Today’s second team review is from Terry, she blogs here http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/
Terry has been reviewing Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat
WOLFSANGEL by Liza Perrat
5 out of 5 stars
This is the second of the Liza Perrat’s Bone Angel trilogy to be written, but the latest in historical period; it takes place during the Nazi occupation of the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne in World War Two. I think it’s the best of the three.
The trilogy’s theme of medicine woman and herbalist continues in the form of the mother of twenty-year-old Celeste, the main character. At the outset of the book, Celeste is dealing with the occupation of Lucie with the same quiet fear and anger as the other villagers and her friends. As time goes on, the demands of the Germans increase in their severity, and no one is sure who is collaborating. Celeste goes to work with the Resistance in Lyons, but she has her own dark secrets with which to contend, as she falls in love with someone she shouldn’t.
The book is a real page-turner, and the sense of growing fear is so well done. I was pleased that it was realistic; Celeste loses people she loves, and there are some truly gripping scenes, such as when she and other Resistance workers rescue two prisoners from a hospital. The last twenty pages, when a truly shocking event takes place, took me by complete surprise; I was engrossed. The ‘afterwards’ bit is written with great sensitivity, too, with a couple of surprising reunions, but it avoids becoming schmaltzy; it’s too respectful of those who really suffered such tragedy for any such cheap shot.
I found the hot-headed Celeste irritating at times, but that was fine, because she was meant to be like that; she worked. The book is so well researched, and there is a section after the novel has finished that tells of the real life events that inspired some of this fascinating story. Well done, Liza Perrat!
Seven decades after German troops march into her village, Céleste Roussel is still unable to assuage her guilt.
1943. German soldiers occupy provincial Lucie-sur-Vionne, and as the villagers pursue treacherous schemes to deceive and swindle the enemy, Céleste embarks on her own perilous mission as her passion for a Reich officer flourishes.
When her loved ones are deported to concentration camps, Céleste is drawn into the vortex of this monumental conflict, and the adventure and danger of French Resistance collaboration.
As she confronts the harrowing truths of the Second World War’s darkest years, Céleste is forced to choose: pursue her love for the German officer, or answer General de Gaulle’s call to fight for France.
Her fate suspended on the fraying thread of her will, Celeste gains strength from the angel talisman bequeathed to her through her lineage of healer kinswomen. But the decision she makes will shadow the remainder of her days.
A woman’s unforgettable journey to help liberate Occupied France, Wolfsangel is a stirring portrayal of the courage and resilience of the human mind, body and spirit.
About the author
Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years.
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her family for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator, and as a novelist.
Since completing a creative writing course ten years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine, France Today and The Good Life France.
Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in the French historical “The Bone Angel” series set against a backdrop of rural France during the French Revolution. The second in the series, Wolfsangel, set during the WWII Nazi Occupation of France, was published in October, 2013. The third, Blood Rose Angel, set during the 14th century Black Plague years was published in November, 2015.