Heroine interview from Look to the East

» Posted on Sep 1, 2009 in Blog | 4 comments


This week I’m hosting Maureen Lang with Look to the East and Mae Nunn with A Texas Ranger’s Family. If you want to enter the drawing for the book, please leave a comment on one of the post during the week with your email address. I will not enter you without an email address (my way to contact you if you win). If you don’t want to leave an email address, another way you can enter is to email me at
margaretdaley@gmail.com. The drawings end Sunday (Sept. 6th) evening.

Interview with the heroine of Look to the East:

1.Julitte, tell me the most interesting thing about you.

Most of the people in my small, feuding French village call me “interesting” but they hardly mean it as a compliment! They whisper about me as I pass, to strangers or to small children who don’t already know that I was born far away, on the Island of Lepers in the Mediterranean Sea. And if they don’t whisper about that, they whisper about how I’m always talking to God. Why shouldn’t I talk to Him, since so few others will talk to me, no matter to which side of the feud they’re loyal? And if they don’t talk about my prayers or the leprosy of my parents, they whisper about the one miracle this village has ever seen. It happened a long time ago, 1900 years after the birth of the Christ. But instead of crediting the one and only God for the miracle so many witnessed, they call me the one responsible! I think behind their disdain of me, they’re afraid. A little bit, anyway.

The feud in our little town makes everything harder. We don’t know why the feud began, it just is. I was adopted into the Toussaint family, so none of the de Colville’s talk to me. But some of the Toussaints won’t talk to me, either, so can you see why I talk to God so much?

2.What do you do for fun?

I don’t have very much time for pure fun; I work on my loom in the cellar night and day, or haul water from the well. Or cook for my adoptive father and brother. I love to cook for them! My father is so often away, I miss him most of the time. And my brother . . . well, now all I do is worry over him, ever since the start of the war when he became a soldier.
But I do find time to read my Bible. Yes, my family owns our own copy, and it’s a treasure! I also like spending time with my very best friend, Ori. Our town has turned its back on both of us, so it’s fortunate we’d choose to be friends anyway, even if we had more choices.

3.What do you put off doing because you dread it?

These days, there are so many things I dread that the list would be too long to name. With Germans occupying our town, even going to the well for water is an exercise in faith, because I pray not to be stopped by a soldier along the way. I dread leaving the safety of my little cottage, even though I live there alone, since my brother was called to be a soldier and my adoptive father is unable to sail home (because of the war, and our home being on the wrong side of the battle line).

4.What are you afraid of most in life?

What I fear most is the possibility of anyone finding out about my secret. Every day, I sneak into the church as often as I can. I used to go there when I pleased, to pray. And I do still pray there, as often as I can venture out without being noticed by the Germans! But to pray is not the only reason I go to the church these days. There is a man named Charles hiding in the cellar there, and if he were discovered by the Germans he’d be shot on the spot as an enemy. I worry all the time I might say or do something to give Charles away, and yet I wish I could spend all of my time there, with him. He’s very fine. (I would tell you how handsome he is, but you might guess I have another secret, about loving him, so I won’t say a word about that.)

5.What do you want out of life?

My friend Ori and I used to talk endlessly about finding husbands, taking care of our own homes, raising a family. But the men in our village won’t have either one of us, me because of…well, so many things, from the leprosy of my parents to the supposed miracle that make people afraid of me. They call Ori a fallen woman because the town drunkard took her to an opera in Le Catelet, without telling his wife. That was over three years ago, but memories are long in our little town.
So we both still want to be married and have our own families, to serve them and God as best we can. But sometimes it’s hard to hope that might happen. Ori has her eye on a German, of all things! And just because I’ve fallen in love with someone who hasn’t been told about my past doesn’t mean he won’t look at me the way everyone else does if he ever finds out…

6.What is the most important thing to you?

To serve God. I know that sounds strange, maybe overly holy. But my parents, my real parents who died on the Island of Lepers, gave their lives serving God. My adoptive parents taught me there is no greater goal in life than to serve God. How can I turn my back on such a legacy, taught to me not only by the parents God gave me, but by the parents later chosen for me?

7.Do you read? If so, what is your favorite type of book to read?

Oh, I love to read! I already told you about how I love to read my Bible. We also have a pay library in our little town, and I’ve read every novel under the roof. I love adventure stories, and historical stories, and sea stories (because my adoptive father is a sailor, you know)—but every story that I truly, eternally love, has a romance within the pages. There is nothing better than reading about two people discovering they’re better together than alone!

8.If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would make myself so charming and likeable that even the de Colville’s would like me; I would make my smile so contagious no one could resist smiling back. If I could muster the courage to smile at a German, I might even do that if I wasn’t so afraid of the guns they always carry around. I would make them stop the war so Charles wouldn’t have to hide any more. I would be a better reflection of God’s love, so people would forget not only a feud that doesn’t matter any more, but also forget I had any part in the miracle that happened here. I can’t really do miracles, and if they would forget I was even here, they wouldn’t think I’m always letting them down when they ask for more miracles. If they credited God instead of me, maybe they would ask for miracles He would want to grant.

I want to thank you, Margaret, for letting me answer your questions. It’s not often that someone is interested in me, being from such a small, forgettable village. But God is often more active in hard-to-live places than good, and I love telling people about how He’s worked in my life! Thank you for giving me that opportunity.

4 Comments

  1. Sounds like a WWII book. Love them. Learn so much history without all the dates!! Please enter me. Thanks.
    desertrose5173 at gmail dot com

  2. Great interview. This book looks wonderful! Please enter me.

    Blessings
    Michelle
    m.vasquez[at]grandecom[dot]net

  3. This book sounds like a winner to me. Loved the interview.

    Please include me in the drawing. Thanks.

    ABreading4fun [at] gmail [dot] com

  4. What a creative interview, Margaret! I really enjoy Maureen's books and would love to win a copy of "Look to the East." Thank you so much for the giveaway.

    cjarvis [at] bellsouth [dot] net

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