Review: Tangled Ashes by Michele Phoenix
About the Book:
After invading Lamorlaye, France, Nazi officials don’t hesitate to take over the beautiful Meunier manor as their headquarters, hiring two young Frenchwomen, Marie Elise, who clean and launder to help supplement their families’ meager incomes. But the girls begin to grow suspicious when medical equipment arrives, followed by an influx of pregnant women. As the Nazis’ plans for the manor become clear, the girls must decide where their loyalties truly lie.
More than fifty years later…..
Architect Marshall Becker arrives in Lamorlaye to begin the massive renovation of a Renaissance-era castle. The project that was meant to provide an escape for Becker instead becomes a gripping glimpse into the human drama that unfolded during the Nazi occupation and seems to live on in midnight disturbances and bizarre acts of vandalism.
Becker explores the castle’s shadowy history as he seeks to cope with the demons from his own past. Only Jade, the feisty nanny of the owner’s children, is willing to stand up to him. But Becker soon discovers that every one of the chateau’s inhabitants seems to have something to hide and something to protect-and something worth fighting for.
About the Author:
Born in France to an American mother and a Canadian father, Miche’le Phoenix is an international writer with multi cultural sensitivities. A graduate of Wheaton College, she taught music, writing, and theater at a boarding school for missionaries’ children that she attended as a teenager.
She currently works for Global Outreach Mission as an advocate for “third culture kids” and helps them integrate back into North American culture. Miche’le lives in Wheaton,Illinois.
This book was the first one I had ever read by the author Michele Phoenix and it was a distinct change from my favorite genre of Amish fiction but it was a nice change overall. It is one of those novels that switches back and forth between two moments in time. One being modern day and the other time frame being set in the early 1940’s. It is a look back to the World War II time period and the connection from that time to the modern day through this castle that is located in France. Upon reading this novel I actually forgot about France’s involvement in the war and as far as I know did not have any loyalty to the Germans. But as we all know now that the German’s and Adolf Hitler didn’t really care if you were loyal to them or not. They tended to take over where they had felt weaknesses lie. So as to what happened in this book. This novel starts out with one of the housekeeper slash nursemaid Marie, trying to escape with a baby and trying her best not to get caught. Because as we all know to betray the Reich could most likely bring serious consequences.
And then the author brings us back to modern day to a gentleman named Becker that has demons of his own that turn out to be a big fight that he has to conquer over and over again on a daily basis. Becker, an American architect, that gets a huge job over in France to restore a turn of the century old castle. He begrudgingly accepts the job if for nothing else but to have a change of scenery. But the nightmares that he has nightly manage to follow him to France and his lack of sleep and rest continue. But as he soon discovers that is when the castle’s old ghosts tend to awaken also. And pretty soon Becker finds his curiosity is peaked so much so that he starts investigating the sounds he has been hearing and he starts to find all that this castle is hiding. Then enters Jade, the nanny, at first she seems harmless and they both seem to have an interest in each other. But he soon finds out she is also hiding something.
The book keeps bouncing back and forth between 1940 and modern day with the whole cast of characters each with a secret. Whether it is the other nursemaid in the 1940 time frame Elise or Mr. Fallon and his wife. It will keep you guessing to the very end.
**Disclaimer** I received this book for free for my honest review through Handlebar Publishing.
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