Look to the East

Look to the East

4.3 22
by Maureen Lang

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At the dawn of the First World War, the French provincial village of Briecourt is isolated from the battles, but the century-old feud between the Toussaints and the de Colvilles still rages in the streets. When the German army sweeps in to occupy the town, families on both sides of the feud must work together to protect stragglers caught behind enemy lines.


At the dawn of the First World War, the French provincial village of Briecourt is isolated from the battles, but the century-old feud between the Toussaints and the de Colvilles still rages in the streets. When the German army sweeps in to occupy the town, families on both sides of the feud must work together to protect stragglers caught behind enemy lines.
Julitte Toussaint may have been adopted from a faraway island, but she feels the scorn of the de Colvilles as much as anyone born a Toussaint. So when she falls in love with one of the stragglers—a wealthy and handsome Belgian entrepreneur—she knows she’s playing with fire. Charles Lassone hides in the cellar of the Briecourt church, safe from the Germans for the moment. But if he’s discovered, it will bring danger to the entire village and could cost Charles his life.

Editorial Reviews

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.)
From the Publisher
A village under seige. A love under fire.

FRANCE, 1914

The small village of Briecourt may be isolated from early battles of World War I, but a century-old feud between the de Colvilles and Toussaints rages in the streets. Despite being adopted as a child, Julitte Toussaint endures the scorn of the de Colvilles more than most, given the folklore surrounding her heritage.

Then everything changes the day the German army sweeps in to occupy Briecourt, trapping a handful of outsiders behind enemy lines, including Belgian entrepreneur Charles Lassone. When Julitte discovers Charles hiding in the church basement, an unexpected and dangerous love blossoms between them.

But heroes aren’t made in cellars. Eager to join the Allied forces—and prove himself worthy of Julitte’s love—Charles convinces the de Colvilles and the Toussaints to finally work together to smuggle him out.

Yet with the life of every villager on the line, who can be trusted? And when the line between ally and enemy is blurred, will faith and courage be enough to sustain them all? Tyndale House Publishers

