Wolfsangel (Book 2 The Bone Angel trilogy)


WOLFSANGEL

Second in The Bone Angel historical series. Published October 2013.

Listed on TOP SELF-e ebooks of 2015 HERE


 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.

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REVIEWS FOR WOLFSANGEL

 http://www.sukosnotebook.net/2016/02/wolfsangel.html
Comme le temps passe! I first learned of this book, Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat, a few years ago on Tracy's blog, Pen and Paper.  The author very graciously offered to send me a copy after I left a comment on Tracy's blog.  I'm sorry that it took me so long to read it, and to feature it on my blog. There are too many books vying for my attention, and too many distractions, I suppose, in my life, online and offline.  However, I doubt that the absence of my review was missed; there are numerous well-written, glowing reviews of this book, including the one referred to above, several on France Book Tours, and others on Amazon.  (I'm not certain what I can add to this body of reviews, but perhaps as I write I'll make some discoveries.  That is always the hope.)

Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat is the second book in the Bone Angel  (L’Auberge des Anges) trilogy, which includes Spirit of Lost Angels (2012), Wolfsangel (2013), and Blood Rose Angel (2015).   I read this novel without having read the first book, which is set during the French Revolution.  Wolfsangel worked very well for me as a standalone.


"The little angel seemed to reassure me that even if it meant taking human lives, we were doing the right thing.  We had to drive the Boche away." 
~ Wolfsangel, Liza Perrat

Written in the first person, we meet the protagonist,
Céleste, in the first chapter of Wolfsangel, at the age of 89.  She's still anguished by awful memories of the German occupation in France during World War II.  In the second chapter, we're transported back to the beginning of this story, to Céleste's home, L'Auberge de Anges, in 1943. Wolfsangel is mostly set in Occupied France in the (fictitious) village of Lucie-sur-Vionne.  The young protagonist, Céleste Roussel, wears an angel talisman "bequeathed to her through her lineage of healer kinswomen", for protection.  German soldiers have taken over the village, and Céleste feels compelled to join the French resistance movement, because she wants to help liberate occupied France.  But, love gets in the way.  She feels guilty and torn because of her growing feelings for an attractive German soldier with violet-blue eyes, Martin Diehl.

"As the coolness of the river numbed my burning feet, I recalled the pale German from the marketplace.  I'd spoken to Germans before, of course, but that had been my first real encounter with the enemy.  Like all the villagers, I'd watched them arrive earlier that year to occupy Lucie.  We'd all stopped what we were doing."
~ Wolfsangel, Liza Perrat

This creates an intense conflict for Céleste, and is central to the story.  Has she fallen in love with the enemy?  Should she join the French Resistance Movement along with her brother, Patrick, and his friend, Olivier?  She's distraught and confused, but determined to help.


Without revealing too much, there is much to relish in this book--forbidden love, a well-drawn cast of characters, beautiful, descriptive writing--and more.  Céleste is an engaging protagonist who struggles with her conscience.  Early in the book, she helps the Wolf family, who've escaped from the Gestapo.  She allows them to live in the attic of her home, against the wishes of her mother, a natural healer with an illegal business.  In some ways, her brusque mother is a mystery to Céleste, and there's realistic, palpable, mother-daughter tension between Maman and Céleste, which adds another dimension to this gripping story.


We know that war is awful.  As always, when I read book about World War II, I brace myself for the worst, for the violence I expect to encounter.  A phrase I first encountered during my middle-school years came to mind as I read this book: man's inhumanity to man.  The violence in this book is absolutely heart-wrenching, and because this book is based on the true story of what happened in 1944 in the village of Oradour-sur-Glane in west-central France, it's all the more poignant.

"There is only one way in which one can endure man's inhumanity to man, and that is to try, in one's own life, to exemplify man's humanity to man." 
~ Alan Paton

Many thanks to author Liza Perrat for sending me her book, and for her supreme patience.  I would definitely read more books by this very talented author.

***
4.0 out of 5 stars This story goes from modern times to the memories of Celeste's time back in WWII.
on January 3, 2016
Taking place in 1943, young Celeste Roussel life is dramatically altered when German soldiers arrive in France and her families ties to the French Resistance. Terrified, but intrigued by a German soldier, Celeste secretly meets with Martin trusting him while she is losing her closest friends and families to death and concentration camps. Conflicted by trusting a man who is directly involved with the Nazi's.

This story goes from modern times to the memories of Celeste's time back in WWII. This was a tough read, riveting but the horrors the families endured is written with a delicacy that readers will appreciate. I thought Celeste was a believable character, she is not flawless and she is faced with challenges she never should have had to deal with. First time reading this author and it was a phenomenal read.

***
on February 3, 2016
Wolfsangel is a haunting fictional story based on the real-life tragedy of the WWII massacre of Oradour-sur-Glane. It was slightly slow-going in the beginning (due to setting up and getting to know everyone) but by the time I was halfway through the book I couldn't put it down and read obsessively until it was finished.

This book is set in a tiny French town that is being occupied by Germans, and by reading this book we learn to love players on both sides of the war. I sympathized with the French farmer who only wants to sell his crops to his neighbors and make a living, as well as the German soldier who worries about his family's safety back home.

I think the author did a great job of showing the many viewpoints of war- the good and the bad.This was also quite an emotional roller coaster and it was frustrating when certain relationships or situations didn't pan out the way that Iwanted them to, but that's life. I was super excited to find out that there are two more books set in this world and I really hope I get to read them soon.

***

's review
Jan 20, 16

liked it
Read from January 17 to 20, 2016

This is actually the second book read about Lucie-sur-Vionne in a year. And again it makes me wonder, why did they do it? Why? That whole village, everyone...

This is the story of Celeste. Her family has lived in the village for ages, and there are books about well at least 2 ancestors that I can think of. The women in her family are healers, but Celeste does not care for that.

And we get to see daily life, the daily life if an occupied village where Germans threaten and bully. And where the resistance grows strong. And where life can be so dangerous. You do not want to be seen as angry with the Germans, they will punish you. You do not want to fraternize with the Germans, the French will punish you.

There is romance too, the forbidden kind. But this is not a romance novel.

And there is sadness, especially since I do know from that other book what took place in this village, and since the whole book starts 70 years after that which happened.

