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She Remains True To Herself

Ingrid Ramsdale
Ingrid Ramsdale Author Interview

Emilie follows a young woman who struggles to find her identity during the bloody 16th century French Wars of Religion. What was the inspiration for the setup to your story?

Curiosity about my French Huguenot ancestry on my mother’s maternal side led me to researching and writing my debut novel Emilie. All the women in my family are strong willed and resilient. I started imagining what my female ancestors would have been like escaping from religious persecution and starting their lives again in a foreign land. From there my narrative grew.

Emilie is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character’s development?

Emilie is only 16 years old and trying to find herself in one of the darkest periods in French history. Her character is quite complex. Like many teenagers she is contrary, vulnerable and flawed. But what shines through in her character is her authenticity. No matter what she is faced with, she remains true to herself.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Emilie is set in the 16th Century but the themes are just as relevant and pertinent today. The story is as much an internal story of self-discovery as an historical story of religious persecution, gender inequality, suffering and loss. The themes of overcoming adversity, love and redemption make what could be a dark story very inspirational.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have started researching the sequel to Emilie. I am aiming for a 2022/3 release.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

How much suffering can one person endure? Will it break them or make them stronger?Sixteen-year-old Emilie Lefroy is about to find out as she searches for her identity and sense of self amid the bloody 16th century French Wars of Religion that kills her closest family and friends. Emilie laments being born a female of noble birth. Headstrong and intelligent, she challenges societal and family inequalities. ‘Why should I pray to a god that has given me a brain, but then gives me parents that will not let me use it just because I am a daughter and not a son?’Emilie’s desire is to become a healer, and no one is going to stand in her way. Not her devout Huguenot parents; her malicious brother, Pierre; or the scheming Marcus Daval, her betrothed. Emilie’s plans to run away from home and change her identity are disrupted by the St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre. As she escapes from one of the heavily guarded gates of Paris, Emilie must decide whether to save herself and flee France forever, or stay and use her newly acquired medical skills to help other Huguenots survive a copycat massacre in Rouen.Emilie is a captivating adventure of self-discovery that is brimming with raw emotions and heartbreak. Can Emilie find herself and true love in a world of hate and violence? This historical romance and adventure novel set in the French Renaissance will keep you spellbound to the end.


Emilie by [Ingrid Ramsdale]

Ingrid Ramsdale’s Emilie narrates the story of a girl who wishes nothing but to pursue her dreams. Set in sixteenth-century France against the backdrop of the turbulent struggle between the rising wave of Protestantism and the established Catholicism, the novel paints a vivid picture of its time and perfectly establishes our intelligent eponymous protagonist, Emilie, within that setting. 

Emilie wishes to learn about the healing properties of plants, and pursue it as a career, but she is vehemently opposed by the French society of that time. Women in those times were not allowed to study, rather they were married off to further the political and economic prowess of the family. Emilie plans to elope, but she finds herself caught within the religious turmoil and fatal attacks on her family. 

Although the story takes places in a dramatic historical setting, the powerful message at the core of this riveting story will still resonate with modern readers, especially during these times when so many still struggle for equality. It is an eternal story of a woman trying to create her identity in a society that doesn’t allow women to have minds of their own. Our heroine’s intellectual mind transcends the barriers imposed upon women, and she seeks to learn medicine, arts, geography, and the healing power of herbs. She attains her goal of becoming a natural healer, but she also has to face the rage of a hateful brother and an even more despicable suitor. 

Emilie carries a universal appeal and presents history in an intriguing way. The characters have been developed with an intellectual depth and intelligence that makes them equal to the momentous times they are living in. If you wish to delve into sixteenth-century France, the ecclesiastical history, and the position of women within that framework, this novel would be a fascinating read.

Pages: 324 | ASIN: B094X822H2

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