Look to the East

( 21 )

Overview

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 ...
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Look to the East

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Overview

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. Tyndale House Publishers
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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.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781414338958
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Series: Great War Series , #1
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 878,110
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Look to the East


By Maureen Lang

TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.

Copyright © 2009 Maureen Lang
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-3895-8


Chapter One

Briecourt, Northern France

Julitte Toussaint sucked in her breath and shut her eyes, as if by closing off her own vision she, too, might become invisible. Stuck high above the ground where someone so grown—just turned twenty and two—should never be caught, she shot a fervent prayer heavenward. Please let neither one look up! She clutched the book-size tin to her chest and went death-still in hopes of going unnoticed.

"... those days may be behind us, Anton. At least for a while." She heard his voice for the first time, the man who had come to visit the only château within walking distance of her village. The man whose blond hair had reflected the sun and nearly blinded her to the rest of his beauty. The perfect nose, the proportionate lips, the blue eyes that, with one glance, had taken her breath away.

Now he was near again, and her lungs froze. She feared the slightest motion might betray her.

She knew the other man was Anton Mantoux without looking. He was the closest thing to aristocracy the town of Briecourt knew. Though Julitte had never spoken to him, she had heard him speak many times. Whenever the mayor called a village meeting, M. Mantoux always held the floor longest.

"You'll go back, Charles? join this insanity when you could follow me the other way?"

Charles ... so that was his name.

"Who would have thought I had a single noble bone in my body?"

M. Mantoux snorted. "you'll follow your foolhardy king, will you?"

"Much can be said about a man—a king, no less—who takes for himself the same risks he asks others to bear. I should never have left Belgium. I know my sister never will. How can I do less?"

"Ah, yes, your beautiful and brave little sister, Isabelle.... What is it you call her? Isa?"

"Careful with your thoughts, Anton," said the man—Charles—whose voice was every bit as lovely as his face. "She's little more than a child."

"A child, but not much longer. And then you may have me in the family!"

Feeling a cramp in her leg, Julitte wanted nothing more than to climb down the tree and scurry away. Let them move on! she silently pleaded to God. Send a wind to blow them on their way before

As if in instant answer to her prayer, a gust tore through the thick leaf cover of the beech tree in which she hid. In horror she watched the tin, dampened by her perspiring hands, slip from her grasp and take the path designed by gravity. She heard a dull thud as it bounced off the perfect forehead of the taller of the two men below, grazing the blond hair that so intrigued her.

A moment later both men looked up, and she might have thought their surprised faces funny had she planned the episode and still been young enough to get away with such a prank.

"I thank you for the answered prayer of the wind, Lord," she whispered in annoyed submission, "but not for the result, as you well know."

"You there." M. Mantoux's voice was as commanding as ever, and it set her heart to fear-filled pounding. "Come down at once."

Giving up any hope of dignity, Julitte shook away the cramp in one leg, then shinnied along the thick branch until reaching the trunk that was somewhat wider than the span of her arms and legs. Her foot found the knot she knew so well, and in a moment she stood on the ground, pulling at her skirt to cover pantaloons and the single petticoat she owned, a hand-me-down from her adoptive mother. From the corner of her eye she saw the towering blond man bending to retrieve her tin, a look of curiosity on his handsome face.

M. Mantoux stepped in front of Julitte. "What were you doing up there, girl? Who—"

Enlightenment reached his eyes before his voice faded away. Of course he knew who she was; everyone in and around her village knew she was the étrangère, the outsider. Not only because at least half of the village wouldn't have welcomed an adopted child of Narcisse Toussaint, but because she had been born far away on the Island of Lepers, off the coast of Greece. Though Julitte had lived among the French villagers for nearly seventeen years, some still whispered of her heritage to this day, to passersby or children too young to already know.

"Come here, Julitte Toussaint." He pointed to a spot a few feet away. "Stand there, not too close."

M. Mantoux had an angry look about him, but she knew he always seemed that way from the curve of his nostrils to the arch in his brow. Even when he laughed—and she had seen him do that once—his face held the edge of ire whether with intent or not.

Intent was there now.

She obeyed his order and stopped where he'd told her, at the same time reaching for her property. The man holding the tin started to extend the item but took a moment to study it before completing the motion. His thumb traced the amateurishly tooled design, fashioned by her adoptive brother. Then he shook it and the items inside rattled. But he did not open it, for which she was silently grateful.

Both had to bend forward to pass the tin between them. He placed it, about the size of one of his hands, into both of hers.

"What were you doing on my property, and what have you there?" M. Mantoux's intimidating manner was the same he'd used when her cousin had lost one of his pigs and found it burrowing holes in the château garden. But behind his intimidation today was a tone familiarly aimed her way—distaste mixed with a hint of the fear common to those who knew only her background and not her. "And why did you accost my guest?"

Julitte wanted to raise her gaze to M. Mantoux, to stare him down as she stared down her brother when he teased her the way brothers could. But M. Mantoux was not her brother. And standing in the handsome stranger's shadow had stolen her courage.