I kind of wish though, for this one thing that I can't say....
***
on October 30, 2015
The novel starts in 1943, when the German army is occupying France. In Lucie-sur-Vionne, a small village near Lyon, the enemy has requisitioned everything that can be of use or that can make a profit. Because her father has been sent to a work camp in Germany, Céleste Roussel wants to be more involved in the Resistance, especially as her sister, her brother and his best friend are active members. When she happens on a family of Jews hiding in the woods from the Germans, she decides to conceal them in the attic of her house. Then Céleste starts to get friendly with a German officer in order to try to get information from him. Instead, she falls helplessly in love with him. Will she be able to sort through her loyalties and make the right decisions?

Wolfsangel is the second book in the Bone Angel series. The novel takes place in the same village as the first installment, and Céleste Roussel is a descendant of its main character, Victoire Charpentier. Like her ancestor, she lives in L’Auberge des Anges, a house that has been in the family for generations. She also wears the same bone angel necklace that she inherited from her grandmother. Some say it is a lucky charm, others think it is evil. Either way, Céleste feels comforted by it.

Wolfsangel is a heartbreaking and haunting story. Lucie-sur-Vionne is a fictional village based on Oradour-sur-Glane where a horrific tragedy happened in June 1944. I don’t want to spoil the novel, so I won’t go into details, but Liza Perrat does an incredible job of recreating the event for the reader. Moreover, the book sheds light on the realities of the German occupation, the activities of the French Resistance, and the brutalities of World War II. All through the story, the main character grows before our eyes, as she changes from a naive young lady into a courageous woman. Céleste’s sister, Félicité Roussel, is based on Elise Rivet, a Roman Catholic nun who helped the Resistance. All these historic facts enhance the story and make it all the more real. The only negative comments I have about Wolfsangel is that, for an uneducated girl, Céleste has a pretty elaborate vocabulary. In addition, the author didn’t need to tell us each time Céleste’s mother changes her apron. Other than that, this was a great read, and I highly recommend it.

Wolfsangel was sent to me for free in exchange for an honest review.
***
's review (Alison Morton)
Jun 06, 15

Read in June, 2015

The disruption of normal life and the sheer presence of tight control, almost imprisonment in your own life, is shocking to us in Western countries today. Liza Perrat’s story of the German occupation of a small French village in1943 gives us an uncomfortable taste of this.

Perrat draws the village characters deftly and highlights the high level of resourcefulness, inner strength, and sometimes lies, that were essential if you were to survive.

It was a tension-loaded read. We know from education and reading other work that it was dangerous, often fatal, speaking and acting against the occupying forces; you had to be exceptional to attempt these. We have read stories of deportation and execution, so we know the worst that could have happen. Yet I was still on the edge of my seat reading Wolfsangel.

I’ve walked through the ruins of Oradur-sur-Glane where probably the worst atrocity outside the Vél d’Hiver took place. Perrat has obviously been there. Nothing else could have inspired her writing.

From naive, demanding teenager to stoic toughie, Celeste the heroine of the story grows as a character, scarred and hardened by atrocious events. Always passionate, sometimes hot-headed, she is seized by events, anger and a thirst for revenge at the crisis moment.

A couple of points: occasionally, there were hints of telling us the story, rather than showing scenes of things happening. For instance, I would like to have seen Allied/French troops entering the village of Lucie and the inhabitants’ reactions.

As a historian, my specialist period was the Third Reich. Given the thorough and quasi-scientific indoctrination of children and young people from 1933 onwards, and the heavy politicisation of the Wehrmacht, Martin was just a little unrealistic. However intrinsically decent he was, I think he could have been more confused about how different the people outside Germany were and taken a little longer to want to run away with Céleste.

This is an emotional, touching read with well-written action scenes and complex family relationships under extreme stress explored with insight. You certainly won’t be wasting those precious reading hours. Recommended.


5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition
Liza Perrat has talent for writing novels of strength, courage, grief and endurance during horrific times in history. She does not disappoint with Wolfsangel. Her characters are strong women who face extreme obstacles, rise to challenges, but still experience emotions of ordinary women in extraordinary circumstances. An engaging, compelling page-turner that will stay with me. The hall marker of an excellent novel.
 ***
's review
Dec 10, 14

bookshelves: first-reads
Read from November 27 to December 10, 2014

I received this book as a Goodreads First Read giveaway.

What a great historical novel... set in WWII German-occupied France. The author's writing style is fantastically descriptive and she created very likable characters that I was able to relate to within the first few pages. I enjoyed seeing Celeste mature through the her experiences of joining the resistance and seeing friends and family affected by the occupation/war.

This book was a real page-turner that was a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it for anyone with a penchant for historical fiction and definitely those with an interest in WWII.


's review
Nov 21, 14

Read from November 10 to 21, 2014

I should mention upfront that the author sent me a copy of the ebook version of this novel. In that case, one is always afraid of not liking the book. However, I’m very pleased to say that my reaction was quite the opposite and I very much enjoyed Wolfsangel.

World War II is a happy hunting ground for authors and I have to declare an interest, since I am working on a WWII novel of my own. I was, therefore, particularly interested to see how Liza Perrat approached the subject of living under foreign occupation.

This book is part of a trilogy, of which the first part is already published. The story of Wolfsangel is sufficiently free-standing that I didn’t feel it was a disadvantage not to have read the first part, which is set in a much earlier period. However, from the backstory clues, I would certainly like to.

Wolfsangel is set in a small village not far from Lyon. The village is a microcosm of what was happening throughout France at the time: divided loyalties, collaboration at all points on the spectrum from passive to active, a similar spectrum of Resistance activity, black market profiteering, and the misery of ever-tightening requisitioning demands and hunger. Above all, people lived in a climate of suspicion and fear. The author portrays all of this very well.

The main character, Céleste, is well-drawn and sympathetic and her own divided emotions make a satisfying framework for the story. My one quibble is that some of the minor characters, notably the two German bullies, are perhaps a little stereotyped. But this did not detract from my enjoyment of the novel.

Part of the novel is based on the true story of a massacre that occurred in 1944, just after the Allied landings. It still touches many a raw nerve in France today. Liza Perrat handles this vividly but sensitively.

This is a gripping and well-written story, which I can heartily recommend.

***
's review
Nov 12, 14

bookshelves: second-world-war, france

Wolfsangel is the second book in the L’Auberge des Anges series although I read it without having read book one, Spirit of Lost Angels set during the French Revolution. Liza is currently working on the third book.

This is a page turning, passionate historical novel set amidst the hardship and secrecy of a village in German occupied France.

Céleste Roussel has to grow up fast. Her father has left to work in the German camps on the promise of wages to be sent home – money the family never receive. Her brother is arrested for resistance crimes and then the Germans mysteriously release her mother, despite evidence of illegal ‘healer’ activity. Céleste has a strained relationship with her mother but is desperate to help her brother and persuades those in charge to allow her to assist the resistance. Although they are reluctant she becomes a Red Cross volunteer working in the hospitals in Lyon as her cover and assumes a secret identity.

