La Belle Christiane is set during the Revolutionary War. Christiane is the young and beautiful daughter of a famous French courtesan. She flees her life in France and travels through Canada and the United States meeting many hardships. She lives on the frontier, on a farm, on a battlefield, and among both the British elite and American leadership, eventually becoming a companion for Lady Washington herself. She is headstrong and restless: will she ever find lasting love and peace in this new world?
Lyn Cote is a talented author who not only writes stories but also paints vivid pictures of people and places. Reading this book was like watching a movie!
Honestly, though, I did not like Christiane's character. She is selfish and impulsive, and her rash decisions often led to turmoil for her and others. She leaves her infant son for years, while she is searching for a better life for herself, partly because she wants certain luxuries! As a mother, with an infant son, I cannot relate or understand that decision and at times Christiane's actions seemed unjustified or inconsistent with her character. In the Kindle edition that I read there were some typos and other inconsistencies. There was very little Christian theme or message.
I did enjoy the story. I loved the historical setting and the historical characters included. All of the historical detail (about places, people, clothing, etc) is extremely interesting. The story moves along quickly with a lot happening. The minor characters were as vivid as Christiane, and I liked all of them. My favorite scene is when Emma, a young lady with a hare lip, discovers that she is loved. The conversation was honest and heartwarming. I also appreciated the Quaker characters and the love they portrayed.
This one was good, but not my favorite. It is definitely worth reading for the historical aspect, and I would check out Lyn Cote's other books, too. I have read her before and really enjoyed it.