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Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
The Great War , #1
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Look to the East 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Cassie_D96 More than 1 year ago
Before a long trip I bought the book 'Whisper on the Wind' and I absolutely loved it! (Then I let my best friend borrow it and she still hasn't given it back!) So I decided to read the sequel, unfortunately the library didn't have it so I got the prequel instead! So here is my review of 'Look to the East' Look to the East follows the stories of Julitte Touissant, a young french woman, and Charles Lassone, a wealthy young Belgian-American during the first World War. Julitte lives in the small village of Briecourt where a feud between the Touissants and the De Colvilles has divided the village for nearly a century. Because of suspicion surrounding her past she is barely accepted even among the Touissants. When German troops take over their village her whole life is turned upside down. Charles is heading from France to Belgium, where he hopes to join the army and help defend his country, when his car is confiscated by the French army. With no car and all trains used for military purposes Charles has no choice but to continue on foot. His journey comes to a halt when he meets up with Belgian refugees who warn him that the German army is close by. Charles hides out in the woods where he meets up with a French soldier who was separated from his regiment. Eventually the two decide to leave their hideout in the woods and stay in the abandoned home of a friend of Charles. When they reach the mansion they find it already occupied by the German army so they hide out in a church in the nearby village of Briecourt. While hiding in the church Charles meets Julitte. Julitte continues to return to the church to visit Charles and over time they find themselves drawn to each other more and more. But can they overcome both the war and Julitte's past? I thought this book started and ended pretty well but the middle was a little slow. I also felt that many parts of the story that could have been detailed more were rushed, or ones that should have been more simple were drawn out far too much. The dialog felt natural and the plot felt fairly realistic. I personally love history and the historical side of the story was well done for the most part and I really got the feel of that time period. I really felt like I got close to Julitte, I really admired her connection to God and how she gave him credit for everything even when people gave her the credit. I also liked that she told people that they could have a connection with God just like her, that there was nothing different or special about her other than that she had accepted God. I never really felt that way about Charles though, he just wasn't quite as real. While this isn't necessarily a book that will end up in my list of favorites it is still a sweet romance and a worthwhile read.
kristen4mk More than 1 year ago
Part of the Great War Series, "Look to the East" was an insightful peek into a French Village during its occupation by the Germans in the first World War. Initially, I had a challenging time getting into this book, but about a third of the way through I began to enjoy it, and was hooked. Maureen Lang has done an excellent job of telling a special story about Julitte Toussaint and Charles Lassone, who come from extremely varied backgrounds (he is privileged, she is adopted, and poor in belongings - but rich in spirit). Through a series of circumstances they are drawn to each other, and eventually fall in love. This was a very educational and interesting story and I am glad I read it!
BookwormMama14 More than 1 year ago
Out of the east comes a terror that will attempt to destroy the world. At the dawn of World War I, the village of Briecourt is nestled in relative safety. That all changes when the German Imperial Army marches in and takes over. Life will never be the same for the villagers, who have had a family dispute for generations. Will having a common enemy finally bring them together? Julitte Toussaint, the adoptive daughter of a seaman, has to withstand the scorn of the de Colvilles for the shadows of her past. When she finds an unexpected "visitor" hiding in the cellar of the church, she feels the pull of love for this man she hardly knows. Charles Lassone is a Belgian entrepreneur caught behind enemy lines. He longs for escape so that he can join the Allies cause and win the respect and love of Julitte. With a dispute running so rampant, who can be trusted? The difference between friends and foes could not become more complicated. This is both the first book that I have read by Maureen Lang and my first book set during World War I. Unfortunately, The Great War is not always as popular of a topic as its "sequel" is. Labor camps were in full effect during this period and the Germans were just as ruthless. The difference in time period wouldn't seem so drastic, but, I learned that they didn't believe it was safe to drop soldiers from planes during 1916. The tactics and methods were much more advanced come time for World War II. I became very emotionally attached to the characters. Their fight for freedom had me cheering them on with every turn of the page. Something that Julitte learns is that God sometimes uses us in ways that we can't explain, to ourselves or to others. He will work everything out, even if it's not how we had it planned. There is still evil in the world because God gave us a free will. But He will not abandon us. We must keep our eyes on Him and our hope in His promises. I received a free copy of Look to the East from Tyndale House Publishers through their Tyndale Rewards Program. I was not required write a review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book the whole trilogy is really good