Céleste Roussel has to grow up fast. Martin, a German officer billeted in the village falls for her. She confesses this to her sister, a nun at a local convent where there are many hidden secrets, and she is encouraged to befriend Martin and use their relationship for information. However, can she cope with the depth of their feelings? Can she trust herself with the enemy? Can she ever fully trust him? Living a life with two secret parts proves to be a lonely challenge for Céleste but a carved bone angel talisman that has been passed down the generations to her offers her comfort and reassurance.

This was a time when people were living with secrecy, deception and daily hardships, as a village against the occupying enemy but at times against each other too. Liza’s writing brought these difficult times to life.

In this novel, Liza shows the resourcefulness that was demanded during the occupation and the inner strength and deceit that was necessary for survival. She highlights the fact that no one knew who to trust and that the need for secrecy become normal for so many during these years when village life changed so dramatically. As we meet the elderly Céleste at the beginning of the book, riddled with guilt following her actions during the occupation, I was always expecting the consequences to be disastrous but there were still unexpected plot twists right up to the end of the book. If reading about France during The Occupation fascinates you, this book is for you.


5.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner! August 26, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
As I grew up in Lyon and enjoyed reading Liza’s first novel ‘Spirit of Lost Angels’, I couldn’t wait to read ‘Wolfsangel’. I was not disappointed as it was a real treat from beginning to end! I was touched by the main character Céleste whose determination to surmount all obstacles shows the strength of human nature. Liza’s thorough research is evident as many situations reminded me of my mother’s account of the German occupation as she was a teenager living in Lyon during the Second World War. The angel talisman adds a spiritual dimension and I wonder whom it will be protecting in the next book – I look forward to finding out soon!
 ***
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent portrayal of the events in France WW2 July 20, 2014
By pomfrog
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Whether it's my age or what I don't know, but now and again I come across a book that draws me in as though I was in there with the characters. I laugh along with their laughter, I worry alongside them in their troubles and I find a dampness in my eyes alongside their emotions. This is one of those books. Perhaps having recently successfully published my own WW2 War/Fiction debut novel "The Frenchman's Daughters," based in a similar region and timeframe the experiences of my own research has brought me onto the same wavelength as Liza Perrat, more so as we both now reside in France and have absorbed the culture and atmosphere. A first class novel Liza which I know all those who read it will enjoy. Thankyou. Paul Sinkinson.
***
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply excellent October 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
We first meet Celeste at the age of 89, still tormented by memories of the unspeakable horrors of the German occupation almost seven decades earlier. In the second chapter, we are transported to 1943 and, with her powerful story-telling skills, Liza Perrat takes us on the young Celeste’s journey as we experience life in her village and the fateful choices she makes as her young life is ripped apart by war.

Deftly crafted, with twists and turns leading to an unexpected ending that cannot fail to impact, this is a story I could not stop reading. Rich characterizations stir a range of deep emotions as the narrative unfolds. I am a lover of historical fiction and partial to stories set in France. However, this story is written with a combination of beautiful and compelling prose that will engage and appeal to readers of all genres. The depth of research is obvious and the reader feels the anguish, fear, suspicion and hatred inflicted by war. At the same time, there are moments of beauty and love delivered through the author’s lyrical descriptions.

I am thrilled to have been introduced to Ms. Perrat’s work and quickly downloaded the other two novels in this series. Without hesitation, I recommend this book to all readers. It is just that good!




***

's review
Aug 20, 14

Read in August, 2014

Having lived in France for a number of years myself, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, set in the Limousin area during WW2. The background and general events are based on a true story which occurred towards the end of the war while the plot and characters are fictional. Perrat’s writing bowls along to vivid effect, painting a convincing picture of village under Nazi occupation. The action takes in Resistance activities, the work of an abortionist, the dealings of black marketeers and relations with the enemy, before climaxing in a totally unexpected finale. I wasn’t quite convinced by the relationship between the young French girl and the German officer which I felt could have done with being explored in more depth, but this was my only quibble.


***
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent portrayal of the events in France WW2, July 20, 2014

Whether it's my age or what I don't know, but now and again I come across a book that draws me in as though I was in there with the characters. I laugh along with their laughter, I worry alongside them in their troubles and I find a dampness in my eyes alongside their emotions. This is one of those books. Perhaps having recently successfully published my own WW2 War/Fiction debut novel "The Frenchman's Daughters," based in a similar region and timeframe the experiences of my own research has brought me onto the same wavelength as Liza Perrat, more so as we both now reside in France and have absorbed the culture and atmosphere. A first class novel Liza which I know all those who read it will enjoy. Thankyou. Paul Sinkinson.


***
's review
Jun 16, 14

Read in June, 2014

WOLFSANGEL, by Liza Perrat, combines a compelling novel about French Resistance fighters during WWII with storytelling as nuanced as impressionist art. Everything about this novel stands out, but I particularly loved the atmosphere and setting, recreated with prose so beautifully crafted that I went back later and reread several sections.

Though warfare ravages all, this work of historical fiction reminds us that the warring forces of history are mostly the young. Perrat’s characterizations in WOLFSANGEL offer realistic portraits of inexperienced young people growing up fast, in the midst of occupation by the enemy they despise. The question of who is trustworthy and who is not, especially among friends, neighbors, and even close family, embeds much suspense.

Countless generations can relate to “remembering those who never got the chance to grow old—loved ones who perished for our freedom.” Yes, Perrat’s fictional Vionne River is a perfect “illusion of tranquility.” I suspected that the title, WOLFSANGEL, would hold special meaning and the author did not disappoint me. I will leave numerous other aspects of this story and its literary excellence to discover on your own. Highly recommended!

***
's review
Jun 15, 14

bookshelves: goodreads-reviews
Read from June 01 to 13, 2014


Brown-nosing the Nazis (Book Review)

Before I swiped the first page of Liza Perrat’s captivating novel of Occupied France, I already knew I would enjoy it.

“Wolfsangel” is in my wheelhouse.

I’m fascinated with World War II, familiar with the sordid story of French Marshal Petain and his puppet Vichy government’s collaboration with the Nazis, and lived two months in the Rhone-Alpes region of France where Perrat sets her colorful roman-a-clef.

