Thursday, 14 November 2013

Wolfsangel by 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.
Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat is the second in the L'Auberge des Anges series and follows Spirit of Lost Angels which I reviewed in September 2012.   Wolfsangel was published by Triskele Books on 17 October 2013.

Please don't think that you have to go away and read Spirit of Lost Angels first (although it's a great read and I'd certainly recommend it), Wolfsangel works extremely well as a stand alone story. This series centres around an angel talisman, carved in bone and passed down through generations of women of the Charpentier family - the women are healers and midwives.

The story is set in the small French village Lucie-sur-Vionne during the Second World War, the village is occupied by German soldiers whose presence cast a darkness over the community.  The villagers are determined that they will not lie down and surrender, and the Resistance fighters scheme to find ways to outwit the enemy.

Liza Perrat's writing is full of passion and realism, the reader is drawn into the action and becomes part of the village from the opening chapters.   The lead character; Celeste, has many difficult situations to deal with during the course of the story - her predicaments and her decisions are harrowing at times and leads the reader to consider how one decision can change the course of a life.   Entwined into the story are true events, and it is this that adds authenticity and also the shock factor.  The brutality of war, and of human behaviour is laid bare by the author who is not afraid to include the full horror of events that really happened.

Celeste is a brave character, a woman who wants to do her part for her country.  Her sister Felicite is another strong and courageous female, and both of them are excellently drawn as characters, but are also an example of the difficulties that women faced during these dreadful times.

Wolfsangel is a fascinating, forceful and extremely well researched novel that will thrill historical fiction fans. Liza Perrat writes elegantly, with feeling and authority.

Liza Perrat grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a 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 husband and three children for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator, and a novelist.
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 and France Today.
She has completed four novels and one short-story collection, and is represented by Judith Murdoch of the Judith Murdoch Literary Agency.
Spirit of Lost Angels, the first in the historical L’Auberge des Anges series was published under the Triskele Books label in May, 2012. The second in the series –– Wolfsangel –– was published in October, 2013, and Liza is working on the third novel in the series –– Midwife Héloïse – Blood Rose Angel –– set during the 14th century Black Plague years.
Find out more about Liza on her website, follow her on Twitter
Liza is a co-founder and member of Triskele Books, an independent writers’ collective with a commitment to quality and a strong sense of place.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for a lovely review, Anne. So glad you enjoyed Wolfsangel!