous area by her scheming and conniving brother Pierre. Their relationship continues in much the same way as Emilie rebels against the meek and subservient daughter and potential wife role she is expected to play. Seeking solace among her friends in the kitchen and the garden and secretly following her ambitions to become a healer land her in trouble. Then the Bartholomew Day Massacre changes Emilie’s life in ways she would have never imagined. She’s faced with the choice to flee France or stay and fulfill her vocation as a healer.
I liked the determined nature of Emilie and enjoyed following her story, set against the backdrop of the French wars of Religion in the 16th century. The narrative of a woman before her time looking to carve out a new place in the world is a popular one amongst historical fiction, especially in books with a younger protagonist and perhaps directed at the YA market as well as the adult one. I found ‘Emilie’ to be a well-crafted story, with action and twists that will keep you turning the page. With plenty of different characters to love and some that you will love to despise, this is a strong character-led story set against a period of history that I didn’t know much about.
How much suffering can one person endure? Will it break them or make them stronger?
Sixteen-year-old Emilie Lefroy is about to find out as she searches for her identity and sense of self amid the bloody 16th century French Wars of Religion that kills her closest family and friends. Emilie laments being born a female of noble birth. Headstrong and intelligent, she challenges societal and family inequalities. ‘Why should I pray to a god that has given me a brain, but then gives me parents that will not let me use it just because I am a daughter and not a son?’
Emilie’s desire is to become a healer, and no one is going to stand in her way. Not her devout Huguenot parents; her malicious brother, Pierre; or the scheming Marcus Daval, her betrothed. Emilie’s plans to run away from home and change her identity are disrupted by the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. As she escapes from one of the heavily guarded gates of Paris, Emilie must decide whether to save herself and flee France forever, or stay and use her newly acquired medical skills to help other Huguenots survive a copycat massacre in Rouen.
Emilie is a captivating adventure of self-discovery that is brimming with raw emotions and heartbreak. Can Emilie find herself and true love in a world of hate and violence? This historical romance and adventure novel set in the French Renaissance will keep you spellbound to the end.
|Publication date:||12th May 2021|
|Publisher:||Publicious Pty Ltd|
|Primary Genre||Historical fiction|
Closing date: 28/10/2021