In 1967, I was an American college student determined to push my schoolbook French beyond “bon jour,” and spent that summer in a tiny village in the Loire, working as a personal chauffeur/companion for Madame A_____, an imperious, 70-year old, aristocratic widow whose ancient and noble family owned most of the commune. Each June, she departed her elegant city apartment in Lyon and traveled 75 kilometers back to her 30-room ancestral chateau to pass the summer. She didn’t drive of course – that was my job, along with picking up her croissants at the patisserie, and formally dining with her each evening. We sat there three hours nightly, just the two of us, working our way through the soup to nuts repast, me dutifully filling my notebook with French expressions while Madame discoursed on Jacques Maritain and excoriated Danny the Red, the Marxist-anarchist student leader whose antics that summer filled the pages of the Paris newspapers. Madame was staunchly Catholic, socially conservative, and her late husband – a Supreme Court lawyer and Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur – had worked for the government. Her natural sympathies lay with law and order, and though she declined to talk about the recent war, I suspect they supported Petain and the Vichy government during the Occupation.

Who did exactly what during the Occupation remains a touchy subject in France.

French citizens faced three choices following the spectacular, sudden, and humiliating collapse in June 1940 of the French army: They could join the Resistance; collaborate with the Germans; or simply keep their heads down, shut up, stay out of the way, and survive. The list of heroes is short, and many prefer to forget, but French historians like Henry Rousso, author of “The Vichy Syndrome: History and Memory in France Since 1944,” have forced the country to look itself in the mirror.

Celeste Roussel, the plucky, impatient narrator of “Wolfsangel “ knows what she wants to do – join the Resistance. Her brother Patrick and his male friends are blowing up Bouche trains; her saintly, older sister, a nun, is hiding Jews and guns in the local convent.

Celeste’s sour maman, hiding a secret of her own, is determined to wait it out on the sidelines until the Allied army, pushing up through Italy, can arrive and liberate the village. The Vichy government has dragooned her husband to work in Germany, leaving her to support Celeste and the family. She’s an herbalist (legal) dispensing omelets of oats and sawdust to cure snake bites; but also an abortionist (illegal), a “maker of angels,” as the unique French expression goes, using soapy water and a brew of mugwort and rue to terminate pregnancies. If she’s caught, she’s done for. Performing an abortion was a capital crime under the harsh natal laws enacted by the Vichy government – in 1943, convicted abortionist Marie-Louise Giraud famously lost her head to the guillotine. Petain and Hitler shared the belief that the primary duty of patriotic women was to produce cannon fodder for their country. Some of maman’s clients are getting pregnant by village boys; others by the occupying German soldiers. Human nature. They’re lonely perhaps – plus, fraternizing with the enemy earns you chocolate, lipstick and nylons.

When the local Resistance assigns Celeste to chat up German officer Martin Diehl to collect intelligence, she also finds herself falling for the handsome, seemingly honorable soldier who only wants to get back home to Germany, and the novel takes off.

Celeste and Martin surreptitiously hide notes for each other behind the cistern in the toilet of the Au Cochon Tue bar, and secretly rendezvous in the woods. They have sex, but she’s troubled. Is he simply using her? Will she slip and betray information that will compromise lives? Can she ever truly love a man who serves, even reluctantly and indirectly, a Nazi evil which imprisons and tortures her brother? And what if she’s seen by someone in the village who mistakes her for a collaborator? Perrat lets Celeste explore her increasingly confused feelings with the reader as she deepens her involvement in the Resistance, Martin turns jealous and suspicious, and General Eisenhower successfully executes his monumental gamble at Normandy. Everyone in the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne now knows that the Germans will pull out.

At this critical moment, with victory in sight, Celeste Roussel commits the mistake of her life. Perrat’s final chapters sing – taut, tense writing, clocked down by the minute, until the story reaches its horrific conclusion.

Oddly enough, the author of this novel of Occupied France is Australian.

Perrat, a nurse and midwife, met her husband on a bus in Bangkok, Thailand, but she’s lived in France for twenty years now. Her assimilation is complete. She tosses singularly French cuisine references into her tale – “tripe gratin, lamb’s foot salad and clafoutis moist with cherries.” She evokes south France in a simple phrase, describing “the scent of lavender, peppermint and thyme” that clings perpetually to maman’s apron. She uses all five senses in her writing. Early in the novel, Celestine goes skinny-dipping in the river, then dries herself on the bank in the summer sunshine. “It was so quiet I could hear the flutter of feathers in nests, the sound of pecking on bark, the fidgeting of insects in the grass.” For the lover of history, there’s ersatz café Petain; brushes with the Milice, the infamous French SS equivalent; and French Jews filling railroad cars bound for concentration camp.

For the student of the French language there’s some choice slang. Madame A_____ taught me a lot of French that summer, but she didn’t deign to share vulgarisms. Perrat taught me a winner. Celeste’s brother Patrick confronts a village girl, cozy with a German soldier, who defends grandpa Petain and the Vichy collaborationists.

“You’re nothing but a Nazi leche-cul,” he spits back.

Love it! Just don’t tell Madame I’ve added it to my vocabulary.

***
's review
Jun 11, 14

Read from June 01 to 08, 2014

I understand that this is the second book in the L’Auberge des Anges trilogy. I haven’t yet read the first in the series, The Spirit of Lost Angels (although I have now purchased this for my Kindle) but Wolfsangel can easily be read as a standalone. I had seen many good reviews of Wolfsangel and was delighted when Liza asked me to review – I’m just so sorry it has taken me so long to get to it!

The narrative initially begins in 2012 with an elderly Céleste Roussel attending a commemorative ceremony in Lucie-sur-Vionne to honour those lost during a tragic event during the German occupation nearly 70 years before – an event that Celeste has had to live with for the rest of her days.

We then go back to 1943 and to a young 19 year old Céleste, living with her mother and brother in L’Auberge des Anges, which for generations has been a home which welcomes those in need. Her father has been taken by the Germans to a work camp and they have not heard from him for some time.

Our young heroine Céleste is feisty and courageous. However she is also impulsive and sometimes foolhardy and even though her family and friends are part of the Resistance movement, she lets her heart rule her head when she falls in love with a German officer. She wears a bone angel talisman which has been passed down through the generations and has a belief that this will give strength and safety however her youthful quest for adventure and the decisions she makes leads her and her family and friends into terrible danger.

I was captivated by this novel from the very start. The author does advise at the end that part of the story was based on a true event and it is clear that detailed research has been undertaken resulting in an poignant and powerful story.

