Hold Me Close by Marguerite Martin Gray
The leisurely life Louis has intended does not include revolution.
Charles Town, South Carolina, 1772—Louis Lestarjette arrives from France without purpose or plans beyond reconnecting with family and making a profit. Finding the town questioning its alliances, Louis must make decisions about the direction in his life, even as he tries to avoid all political conflict. He wonders if he will be able to stay neutral in a battle for independence. When decisive events confront him, Louis finds himself torn between staying with the woman he loves or escaping the coming conflicts.
Elizabeth Elliott trusts that God will hold her close in uncertain and changing times. Faced with difficult decisions about her loyalties, she finds comfort in close friends, a devout sister, and her music. When the mysterious Frenchman with no commitment to God or Charles Town enters her life, he challenges her role in the political battle. She must decide what actions she can take for the cause, if any at all.
Favorite excerpt from the book: (no spoilers)
“These are trying times, but the Lord’s love will hold you close.
We must remember that His love is in the big and the small
things that face us each day. What are you struggling with today?
Is it too big for God to take control, and in the process, hold your
future and your life close to Him? According to this Scripture
reading, God can and will provide all of your needs in His time
and His will.”
The moment I read this could not have been more perfect. Our lives always seem to have struggles. We will never see true and permanent peace on this earth. But some days are worse than others, and I had been experiencing several in a row of those ‘this is it’ kind of days. When a book reaches that dark place and I have to look up and give a nod, I know God has given that author a unique gift…an ability to reach others and help them through the troubling times in their life.
I love the amount of detail given on what Louis and Elizabeth were wearing and what the town was like. You can tell how well researched and thought-out the descriptions are.
This is a world on the brink of war. Everyone can feel the tension as sides are chosen and lines are drawn. I find it wonderful when a book immerses you in history while weaving a love story.
There were a lot of great characters in Hold Me Close. From the moment he first arrives, Louis is welcomed into the loving home of his aunt and uncle. Soon after, he finds friends in Christopher and Samuel. It is these additional relationships that give Hold Me Close that extra bit of something special.
Louis tries so hard to remain a passive player in his own life. He does not want to participate in conflict or choose any side in the upcoming issues. Like most of us, he just wants to continue being impartial. That is almost always impossible, especially in times where lines are so severely drawn. Louis will have to make a decision, whether he wants to or not.
Marguerite Gray does a great job of gently leading Louis toward his correct path. Not all decisions are easy, and they should not be made impulsively. Louis is a thinker, assessing all sides of an argument before he chooses which way he will go. By doing this, his convictions have a better chance of being strong enough to hold up against the opposition.
Elizabeth was probably my favorite character. From the first moment we meet her, she is so strong in her faith. Standing strong against her own father, their beliefs on opposite sides, Elizabeth defines herself as a true heroine. I find myself repeating her now as I pray for God to “Hold Me Close”.
I would recommend this book for anyone who enjoys historical romance. The characters are relatable and the relationship progresses in a way that is real over the course of time.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through the CelebrateLit team. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
About the Author:
Marguerite Martin Gray is the author of Hold Me Close, Surround Me, and Bring Me Near– Revolutionary Faith Books One, Two and Three. She enjoys studying history and writing fiction. An avid traveler and reader, she teaches high school Spanish and has degrees in French, Spanish, and Journalism from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and a MA in English from Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas. Marguerite is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, Abilene Writers Guild, Daughters of the American Revolution, South Carolina Historical Society, and Preservation Society of Charleston. She currently lives in North Louisiana with her husband.
You can find Marguerite at the following social media links: