Saturday, 18 February 2012

My Review of The Blighted Troth by Mirella Patzer

Mirella Sichirollo Patzer


A Review by Wendy Laharnar

From the dramatic opening scene in The Blighted Troth, Ms Patzer draws us into the early 18th century with the skill of a classic artist and keeps us there, hooked on history.

In 1702, beautiful Emilie Basseaux and Robert Lanzille, the miller, are in love and about to marry, but their selfish, egotistical overload, Seigneur Richard Tonnacour, decides otherwise. Fearing the lord will kill Robert and seize Emilie for himself, the lovers are forced to leave their cosy community of Pointe-du-Lac, New France, to take refuge in monasteries in Quebec. Here, they are meant to wait for help to arrive from a trusted bishop.

However, powerful people in the landed gentry and the Church ensure this sanctuary and help are denied them. The lovers are separated, both to face their own dangerous future while seeking the means to be reunited.  In this age of power and intrigue, it is not surprising that, by their trust and innocence, Emilie and Robert exacerbate their plight.

Historically, we experience the early 1700s; its agricultural life dominated by the nobility and influenced by the Church. We are swept up in the riots brought on by famine, and suffer the horrors of the plague with its victims in homes, in the streets and in the hospitals.

Ms Patzer’s knowledge of the setting and her well-researched era enrich the story. She takes us into taverns, monasteries, manor houses and ordinary homes and compels us to explore the themes of Cowardice and Honour; Trust and Betrayal; Faith, Love and Loss, at all levels of society. 

Characters the innocent lovers encounter are, like themselves, tainted by circumstance: some tragic, some sinful, some wicked but all in need of love and forgiveness. Issues they face still have relevance today.

The quote in the front of the book, by Charlotte Bronte, begins “Forgiveness is the mightiest sword…” The Blighted Troth made me question this. Should there be degrees of forgiveness, or is Forgiveness the essence of itself?  When you read this beautifully written literary novel, you can be the judge.


Jill Kemerer said...

Mmm...looks like a winner, Wendy. I love historical fiction, especially romance, and this one is a time period I'm not very familiar with. Thanks for the review!

Rosalie Skinner said...

The Blighted Troth sounds terrific. If it can bring us to look at Cowardice, Honour, Trust, Betrayal, Faith, Love and Loss, while transporting us back to the 1700's it sounds like a wonderful read. Just added this romance to my list.