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Louisa_May More than 1 year ago
From the first page, I was instantly taken with "Look to the East." The story is woven so powerfully, the writing is rich, the characters are real and likeable with their faults, virtues, and vices. I love the amount of Christianity between the pages of this book--not too blatant, not too preachy, but subtle and true. This is truly the best historical Christian fiction I have read in such a long time! My husband and I were recently discussing that most Christian fiction is simply entertainment. This book is so much more than that! Maureen Lang is a cut above the rest and is one of the few modern authors I have found who can hold a candle to classic literature. Pick this one up, and the rest in the series! I promise you won't be disappointed. As for me, I can't wait to read the other books in this series!
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
At the dawn of the First World War, the French provincial village of Briecourt is isolated from the battles, but the century-old feud between the Toussaints and the de Colvilles still rages in the streets. When the German army sweeps in to occupy the town, families on both sides of the feud must work together to protect stragglers caught behind enemy lines. Julitte Toussaint may have been adopted from a faraway island, but she feels the scorn of the de Colvilles as much as anyone born a Toussaint. So when she falls in love with one of the stragglers-a wealthy and handsome Belgian entrepreneur-she knows she's playing with fire. Charles Lassone hides in the cellar of the Briecourt church, safe from the Germans for the moment. But if he's discovered, it will bring danger to the entire village and could cost Charles his life. In the novel, Look to the East by Maureen Lang, the reader is whisked away to France at the dawn of the First World War with tale between war families much like the Monteques and Capulets from Romeo and Juliet. This is a tale of war, secrets and love that can be found in the most unlikely of places. I received this book compliments of Tyndale House Publishers for my honest review and have to rate this one a 4 out of 5 stars. The storyline is difficult to get into at the beginning but perseverance will lead to a captivating tale of romance set among the horrors of a war.
MaureenST More than 1 year ago
This is a really good book based on the First World War. The story takes place in Northern France, in a small Village Briecourt. I felt like I was at the Village, with the pictures Maureen Lang presented. Maybe sitting at the Well, and smelling the scents coming from Uncle Guys Bakery...sounds like a lovely place to live back in the early 1900's. The feud that has been going on as long as anyone can remember separates the villagers...the Toussaints and the de Colvilles...it didn't sound like anyone even remember why, but it still existed. The character of Julitte Toussaint was like a breath of fresh air, she was willing to do whatever the Lord put on her heart. Loved how she shared her God with all who were willing to receive Him. The story does offer some great surprises,a beautiful Love story, and is a delightful read. I was provided with a copy of this book by the Publisher Tyndale, and was not required to give a positive review.
Paula_Greene More than 1 year ago
Since this book was part of the "Great War Series", I kept checking the information in the front and back cover to figure out if I had missed the book before this one. I felt like I had been dropped in the middle of the story and it took me a while to get oriented with the characters and the plot. The setting against the backdrop of World War 1 was well written and peaked my interest in reading more historical novels.
kattrox More than 1 year ago
Juliette Toussaint aged 22 is taunted by Claudette de Colville. The Toussaints and Colvilles are at war with each other. Young men are being called into duty in WW1 and Pierre, brother to Juliette, is no exception. During the war soldiers harvested grain taking from the owners of the fields, so the owners would not benefit from the harvest, such is one "crime" in times of war. Charles is trying to stay one step ahead of the German troops. Charles' refuge now belonged to the Germans, who are taking captives, but will his hiding last? A young girl praying in a pew captures Charles' attention. Has he not seen her before? Safety has come in the form of a priest but for how long? A novel that was an ok read, as I did not seem to connect with the characters. The scene and ending worked however. I devour historical fiction but just could not "get into" this novel. I am hoping the next novels in the series are better as I expect they will be.
ElaineDalton More than 1 year ago
