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Have you ever felt like no matter what you do, you can’t escape your past?

Somewhere along the way, something you did, or something you said, or whoever you are or whoever your parent is came back to haunt you. And it keeps coming back.

Like whatever your mistake was – or perceived mistake, or guilt by association – is branded across your forehead and life has taken notice.

You’re getting whatever you deserved and then some. Worse yet, you’ve started to believe it yourself. That you are that person who did that thing, and you’re living in a swamp of guilt and shame. The quicksand has a hold of your ankles and the more you struggle, the deeper you sink so it’s easier just to resign yourself to the fact that this is who you are, and this is your life now. And will be forever.

In The Mark of the King, Jocelyn Green weaves a compelling and gripping tale of a the-mark-of-the-kingmarked woman trying to escape her past.

Julienne Chevalier is not who she used to be. Once respected, honored, and highly regarded in her most noble of professions, she now finds herself branded for death, exiled, alone, and having lost everything – and everyone – that ever mattered to her.

Finding her way in Louisiana in the 18th century proves more difficult than you or I could ever imagine – and being marked as a murder doesn’t help her any.

Everything in Julienne’s new life points to an existence defined by condemnation, despair, and judgement. How will she ever make it alone? Can she overcome her reputation to make a real difference in New Orleans? Can she truly forgive the many who have wronged her so grievously?

The imagery of Jesus so masterfully woven throughout each page, each scene, each paragraph, moved me to tears on many occasions. Without relying on the obligatory “plan of salvation chapter” so many Christian authors fall victim to, Green weaves the Gospel and good news of Jesus Christ so seamlessly and beautifully that at one point it literally took my breath away.

With expert historical accuracy flawlessly woven together with drama, suspense, love and heartache, Green takes the us on an unforgettable journey that moves beyond the lives of the characters into the very heart of the reader.

I was undone by this book in the most exquisite ways, and my heart is still pondering the question of am I truly living a life marked by freedom? Or am I still a slave to my past?

If you’re struggling to find your purpose, identity, and perhaps a new normal marked by the shadows of your past, I can’t recommend The Mark of the King highly enough. Even if you aren’t a Jesus type of person, I promise you won’t be brow beaten with hoity-toity Christianese and stuffy-headed sermons. I wager you’ll see yourself within Julienne, and be moved by the sheer beauty of true and utterly unconditional love.

 

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