The author has skilfully woven a story around the German occupation and of the fear that people lived under during such awful times – with the villagers blackmailed and their homes and businesses raided by the Germans for their own profit. For an easier life, some people became collaborators and reported on their own friends and neighbours and there was a very real sense that you never knew who to trust. What shines through is the bravery of people through such difficult times and the lengths they went to try and keep themselves safe and to liberate their country. Some of the events are truly shocking and difficult to read but such graphic descriptions are needed for authenticity and to make the story and characters realistic and believable.

The writing is superb and this powerful story will capture your attention. I can highly recommend it and will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

My thanks to the author for the digital copy to review.

*** 
's review
Jun 10, 14

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from April 21 to 27, 2014

'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!

***


's review
Jun 09, 14

bookshelves: 20th-century-fiction, wwii-historical-fiction
Read from May 29 to June 04, 2014

I was pleasantly surprised to find this was a semi-novelization of the Oradour-sur-Glane massacre in France. It's such an important historical event that I've never seen before in fiction. The author does a fantastic job in capturing the horror of that event, giving us an array of possible reasons for it, and just creating this world of oppression in Nazi-occupied France. My knuckles went white more than once while holding my Kindle and devouring this novel.

I really enjoyed the main character's journey to maturity. Celeste grew from this whiny teenager only wanting to get out of dodge to a dedicated Resistance fighter, devoted to kicking the Nazis out of her home turf. She goes through some serious trauma as well and shows some real humanity in trying to process that trauma and overcome it. Her character felt very real to me, making mistakes like anyone in her situation would yet facing it all with a grit that I found very admirable.

The romantic elements of this novel, however, I could take or leave. I didn't feel Martin's presence throughout most of the story. I think he only appears for, like, a third of the novel. The rest seems to be mostly about Celeste's growth as a character and her experiences in Nazi-occupied Lyon and her local village (not a bad thing, really, as this was a great story!). But when Martin was there, it felt like the author was really trying to push and elevate this romance in the narrative, and I just didn't feel it.

The book was a pleasant surprise for me. It took awhile for me to get into it. Yet, once I did, I really enjoyed the fantastic world-building and Celeste's journey as a maturing character. While the romantic elements were pretty pale when compared to the rest of the story, it definitely wasn't a book-killer for me. Check out this book if you're looking for a incredible novel set during WWII that details the struggle for freedom and against tyranny.


***
4.0 out of 5 stars Brave Celeste May 24, 2014
By silvana
Format:Kindle Edition
On the funeral of her husband Celeste remembers how it was when the Germans occupy her village.
She had just seventeen. Her brother is part of French resistance. Looking how him how brave he is Celeste want to be part of resistance too, but her brother didn’t allow that to her, because he knows how dangerous it is. Accidentally she will fall in love with man that not supposes to be happens not in that man.
While I read I had the feeling that the story tells my grandmother and I can tell you that reading was very enjoyable. I felt that cause the story begins with Celeste as old woman who brings her memories about her young days when the Germans occupied Lucie-sur-Vionne, a France province where she lives.
Reading the book I saw Celeste aging, I’m not saying growing because she was as grown up with all those characteristics as responsibility, bravery, to do the right thing at the right time. I admired her how she dealing with situations.
Although the conditions in the book are military I enjoy reading it. I don’t like a war books, cause it’s sad and the war is dumbest thing invented by man. In this book are many turns, but the author reveals them without holding. The author writes how is to be in war, occupy and surrounded with enemies and living without future, how danger is to be part of the resistance.


***
 117720
's review
May 06, 14

Read from March 11 to 21, 2014

I was delighted to obtain a copy of Liza Perrat's second novel as I thoroughly enjoyed her début novel Spirit of Lost Angels and as soon as I finished it, was already looking forward to the next in the series. Although written as part of a planned series entitled 'L'Auberge des Anges' featuring the 'Angel Talisman' this can still be read as a stand alone novel. However I highly recommend you read both as this second novel met my expectations and once again I am left looking forward to the next one, entitled 'Midwife Heloise - Blood Rose Angel', which she is currently working on.

A tragic and moving story 'Wolfsangel' is based on real life events that happened in German occupied France during World War II and opens as Celeste Roussel the heroine is attending a commemorative service for an event that seven decades later the pain of remembering has still not eased. Having set the scene we are transported back to the days of Celeste's youth in 1943 and the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne. 'L'Auberge des Anges' in the village has been home to the women of Celeste's family for centuries. It is this connection and the angel talisman, that emanates strength to the women that wear it, that links the novels in the series together. Feeling somewhat protected by her status as the latest keeper of the talisman Celeste hating the occupation of the village and looking for adventure becomes dangerously involved in the resistance movement. Her involvement is bitter-sweet as the course she takes not only threatens her own life but the safety of those around her.

There are many novels written about this era but this is an exceptional one. The story of one young girl's extraordinary efforts to help liberate her country from the enemy, that will remind you of the courage that people who lived through this period in history must have had. It will not fail to move you, harrowing but recommended.

If you missed my review for the first novel in the series, 'Spirit of Lost Angels' you can read it here.

http://lindyloumacbookreviews.blogspo...
***



's review
Apr 15, 14

Read from March 31 to April 15, 2014

Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat is the second in the L'Auberge Des Anges historical series but can be read as a stand alone novel. The novel starts off with nineteen year old Céleste Roussel living in Lucie-sur-Vionne during the German occupation in the 1940's. Céleste lives with her mother and her brother. Her sister is a nun who lives in a convent and her father has been taken to work for the Germans.

The writing is rich and descriptive and I felt transported as I read. Liza Perrat does a fantastic job at giving these characters a story. The plot kept taking twist and turns that I did not expect and I found myself not wanting to put this one down.
Céleste is living in turbulent times, her mother is what they call an angel maker and a healer. She provides services, such as abortions, illegally to women in order to make ends meet and is in danger of being put to death if caught doing so. Céleste's brother is part of a group of rebels who are working against the Germans.

In the midst of all of this drama, Céleste is in a relationship with a German officer, Martin Diehl. She does not know whether she can truly trust him or if he is just after information.

As the story flows you see Céleste grow up, the war and love change her. She is a stronger person, she becomes a rebel and she is brave. She struggles with her feelings for Martin. Céleste feels like a traitor, falling in love with a German soldier, a Nazi in fact. She hears her friends, neighbors and family all talk about how they hate the Germans, she hates them too. The French women who date German officers are seen as traitors and loose women even. These German officers are everywhere, taking what they want from people and homes, disturbing lives and not caring.

Throughout the story, Céleste and her mother have a distant type of relationship, her mother is harboring secrets which are revealed later on. Their relationship is really at the heart of this story as this mother and daughter try to work things out, but it seems there are some deep rooted issues here.

