I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. A B.R.A.G. MEDALLION HONOREE
The Hour of Parade is a timeless novel written during a historical moment that is often romanticized. The love and connection between the characters is captivating and intriguing. The relationships between Alexi Ruzhensky and Marianne; Valsin and Anne Marie; and finally Ruzhensky and Valsin are well written, growing each character fully. While the plot is not action packed, it is packed with emotional truths that will make the reader gasp at times. Richly detailed, the novel is painfully accurate. For example the plight of women during the 1800 and early 1900’s where they were forced to depend upon a man for protection and were little more than tools for men’s pleasure – devastatingly accurate.
“She needs your protection then. Without you, she’d be in real trouble. … She depends on me, and without my protection, the city will destroy her.”
Ruzhensky must decide whether to follow his father’s wishes for blind vengeance or his own morals and find the truth of the situation out for himself before taking action. Building a friendship with Valsin, his father’s enemy, reveals truths not only about the situation but also about himself and his actions. Seeing Valsin as himself, he begins the journey of self-discovery.
“It’s true, my brother was the cadet you fought in a single combat at Wischau. They said you’d murdered him, and I …I didn’t know you.”
Ruzhensky, is also haunted by a past romance, and is seeking a relationship using Julie, written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau, as his model for a lover. Stymied by fate and a call to arms, Ruzhensky is faced with a devastating truth.
This is a book that many would enjoy, male and female, as it explores relationships in a voice that speaks to both genders honestly and truthfully. It is a story that reveals truths that are emotional and accurate. While it is not action packed, it is grounded in war and military as well as the life of soldiers and their women during Bonaparte’s time. You will not be able to leave this book alone once you finish reading it, it will come back to you in moments of reflection.
WordsAPlenty rates this book with a 5 star review.
To purchase The Hour of Parade by Alan Bray go to http://www.amazon.com/Hour-Parade-Alan-Bray/dp/1490463224/