Monday, August 17, 2020

Review: "Fragments of Light" by Michèle Phoenix

I've heard great things about Michèle Phoenix's writing, but Fragments of Light is the first of her novels I've read. And I can tell you that it certainly won't be the last!

An impossible decision in the chaos of D-Day. Ripples that cascade seventy-five years into the present. And two lives transformed by the tenuous resolve to reach out of the darkness toward fragments of light.

Cancer stole everything from Ceelie—her peace of mind, her self-image, perhaps even her twenty-three-year marriage to her college sweetheart, Nate. Without the support of Darlene, her quirky elderly friend, she may not have been able to endure so much loss.

So when Darlene’s prognosis turns dire, Ceelie can’t refuse her seemingly impossible request—to find a WWII paratrooper named Cal, the father who disappeared when Darlene was an infant, leaving a lifetime of desolation in his wake.

The search that begins in the farmlands of Missouri eventually leads Ceelie to a small town in Normandy, where she uncovers the harrowing tale of the hero who dropped off-target into occupied France.

Alternating between Cal’s D-Day rescue by two young French sisters and Ceelie’s present-day journey through trial and heartbreak, Fragments of Light poses a timeless question: When life becomes unbearable, will you press toward the light or let the darkness win?

There is such a realness to this novel. From the dissolution of Ceelie's marriage to the progression of Darlene's cancer to the search for Cal in France, each plot point felt like it could really happen. And while the book isn't overly maudlin, it did tug at my heart (and my tear ducts) in certain places.

Here's my advice when it comes to Fragments of Light: if the split-time aspect isn't working for you in part one, keep reading. If you find yourself, like me, just wanting to read about Ceelie and Darlene without the chapters focusing on Cal, keep reading. While I did struggle at first with the back-and-forth through time nature of the novel, that device is only used as the set-up to everything else (so don't worry about alternating chapters through the whole book). The meat of the story is Ceelie's—as she deals with her cancer recovery, her unwanted divorce, and Darlene's declining health, she also takes on the search for Darlene's absent father, Cal. And what she finds changes her life in multiple ways.

This isn't a light, breezy novel that you fly through; instead, it dives deep into the scars war leaves on all it touches while also offering hope for the future. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book (affiliate link).
Follow the tour.

Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing.

Connect with Michèle: Website | Twitter

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

1 comment:

  1. I love when I feel like I'm absorbed into somebody's real story. Thank you for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours


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