My single qualm about this one was that I would have liked to have seen Céleste and Martin's relationship develop just a bit more. Maybe it's because I was seeing it through Céleste's eyes that I really didn't get a feel for Martin and his actions. He does have a back story, but I wanted to know why he loved Céleste.
There were some good scenes between the two, but the getting to that point is what I wanted to see.
As noted by the author, Wolfsangel is based on real life events. The latter half of the story is a sad and shocking one, and I found myself teary eyed. Very moving and emotional. There is one sentence that made me misty eyed, "Our Good Friday angel ."

Overall, this was a great read and one I'd recommend to fans of reading about this time period as well as to those looking to get swept up in a good historical.

Many thanks to author Liza Perrat for providing me with a copy of her great novel. This will be making my favorite reads for 2014.

disclaimer:
This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any type of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. While I receive free books from publishers and authors, such as this one, I am under no obligation to write a positive review.
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/201...

***


's review
Apr 03, 14

bookshelves: hist-fic-wwii, arc-book-directly-from-author
Read from March 24 to 29, 2014

** This book review, as well as many more, can also be found on my blog, The Baking Bookworm (www.thebakingbookworm.blogspot.ca). **

Disclaimer: My sincere thanks to author Liza Perrat for providing me with a complimentary e-book copy of her book in exchange for my honest review.

My Review: As readers of my blog already know, I really enjoy reading books about WWII so a book that is set in this era has to bring something new to the table to keep me interested. Wolfsangel did ... and then some.

I found this to be an emotional, touching read with edge of your seat action that made me see WWII through different eyes. It still deals with the highs and lows of human behaviour during such a horrific time, but Perrat gives a face to the destruction that happened on a smaller front -- occupation in a small French town. It showed how the townspeople were forced to live alongside German soldiers and how that affected them financially, emotionally, socially and ultimately very personally. It was a very unique take and showed just how far reaching the Hitler's power went and that the brutality of war wasn't only on the battlefields.

This was a very character driven read that focuses on the life of Céleste, a young French woman who hasn't really figured out who she is yet. The reader sees how Céleste goes from being a naïve young woman to a strong, capable and brave woman who now knows that she wants better for herself. She's not written as a predictable stereotype as the reader sees her struggle with being with the man she loves, with the chaos around her and supporting her family and friends during a very tumultuous and dangerous time. Céleste was impetuous at times, made the wrong decisions occasionally but throughout she was courageous and a character that was believable and that I had no trouble rooting for.

The secondary characters were also well-fleshed out and if felt like we really got to know the people around Céleste as well as the inner workings of this small town. They each had their own secrets and, when pushed, would do whatever it took to ensure the safety of those around them. I also thought it was interesting and unique to get Martin's struggle on what it felt like for him to be stationed in the French town as a Nazi soldier.

"I sense they are thinking: how can he be in our home when his countrymen have taken the head of our house prisoner? Or that I see their house as a hotel, not appreciating the comfortable bed and clean sheets,' he said. 'I do. But I still miss my home, and wish I did not have to stay in theirs."

That said, I do wish more time had been spent fleshing out the relationship between Céleste and Martin, her German officer beau. For two people on very different sides of the war their relationship seemed to happen a little too quickly and easily for me to totally get on board and believe the strong emotions between them.

This is a book about the resilience of the human spirit, love and how the devastating effects of war stay with those who were unfortunate enough to be touched by it. While the Céleste 's fight isn't on the battlefront it is no less brutal or barbaric as the reader witnesses the atrocities the townspeople had to endure under the German occupation of their small, formerly peaceful town. The inclusion of the French Resistance movement was very interesting and helped Wolfsangel to keep me on the edge of my seat several times and forced me to have a Kleenex at the ready as I saw the personal (and no less horrific) effects of the war.

The book ends with an emotional, disturbing and shocking ending that I didn't expect. The addition of the historical information that inspired this book helped to give this already poignant and touching ending an even bigger emotional punch for this reader. I'm very happy that this author reached out to me and asked me to review her book. While I wasn't familiar with this author before receiving this book, I can guarantee that I will be picking up some of her other books.

My Rating: 4/5 stars



***
's review
Mar 23, 14

Read from March 22 to 23, 2014

For starters I can say that it is the first book in English that I read it in its entirety. I'm not native English speaking this language, but I try to present as my opinions briefly associated with this reading. I apologize for any mistakes of speech or writing.
2. I won this book follows a contest conducted here on Goodreads. In this way I want to thank the author for the book.
My personal opinion.
I have read some books that are based on the second world war, that's because I liked the subject. I've read stories from different perspectives.Jewish, Germans and Romanians. (It's normal). But this book has brought something new, the French perspective. No I want I was thinking at the time of the Holocaust, when the French had collaborated with the Germans. Of course, it's not about that, but while I was reading in my eyes is the historical passages were ongoing. This clearly brings a plus. I liked very much of Celeste, force her to go over everything. The love i bore the german officer, choice he was forced to do it. Somewhat adolescent dramas of the face. But, this book is above all a part of the second world war. Sadness, suffering, power and glory. I liked it very much
***

's review
Mar 08, 14

bookshelves: aussie-author-challenge-2014, owned
Read from January 25 to March 07, 2014

I was fortunate enough to obtain a copy of this book from the author herself, which I have to admit put a bit of pressure on me as I was worried I wouldn't like it enough or do the book and Liza justice in my review. I needn't have worried. Liza Perrat has written an incredible novel about a small village in France occupied by the Germans during WWII. According to the author this book was inspired by true events. Ms. Perrat holds nothing back in this moving and heartbreaking story. She doesn't try to gloss over the atrocities of war and her description of the period is realistic and accurate. You feel like you are right in the middle of the town square, right in the midst of these people's lives.