Lowering her gaze, she mustered a respectful tone. "I was in the tree to retrieve the tin and decided to stay there until you passed by, as to escape notice. The breeze whipped the box from my hold." A quick glance at the blond cavalier revealed that his eyes stayed on her. Perhaps he was not so gallant, after all. What sort of man stared so boldly? Despite such thoughts, she knew what she must do. Keeping her eyes downcast, she turned to the handsome man she'd unwittingly troubled. "I offer you all my excuses, monsieur."

"Accepted."

The single word was issued softly and with a smile. Julitte let her gaze linger, welcoming his ready forgiveness. Her rapidly beating heart took a new direction.

"My friend is more magnanimous than he need be," M. Mantoux said. "you are aware, Julitte, that this tree is on my property? If you fell and hurt yourself, what should I have done?"

"I expect it would have been entirely my own fault, monsieur, and I would blame neither you nor the tree."

"In any case, you're far too old to be climbing like a waif. Narcisse shall hear of this."

"I'm afraid he sent me on my mission before he left once again for the sea, Monsieur Mantoux." She held up the tin. "This is my brother's, you see, and I was told to fetch it and tell him to find another favorite spot to whittle. Closer to home." She didn't mention she had been the one to introduce her brother to this particularly dense and knotty tree.

The stranger—Charles—patted M. Mantoux's shoulder. "There, you see, Anton, it's all perfectly understandable. Why berate the girl?"

Girl. But then, what else should he have called someone dallying about in a tree? Suddenly a vision of having met him under other circumstances filled her head, of her offering a brief and graceful curtsy and extending her hand for him to kiss. They would be formally introduced and have an intelligent conversation about books and history and faraway places. Oh ...

Instead M. Mantoux dismissed her as the peasant she was, unworthy to be presented to any guest of his noble household. And the two were already walking away.

* * *

Charles Lassone glanced back at the girl from the tree, unable to resist one last look. He could tell from her dress—clean despite her foray up to the branches—that she was a peasant from the village. For a moment, he wished circumstances were different. She was lovely, peasant or not. Her hair had shades of red and gold softened by strands of bronze ... like a sunset. And her eyes were as dark as a black ocean reflecting the night sky. He'd caught himself staring but somehow couldn't right his manners, even when she'd noted the lapse.

Charles shook the reflection away, tagging such pointless thoughts as a premature product of war. He hadn't even signed up! yet. Now was most definitely not the time to become entangled with a woman, peasant or otherwise.

He was leaving France, returning to Belgium and to the side of King Albert. Rumor had it the king was leading his troops to battle. Charles just hoped he wasn't too late.

* * *

Julitte walked the half mile to the village, growing thirsty in the heat. Soon the cobbled square in the center of town came into view. Beneath the shadow of the church's tall brick bell tower sat one of the two pubs in town. It ceased to be a stark contrast to the place of worship after the proprietor had at the behest of his wife stopped partaking in spirits—and consequently stopped serving them. He'd even rolled the piano out of his door and into the church, since so many of the songs sung in the pub no longer seemed the same without the local brew or some other liquor in hand.

Those in the de Colville family had protested the loudest, since it was one less place their spirits were served, the one area to which they did not have to smuggle their goods.

Julitte was surprised to see a cluster of women and children gathered in the square. There were limited huddles Julitte could join, even among women. She was restricted to those of the same Toussaint name or to those linked in some way. Even among Toussaints, she had to be careful.

Toussaint or de Colville ... to be born in Briecourt was to be born into loyalty to one or the other. It was a simple fact no one questioned.

Ignoring her parched throat, Julitte circled the square until she found Oriane Bouget—Ori as she was called—who was with her grandmother Didi.

"What's happened?"

"There ... see for yourself." Ori pointed with her chin to yet another bunch off to the side. There were the men of the village, near the town hall. The grand two-story brick structure would have fit any fine town, but here it sat in Briecourt, as out of place as a gem among pebbles. It housed the mayor's office and the quarters of the garde civique, the jail and the postal services all in one. A table had been brought outside, and a man sat behind it taking down names, then sending the men one by one into the building.

"What is it?"

"They say we are at war," Grandmother Didi said in her loud way, "and all the men must go and fight." The tone of her voice accommodated her own lack of hearing, but just now it had quivered.

"War! With whom? Not the English again?" Julitte's father had told her about the many wars between the French and the English.

"No, the Germans, so they say."

"Again?" It wasn't all that long ago that France had feuded with their neighbors to the east, too. Julitte stared at the line of men, all of whom she knew. Including her adoptive brother.

"Pierre!" She left Ori's side to rush to his.

"Have you heard the news?" A wide smile brightened his youthful, handsome face. Brown eyes as sweet and guileless as anyone so naive might have, and here he was lining up ... for war?

"What are you doing? Papa left only two days ago. Without his permission, I don't think—"

Whether it was her words or alarmed tone, Julitte caught the attention of men on both sides of Pierre. She had sat in schoolrooms with many of those in this line and knew the majority were best fit for harvesting—the sum of most dreams, the same as their fathers before them.

