Book Reviews

‘The best moments in reading are when you come across something - a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things - which you had thought special and particular to you. And now, here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out, and taken yours.’ Alan Bennett

“Many a book is like a key to unknown chambers within the castle of one’s own self.” ― Franz Kafka

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Wolfsangel - Liza Perrat



'I glance across at my granddaughter, who wears the bone angel necklace these days. She's gripping the pendant between her thumb and forefinger as I used to; as countless kinswomen of L'Auberge des Anges did before us. I touch the spot where it once lay against my own breast, feeling its warmth as if I were still wearing the little sculpture.
I wonder again if my daughter and granddaughter truly understand what that heirloom endured with me through those years of the occupation...'


I really enjoyed reading Liza Perrat's first novel, Spirit of Lost Angels, which forms the beginning of her trilogy, 'L'Auberge des Anges', and I was quickly drawn into this second novel too, soon becoming caught up in the story and reluctant to stop reading. In the opening part of the narrative set in 2012, Celeste Roussel is looking back at the decisions she made in her past which still cause her pain. Then we are taken back to 1943, to the little village of Lucie-sur-Vionne in a France then occupied by German forces. Celeste is one of the local villagers, a brave, clever and determined young woman, yet also at times naive, who wants to assist the Resistance like her brothers, but when she finds herself falling for Martin Diehl, a German officer, she feels conflicted. The bone angel necklace that has been passed down through the women in her family to Celeste is a talisman and gives her strength just has it has done to generations past. 

The novel depicts the bravery of resistance that many ordinary people displayed in those terrible times. The author has evidently researched this period well and has created a vivid, believable backdrop against which her engaging, honest tale is told. I read in an interview with the author that the region of France in which this novel is set was indeed occupied by German forces during WWII. I could imagine in my mind the little village and its inhabitants, I could feel something of the immense bravery required of those in the French Resistance, and I could sense the danger and around them; the storytelling takes you there, into the hearts and minds of the characters. I felt admiration, shock and sadness as I read this story; the awful truth of some events during wartime is not avoided here. This is an absorbing, well-researched and well-written novel ideal for anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction and like Liza Perrat's previous novel Spirit of Lost Angels there are courageous female characters at the heart of the storyline. 

Wolfsangel boasts an evocative, attractive cover design too. Incidentally, I'd certainly recommend reading Spirit of Lost Angels because it's a very good read, and because you'll appreciate the connections of the family and the necklace, but you by no means have to read it in order to read and follow the story in Wolfsangel. Exciting to now anticipate the arrival of the third book in the trilogy! 


Thank you to the author for kindly sending me a copy of this novel for an honest review. 

Author links - twitter @LizaPerratwebsite
Published by Triskele Books

Other blog reviews -
Pen and Paper | Jaffa Reads Too | Lovely Treez Reads | Random Things |

6 comments:

  1. I've just finished this and thought it an excellent read too.

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Essex Reader... pleased you enjoyed Wolfsangel!

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  2. Another wonderful book in what I think is a terrific series. I'm really looking forward to the next novel.

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  3. Great review.

    I had heard a lot about this book. It sounds really good. Such an interesting time and place but it also seems like the plot is a little different.

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  4. Hi Lindsay,

    Liza sent me Kindle downloads of both these books and I am keen to get started on them. However, I know that this may still be some time away, as I have made it a policy to read and review author requests, strictly in the order in which they were received, in fairness to everyone.

    'Wolfsangel' sounds like such an emotional and poignant story, which just about everyone has enjoyed, if the excellent ratings and reviews, such as your own, are anything to go by.

    I am not a huge fan of the traditional Q&A style interview, so Liza was kind enough to put together an excellent guest post, for 'Meet The Authors', over at Fiction Books. What she saw and felt when she researched the background for the 'Wolfsangel' storyline, was truly heartbreaking to see and read for me, without me actually having been there, so for Liza the experience must have been humbling and life changing.

    I'll leave the link to the post, just in case you want to take a look...

    http://www.fiction-books.biz/meet-the-authors/tragic-wwii-crime-inspires-historical-novel-a-guest-post-by-liza-perrat/

    Great Review,

    Yvonne.

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