I enjoyed seeing the heroine, Celeste Roussel, develop and mature as the the novel progressed. There were some devastating moments and there were moments where I openly sobbed and my heart went out to these people. I was totally immersed and invested in the story. I definitely recommend this book and although it's my first by this author it won't be my last.
Thank you Liza for a beautifully written and well told story.
***
WOLFSANGEL
Reviewed by Edward James:
http://busywords.wordpress.com/book-reviews/

Liza Perrat, Triskele Books, 2013, pb, 395pp, 9782954168128
The French Resistance is the stuff of legend; clandestine adventures in which a plucky few outwit a powerful,  brutal enemy.  No wonder it is the setting for so many historical novels, but it is easy to tell it as a simple Robin Hood story and to forget the difficult moral choices, the divided loyalties, the betrayals and the  sheer horror of the round of assassinations and reprisals.
None of this escapes Liza Perrat. Wolfsangel  is a disturbing novel and not bedtime reading.  It was inspired by the author’s visit to the ruins of Oradour-sur-Glane in west-central France, which was totally destroyed and the inhabitants systematically killed by the German army in June 1944. (To be fair the German military authorities recognised this as a war crime and held a court of inquiry, which found  that the principal culprits had already been killed in Normandy).  Supposedly the village  was destroyed by mistake, the product of a map reading error, but since the objective was to set an example, the exact location hardly  mattered.
Liza Perrat transposes this incident to a fictional village near Lyon, where she weaves the story around a young farm girl, Celeste, who triggers the massacre and has to live  with the guilt.  By the time the story reaches its terrible climax we know the lives, loves, loyalties and betrayals of most of the families in the village and we know and care  about Celeste and her love affair with a German officer and about her mother, the covert abortionist who has to take her daughter as a patient after a  brutal rape.  We also get to know the  beautiful countryside of the Lyonnais where Liza Perrat has her home.
The closest parallel I know to this book  is Joanne Harris’ Five Quarters of the Orange.  If you liked this, as they say in Amazon, then you will enjoy Wolfsangel.
Liza is an expatriate Australian who writes in English and clearly loves France.  This is her second novel.  Her first novel, Spirit of Lost  Angels, is a tale of the French Revolution set in the same farmhouse which is Celste’s home in Wolfsangel.  Both these books are published by the writers’ co-operative to which Liza belongs, Triskele Books.  I will be interviewing Liza later in this bolg to talk to her about her work and Triskele,
***
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully atmospheric read, 28 Feb 2014
Amazon Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Wolfsangel (Kindle Edition)
Occupied France in WW2 has understandably proved fertile ground for novelists. We’ve come to expect tales of SOE agents parachuting in with fake identities to mastermind dramatic acts of sabotage, while radio operators dash from hideout to safe house on the run from the Nazis.

Wolfsangel is something rather different: yes it is exciting and there is drama aplenty. Characters face enormous dangers and are forced to come to terms with tragedy and to witness and experience terrible things. Above all, however, the book is an intimate and atmospheric portrait of life in one village deep in rural France, for one family and for one peasant girl.

Celestine is an ordinary young woman facing the kind of dilemmas that arise in extraordinary times. She hates the occupation, but she also longs for adventure and romance. She is very much part of the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne and a great deal of the tension in the book exists because she, and we, know that any act of resistance against the Boche, any misstep, may spell disaster for someone she loves.

Her brother, Patrick, and his friend, Olivier, are involved in the Resistance and even her sister, Felicite, a nun at the local convent, is risking all by hiding fugitives, so Celestine is frustrated that she is considered too immature to help. When she gets the chance to do so, however, she learns some bitter lessons.

If it seems slightly predictable, at first, that she should fall for a handsome German officer, I’m sure this is something that must have happened quite frequently. Celestine is a complex and credible character and Lisa Perrat keeps everything believable by ensuring that neither the reader nor Celestine is convinced about Martin Diehl’s true intentions. Are his protestations of love and commitment real, or manufactured in order to seduce her or to get her to betray her family and friends? And of course she is also prepared to pass on any information she can glean from him that might help the Resistance.

Add to this an absent father sent to work in Germany, a mother embittered by her own experiences in the First War and working as an abortionist, or angel maker, which could lead her to the guillotine, and you have a complex and emotionally charged situation. Things become even more nail-biting when Celestine finds a family of Jews hiding near her home and offers them shelter.

What makes the book such a rich and rewarding read is the wonderfully atmospheric writing that brings the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne and its inhabitants to vivid life. Liza Perrat’s knowledge of the time and place is impressive and she must have done a great deal of research, but this is never intrusive. However the book becomes even more moving when you learn that some of the most heart-rending incidents are closely based on real events.

The novel is set in the same village as Perrat’s first book, The Spirit of Lost Angels, and Celestine’s home is also L’Auberge des Anges. Celestine’s occasional musings about previous inhabitants of her home add an enjoyable frisson for readers, like me, who loved the previous book, but it certainly isn’t necessary to have read that to enjoy Wolfsangel, which works wonderfully well as a standalone novel

The Spirit of Lost Angels is a saga spanning many years and many miles too, whereas the action of Wolfsangel remains rooted in a very particular time and place and for me this is an added strength. A superb read that I can heartily recommend.


***

by

's review
Feb 22, 14

bookshelves: purchased, kindle
Read from February 12 to 22, 2014

Wow! This book really packed a punch at the end! Maybe that was because I knew absolutely nothing of the historical reference before I started reading. I'm glad that I didn't. A little more than half way through I was starting to think the book was getting a little long for an ending that I thought I had pretty much figured out. Boy was I wrong. This was truly one of the best books I have read in a very long time. The characters were so well written that I could picture the clothes they would be wearing, and some of them I could hear the sound of their voices just as easily as I hear my own. The writing was also just superb. I may be misquoting, but there was a line "our grief warped the silence" - that is so visual and hit me so hard I will probably remember it for the rest of my life. So, so glad that I read this book.

***

by

's review
Feb 09, 14

bookshelves: 2013-releases, historical-fiction, books-i-own, read-in-2014, part-of-a-series
Read on February 09, 2014


*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*

WOW! Now this is what I call a powerful book! And not only that, it's probably one of the best historical books I've ever read (right next to Pope Joan and Mistress of Rome).

This book is BEAUTIFUL! It's the sequel to Spirit of Lost Angels and gosh, I loved that book so much( read my review here). To be completely frank, though my expectations were high (since I was already familiar with Liza's writing style) I totally didn't expect THIS! Now of course I mean THIS the best possible way, seriously, this book exceeded all my expectations and I don't think I'll be able to find another historical book that will top it..at least not any time soon.

Now those of you who have read 'Spirit of Lost Angels' know that Liza is a wonderful story teller and is so thorough in her research. She's also very (VERY) good in creating kick ass heroines who are devoted to their country (France), who are willing to make a sacrifice for their loved ones and have BIG hearts.

While 'Spirit of Lost Angels' is placed in France during the French Revolution, in 'Wolfsangel' Liza takes us to France during World War II. In the little Lucie-sur-Vionne we get to witness not only the cruelty of the German Officers but also see the lives of the villagers, their sacrifices and struggle. We're transported in one of the toughest times the human history has seen, being lead by Celeste and the events in her life. Once again, Liza created a lovable character, a heroine we can all look upto, brave yet human, with one of the biggest challenges ahead of her. Two paths, one leading to the German officer she develops strong feelings for, the other towards the call to fight for her country.