Title: Look to the East. Author: Maureen Lang. Genre: Christian, Romance, Historical Fiction. Plot: Stuck in a tree, Julitte Toussaint finds herself meeting the handsome Charles in a very awkward way when her tin box goes crashing down on his head. The wealthy young man, half American and half Belgium, is intent on going the Belgium army as World War One begins but when his car is commandeered, Charles wanders around the forested countryside of France, eventually befriending a French officer named Pepin and getting it into his head to take refuge in the village where he meet the pretty girl in the tree. Meanwhile, Julitte soon finds her hands full when her village is taken over by the Germans and the squabbling Toussaints and de Colvilles are forced to temporarily set aside their quarrels. Born on a distant island to an American father and a Greek mother, and then adopted by Narcisse Toussaint, Julitte feels the de Colvilles' contempt. She is isolated in the little isolated village and rumors fly about the village concerning her, all more or less false. When Julitte finds Charles hiding in the church basement, the whole situation dramatically alters. Likes/Dislikes: While this is Christian and the characters do all pray which is nice, and while it is set in France during the First World War, this book came across to me more as a glorified romance than a historical fiction. When I read historical fiction, I read it for the historical portion written in an engaging style; if I wanted romance or plain old fiction I could get that anywhere. I also didn't feel a connection with the characters: Charles spent the first half of the book a crowd and bemoaning his cowardice while I never felt the least connection to Julitte. In all her scenes, she just seemed so out of it. The plot also dragged a little and I lost interest halfway through it. All in all, a disappointing book and waste of my time. Rating: PG-15 and up for content {none of which was graphic thankfully, only suggestive of violence} and reading level. Date Report Written: July 8, 2011. I received this book free from the publishers in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed in the above review are my own.
Prolificreader More than 1 year ago
This book definitely takes you into that period of history that was so rife with conflict. The characters are put into situations that you know and understand the difficulties. Tension and drama abound in the war-torn setting. I would have liked more dialogue. At times I became lost in all the introspection or description and would have really liked to "live" the story more through the dialogue between characters. I did enjoy the love story between the hero and heroine. As the interest between the two of them grew and as they had to sneak about to keep it hidden from enemy soldiers, I couldn't help but feel for their struggles. The ending is well done and sweet. I honestly did not know how they were going to get out of their seemingly hopeless situation. The tension was strong and I held my breath for those final pages and as I got closer and closer to the end I was nervous about how it would close. It was more than satisfying. Aside from being confusing and a bit wordy at times, it's a good historical story that I think history buffs more than anything will enjoy. This review is my honest opinion. Thanks to the publishers for my copy to review.
Belovedbrat More than 1 year ago
Title: Look to the east Author: Maureen Lang Series: The Great war Chapters: 41 Pages: 347 Genre: Christian Historical fiction Rating:5 stars 10/10 Julitte Toussaint is the adopted daughter of Nasscrie. She is treated as an outcast in her village, because of her past. She seems to know things that other don't, the village treats her like a leper. In the village the Toussaint's and the de Colvilles have a feud going on that has been going on for years. When the German's invade will the two sides stop from fighting? Charles Lassone a Belgian and an American along with seven other men is hiding in the village, can the two sides protect these strangers and themselves from the Germans? When Julitte discovers Charles's hiding place will he remain in hiding or will he take the chance to leave to get through the lines to become a war hero? When I first so this book I didn't think that I was going to like the book. I've never read a book set during the First World War. After reading the book I fell in love with the characters. It felt almost like I was there living with the villagers facing the challenges of everyday life during WWI. Maureen Lang brings her characters to life. Look to the East is the first book in The Great War series. I will be reading the rest of the series. With Look to East the author focuses more on the life of the civilians and the people that were held basically prisoner by the Germans. Most war novels focus on the people fighting the war. Reading the novel has made want to study more about WWI and maybe read more fiction novels from this time period. I really enjoyed reading the book I'd would recommend it to anyone who loves historical fiction or anyone who enjoys reading. My opionons about the book are my own. Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ABookLoverForever More than 1 year ago
Look to the East is an interesting historical romance set in Briecourt, a small town in France, during WWI. I read her last book My Sister Dilly which is a contempoary novel and thought it was very good. I did not like this one as much but I still thought it was an enjoyable read. Recommended to fans of historical fiction. Review copy provided by publisher.
VicG More than 1 year ago
I had the privilege of interviewing Maureen Lang, author of "Look To The East" which is the first book in The Great War series published by Tyndale House Publishers. The book begins with Charles Lassone meeting Julitte Toussaint in the little village of Briecourt in Northern France in August of 1914, the beginning of World War I. Charles is going home to his native Belgium to fight for the King yet he never makes it out of France and has to retreat back to Briecourt for sanctuary and to see Julitte again. However by this time Briecourt has been overrun by the Germans and Charles, as well as a few other survivors, are hidden all over the town. The town of Briecourt is unique in that the two major families, the Toussaints and the de Colvilles are feuding families and have been for so long that the current generation doesn't know why. The war between these two families in this town is a microcosm of the war going on