"Leave him be, woman!" Though his words were firm, the face of her long-ago classmate was lit with exhilaration, as if it were a holiday when anyone could be forgiven anything. "We're off to be heroes the likes of which our town has never seen. Soon this very square will be filled with statues to our bravery."

She lifted one brow. "Statues or bodies?"

"It would be a privilege to die for our country!" Pierre joined with his friend to recite the words, making Julitte believe they repeated whatever pronouncement they might have heard to form this line to begin with.

"Julitte," Pierre whispered, pulling her aside, "I must go, don't you see? Every man between the age seventeen and thirty is being called to service. I have no choice. And I want to go."

"Seventeen? But you're not seventeen until—"

"Tomorrow is close enough, so he said I must go."

Julitte found no words to counter such incredible information. How had this happened? Briecourt minded its own business; why couldn't the rest of the world do the same?

"I will go, Julitte." His words, soft but firm, left no room for doubt or argument.

She shook her head, wishing words to convince him otherwise would fall into place. None did. Instead of speaking, she handed him the tin she'd retrieved, full of his favorite wood carvings that were little more than toys. How could it be that he should be signing up for war when that box proved he was still a child? Such things were not the stuff of soldiers.

Turning away, she headed to her cottage, ignoring Ori's call. No one was home, with Narcisse at sea and her adoptive mother long since gone to heaven. But Julitte could go nowhere else just now. Her prayer corner was there. Her spirit, weighted with fear for her brother and all those in line, longed for the reassurance of knowing none were outside the boundaries of God's loving concern.

She needed to pray.

* * *

"Arrêtez! Arrêtez votre véhicule ici."

The French poilu pounded the butt of his rifle on the pristine hood of Charles Lassone's Peugeot. He had enough sense to hide his annoyance with the soldiers who'd set up this roadblock—that seemed the wisest choice when facing the barrel of a rifle. The blue and red–clad officer spoke rapid French, motioning at the same time for Charles to exit the vehicle.

He did so, skyscraping above the agitated soldier, who couldn't have been more than five feet tall. Another soldier, this one taller but still not equal to Charles's six-foot-one, came to stand before him, both of them waving their rifles in Charles's direction.

"What is this about?" Charles inquired in perfect French. Though his mother was American, his father was Belgian, and a Walloon at that, so Charles had grown up speaking at least as much French as English. "We regret to inform you, monsieur, that you may go no farther in your motorcar. you may take your personal belongings and then take yourself elsewhere."

Rifles or not, Charles lost his hold on hiding annoyance. "What do you mean, take myself elsewhere? With my motor, of course?"

"No, monsieur. Without your motor."

"Listen here, I have dual citizenship between Belgium and America. France has no claim to me or to my possessions."

"Necessity outweighs all laws of any country, monsieur. Now please empty the vehicle of your belongings and then be off."

"I will not." Grabbing the handle of his motorcar door, Charles moved no farther until the tip of the soldier's rifle grazed his temple.

"All motors are being requisitioned for service, monsieur. If not here, then several miles down the road by your own Belgian government. We are now united against a common enemy, and whether you donate the motor here or there makes no difference. you see?"

Charles did not see at all. If his motor had to be requisitioned, he far preferred to surrender it to a Belgian soldier. But as one could not be found, there was no point in arguing.

He retrieved his bag and jacket from the rear seat, then watched with a heart nearly as heavy as the motor itself while yet another French poilu resumed Charles's seat behind the wheel and drove off, the crunch of crushed stones sounding beneath the little-worn tires. No doubt the 1913 blue Peugeot would be in the hands of a French officer before nightfall.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Look to the East by Maureen Lang Copyright © 2009 by Maureen Lang. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(11)

4 Star

(6)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 10, 2011

    A sweet romance

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 27, 2011

    Look to the East

    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!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2014

    Bad side

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2013

    Love this book

    Great book the whole trilogy is really good

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  • Posted August 23, 2011

    Best Historical Fiction I've Read in a Loooong Time!

    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!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A WW2 Version of Romeo and Juliet!

    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.

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    WWI French Love Story

    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.

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  • Posted July 12, 2011

    An Enjoyable Escape into history

    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.

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  • Posted July 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Look to the East

    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.

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  • Posted July 9, 2011

    Disappointing Glorified Romance

    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.

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  • Posted July 7, 2011

    A Novel for the History Buff

    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.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    Highly recommend Look to the East

    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

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  • Posted June 1, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Historical

    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.

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  • Posted January 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Book Review: "Look To The East" by Maureen Lang

    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."

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  • Posted October 12, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A BOOK WITH TAKE HOME VALUE

    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.

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  • Posted September 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great War Historical

    *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.

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  • Posted September 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great WWI story - loved it!

    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.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    This is an intriguing historical tale with a romantic subplot enhancing the deep look at life during an occupation

    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

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    Posted June 26, 2011

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    Posted March 6, 2012

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