Book Review: Sanctuary

June 29, 2009 by  
Filed under Book and Movie Reviews

Written by Molly Noble Bull 
Reviewed by Elizabeth Ludwig 

Back Cover: 

In 1740, Rachel Levin’s loved ones are murdered, and she flees her French village with Huguenot, Pierre Dupre. They take refuge in a church until the military captain who killed her family arrives. The captain wants Rachel as his mistress or he wants her dead. Rachel and Pierre agree to a marriage of convenience and manage to escape. Will they reach Scotland as planned? Or will their lives end on an English countryside?


Death to Jews, she read. Death to all Huguenots!
Eight-year-old Rachel Levin felt her ire bubbling up from deep inside. Merely glancing at the sign nailed to the side of a building up ahead disturbed her. Actually reading the words printed on it in black letters made her want to shout in protest. But Papa would be angry if she did. (Excerpt from Sanctuary by Molly Noble Bull)

And so began a rich tale of sorrow and strife. In a few simple lines, author Molly Noble Bull captured my imagination and kept me reading to the very last page. Like an artist at a loom, Ms. Bull skillfully wove all of the intrigue and drama of this period in French and Jewish history with a timeless tale of redemption and loss. Her words sang across the page, and while I must admit, I would have liked to see the emotional thread in the romance between Pierre and Rachel developed more fully, I cannot say I was disappointed, either. These were strong characters, with believable motivations, flaws, and desires. The story reached a satisfying conclusion, yet left enough unsaid to leave me wondering what this author has planned for book two in the Faith of Our Fathers Series. Overall, this book was well-written and researched—a satisfying read for anyone who loves a great historical.

Elizabeth Ludwig is the 2008 IWA Writer of the Year. Where the Truth Lies is a featured book in the Great Escape 2009. You can find out more about her at

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