across the world. In addition to this being a romance between Charles and Julitte there is also the wonderful theme of waiting on God effectively woven throughout the storyline. With the Germans taking everything from them food is scarce and they are beginning to starve, yet the whole town is praying for deliverance and it doesn't seem to come. It takes faith to believe in God when it seems as though He isn't listening or is delaying to long. However, what Ms. Lang allows us to see is how God is working to bring His deliverance to the town and what is, seemingly, causing the delay. The people of Briecourt never really know where the deliverance comes from but we know and we cheer every single time. This is a fun read, it is an interesting read with many themes that you will need to think about long after you finish the book. I do not recommend starting this book late at night because it will cost you sleep as you will not want to put it down. Ms. Lang is an excellent writer and knows how to twist your nerve endings as she tightens the suspense. We look forward to book two which is coming soon. If you missed the interview for "Look To The East" and would like to listen to it please go to www.kingdomhighlights.org where it is available On Demand. To listen to 24 Christian music please visit our internet radio station www.kingdomairwaves.org Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
SharonALavy More than 1 year ago
When I read the reviews of others, they often just repeat what is in the blurb. I try to find something different. Often others have already said it better. I like the thread where Juliette saw a bright light when someone she loved died. It gave her peace that her loved one was now with God. One year my siblings were in a car wreck on Christmas eve. The driver was killed. At the time of the young man's death his face flashed before his grandmother's eyes. I know that God does sometimes give people "the sight." When Juliette no longer needed "the sight" God took it away. But He did not leave her. That is my take home value from this book.
cherryblossommj More than 1 year ago
*This is a review of an ARC version.* Maureen Lang has a great way with words to weave into a story. I enjoyed this book. Historical Fiction is my favorite genre, although I like to stay in the happier romances. This book was filled to the brim of chill-bump romance and true love, but the entire tone of the book was sad and cold because of the war background setting. For me that brought the book down a couple stars, but that is only my book preference. As far as the character likability, the main characters Julitte and Charles were fabulous and extremely amiable. The antagonists both German and French were highly detestable. Emotions really run rampant with this novel and it reads almost like a two person diary. In my opinion, Maureen is an author to be watched. I just personally need to stick to happier time periods, yet even with that said, I will definitely be looking for the sequels to this series. The peace of God highly showed through in the characters thoughts and actions, and those that needed to grow were shown with heightening strength. Even the characters that were to "fall" as a reader you find yourself thinking of prayers for similar people in your life. It was a very powerful read, and besides the devastation of war a fabulous story.
Janna6 More than 1 year ago
Maureen Lang has written some good books. I enjoyed "On Sparrow Hill" which was a nice blend of historical and modern and then "My Sister Dilly" was a women's fiction with heart. But now she brings us "Look to the East", the first in The Great War series and I am very excited. While there seem to be lots of historicals written during WWII, I don't seem to find many that take place during WWI. This series looks like it will fill a gap in that era. And if "Look to the East" is any indication, then I think it will be a great addition to WWI historicals. Julitte lives in a tiny village in France that has been split for generations by a Hatfield/McCoy type feud. She is the adopted daughter on one side of the feud and we meet up with her as the war has broken out and her father has already left to fight and her brother is leaving. She stays in the village and gets involved in hiding some soldiers from the Germans after their village is taken over. A couple years pass and now could Julitte have an effect on winning the war? I really enjoyed this book, the characters and especially the era and setting. Very good and I really look forward to book two and seeing where Maureen will take us next in WWI.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1914 as war seems imminent across the continent, in Briecourt in northern France, the hostilities are local as the "Hundred years War" between Toussaints and the de Colvilles remains heated. However, the German Armies march into France and soon occupy the small village. The two families know they must bury their feud in order to protect their kin, other villagers, and any straggler trapped by the German assault. One century of family feud fighting must end over night as a bigger threat looms. Although not a natural born Toussaint having been adopted, Juliette knows first hand the disdain held by the de Colvilles. She falls in love with wealthy Belgian entrepreneur Charles Lassone, whom she has delivered food to as he has been hidden from the Kaiser's troops in the cellar of the Briecourt church. If he is found out, he and several villagers will die. This is an intriguing historical tale with a romantic subplot enhancing the deep look at life during an occupation. Juliette 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 mean no longer matters if the end is achieved. Harriet Klausner