Christmas Awards 2011

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Scarlet Wind

Scarlet Wind
Frances Burke
Robert Hale Ltd
ISBN 9-780709088059
Hardback £18.99
Liberty, fraternity and death to the aristocrats! In Paris 1792 this is the cry of a downtrodden people who have risen against their oppressors. Doctor Juliette Rousel agrees. Yet, could she save some of the imprisoned children and use their blood money to help other innocents?

Juliette is now alone in the world and must earn her living as a doctor. Her father trained her himself and she is competent but in a world dominated by men she can only practice by pretending to be a man. She secures a post in the most dreaded prison in Paris, but then she begins to pity the children, and sometimes their poor parents. Dare she attempt to smuggle them to safety?

Only one man at the prison has guessed her true identity. The brilliant surgeon Armand Dumouriez tries to stop her risking her life but does not betray her. Will Juliette be unmasked and arrested in these dangerous times – and will she fall in love?

This is an intelligent, interesting and well-researched story. As a piece of historical fiction it works very well and the author has a strong style. However, although there is a love story at the heart it did not quite deliver on the emotional level we expect of this kind of fiction. It is certainly not a romance in the accepted sense but still an enjoyable read.

Four red roses. Morna

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