The Choosing Time by Donna Tesiero is about Gisele de Bonnerot, a teenage girl living in 16th century France. She meets a nobleman, Jean d’Estienne, while serving as a maid of honor to the bride of the king’s son. They quickly fall in love, but things are different in this time period. Giselle’s father decides who Giselle will marry, which usually includes keeping his best interest in mind, not hers. Giselle fears her father will appoint her to marry Arneau, a mean, older man. Giselle and Jean resolve they will end up together, no matter what it takes.
Their relationship encounters a turn of events when conflicts with religion arise. At this time, religious beliefs began to be questioned. This was looked down upon by the king, and any suspected Lutherans were punished--Jean being one of them. Giselle’s and Jean’s relationship is put to the test. Will Giselle choose to follow the rules and live an unhappy life? Or will she beat the odds and marry her one true love?
I thought The Choosing Time by Donna Tesiero was an interesting novel that provided a great balance of romance and history. The story moved along at a nice, quick pace, and I never found myself bored. I liked watching the relationship between Giselle and Jean develop, and I couldn’t help but root for them. Even though Giselle lived in the 16th century, I could still easily relate to her and her problems.
This novel was well thought out. It is obvious the author thoroughly researched the time period and how its society functioned. However, sometimes the facts and information were overabundant. In the back of the book is a glossary that explains words and phrases used that were unique to the setting. This was a great idea, and it helped me have a stronger understanding of the novel. Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to others.