Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Book Review: Tangled Ashes

Tangled Ashes by Michele Phoenix

Hard-nosed and hard drinking Marshall Becker is good at his job as a general contractor and has built a profitable business in Boston.  He is not, however, good at relationships.  So when his business partner and friend decides to expand their ventures overseas, Marshall reluctantly agrees to go to Lamorlaye, France and oversee restoration on an ancient castle.

Amid extensive renovations, the castle is suddenly plagued with nighttime disturbances and random vandalism.  These acts seem to be linked to events that happened during the Nazi occupation of the chateau 50 years before.  Add to that, the presence of the owner's two children and their fiesty nanny, Jade, and Marshall Becker has a lot on his hands.  Living on site, Becker tries to uncover who the midnight intruder all while keeping his heart sealed off from love.

My Thoughts:

There are many stories and movies out there about Nazi atrocities during the 1940's but this story is truly unique.  Interwoven throughout the modern story of Marshall's renovation is the story of Marie and Elise, two French teenagers hired on as maids in the manor during the Nazi occupation.  During that time, the manor changes from a command headquarters to a hospital for pregnant, young blonde women.  What the Nazi's have planned for these women and babies will rattle the girls' worlds.  Both girls must choose which side they are loyal to.

I thought this was a wonderful story.  I loved the 1940's part of the story and I loved Marshall.  He is completely real and completely flawed.  He is not your typical hero who is handsome and resolves all his problems in the course of the story.  He is a rough, alcoholic who is just trying to find a way out of his pain.  Likewise, Marie and Elise are both well-rounded characters who have to endure authentic problems - problems that don't always turn out well in the end. 

Tangled Ashes is well written and engaging.  The plot is unique and the author does a great job of intertwining two seemingly separate stories and making them all come together in the end. I highly recommend this book.

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I was provided a complementary copy of this book by Handlebar Publishing for review.  The honest opinions are my own.

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