Of course, once again we see the angel talisman she inherited from her mother's side, and which is the source of her strength and the symbol of all the sacrifices the women in her family made.

I can only applaud to Liza for writing such powerful stories. I think even those who don't enjoy historical fiction will fall in love with this series. The characters are well developed and the descriptions are so vivid, you'll be immediately transported to France in those turbulent times. Amazing and deep, this is definitely a must read for everyone looking for a great book. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!


***

by

's review
Jan 15, 14
This review first appeared in the Historical Novel Society Magazine 


“Wolfsangel” by Liza Perrat is the story of Celeste Roussel, a resident of Lucie-sur-Vionne, France during the German occupation between 1943 and 1945.
Beginning with a short piece set on a cemetery in 2012 the author introduces the heartache and the conflicting emotions of Celestine about that period which is then explained in detail in the rest of the book.
In 1943 Celestine meets Martin Diehl, a German officer who takes a shining to her and whose friendship might prove useful, but equally there is suspicion that he is using her for information and not really in love with her.
With people in hiding and with German and Vichy-French spies around the stakes are high. But Celeste is a young woman, in many ways naïve and torn apart by her growing affections for the enemy, her continued distrust and what she comes to think needs to be done. In the second part of the novel Celestine goes undercover to assist the resistance in a heroic and heart breaking resolve.
Perrat portrays her main character excellently with much depth, supported by a well-researched close up of village life in German occupied territory. A great many details, like Ersatz Kaffe and the execution of an abortionist/ angel maker, help to bring the times alive in a realistic portrayal of the times and with some heart breaking moments of brutality and personal choices.
An angel talisman seems to protect Celestine but it cannot protect everyone. Wolfsangel is also the name of a German rune, a fishhook-like symbol that could be seen symbolic for the love she feels for the German officer that she cannot shake off, like the hook, her choice will hurt both ways.
I found the story a good and entertaining play on the familiar theme of love in the twilight of politics and honour and grippingly dramatic. The prose and the writing are beautiful, the central character conflict and the outcome are very satisfying and the book is a solid achievement.

I reviewed this book for the Historical Novel Society and received a copy of the book from the author.

***
 20 Jan 2014
By Megan ReadingInTheSunshine TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
I very much enjoyed Liza's book The Spirit Of Lost Angels, and having loved her writing, I was SO excited to start on her latest release, Wolfsangel.

In 1943, German soldiers occupy provincial Lucie-sur-Vionne, and whilst the villagers are busy trying to deceive the enemy, Celeste finds herself falling in love with a German officer. But when loved ones are being deported to concentration camps, Celeste is drawn further into the war and is torn between her love for the officer and loyalty to the French Resistance.

I loved Celeste, she was such a strong female lead and I felt so inspired by her. Celeste was determined, ambitious, brave and I really got behind her and cheered her on the whole way. The courage that Celeste showed touched my heart and by the end of the book I felt so moved and as though I had been with Celeste every step of the way on her journey to help liberate Occupied France.

This is a story that is truly impossible to put down, Liza writes in such a way that you find yourself glued to every single word. I spent an afternoon transported back in time with Celeste and it was as though I was stood next to her through every moment. I particularly liked that these books have the theme of the angel talisman running through them, and I LOVED the familiarity of it.

If you haven't tried Liza's books yet then please do because they are brilliantly written, and have a story that will grip you and have you hanging on right until the very end. Wolfsangel is a powerful story that has stayed with me since finishing the last page...wow. Wolfsangel is a moving and emotional story of courage, hope and history, and is a story that should be read by many.


***

by

's review
Jan 08, 14

bookshelves: read-review-copy
Read from December 05, 2013 to January 02, 2014

Wolfsangel is a compelling WW II novel. Although it presents the war from a rather limited point of view of a French farm-girl, it is all the more interesting for that very fact, for showing the war and from a female perspective and from the perspective of a person who is not yet set in her beliefs.
As summaries tend to be, the above summary/blurb for Wolfsangel is somewhat misleading, since the main focus of the book is not really the love story but Céleste’s life in general. However, this is actually a good thing.
First of all, I loved the way Liza Perrat associated the title, Wolfsangel, with three different elements in the novel (I am not telling you which, as it would spoil the story.)
I have struggled through the first third of the book, unsure about how to feel about Céleste. She starts as a naive girl who wants to escape the boring country life, and despite resenting the presence of the occupiers in her village, she does not fully comprehend what the occupation and war really mean. Unable to understand her mother’s detachment and conflicting actions, Céleste seems sometimes justifiably defiant, but at other times unnecessarily petulant.
Thus, the relationship between Céleste and her mother is rather stereotypical at the beginning, as is the presentation of other village characters and a Jewish family. Yet, as the novel progresses, Liza Perrat develops these characters into a life-like ones, the sorts one could have met and perhaps still can in many common rural and semi-rural places around the world.
As Céleste gets caught in the middle of balancing the ostensible obedience to the rules of the occupation and her work for the resistance, she matures, although at the expense of great personal suffering and loss. From a moody and sometimes ignorant young girl, she turns into a person of integrity and inner strength, despite some of her foolish and not well-thought-of actions.
The presumed love-story between Céleste and a German officer was the element of the novel that seemed the most off to me in terms of believability. It may have something to do with the fact that initially we learn to get to know Céleste from what she (for the novel is written in the first person) tells us, instead of shows. Hence, I could not believe her supposed feelings for Martin. To me, it all seemed just an infatuation, not love; after all, they do not really know each other at all. The fact that Céleste does not realize that was perhaps the only thing I missed in the novel and which would provide a full closure.
Nevertheless, Wolfsangel has some initial struggles with the characters’ presentation and the slightly too strong a telling mode, but when it catches its footing, it becomes a gripping read. The writing is a bit rough around the edges, but it somehow fits Céleste, a not-so-simple country girl, and as the events started piling up, I sped through the book, unable to put it down. In the end, Wolfsangel made me cry. And a book provoking such a strong physical reaction from me is to me always a good thing.
To conclude, I can say Wolfsangel is an overall a good, satisfying read. It may seem a bit simple and have some shortcomings, but the whole makes a lasting positive impression.
RECOMMENDATION: Wolfsangel is a compelling WW II novel. Although it presents the war from a rather limited point of view of a French farm-girl, it is all the more interesting for that very fact, for showing the war and from a female perspective and from the perspective of a person who is not yet set in her beliefs.
4 stars
Note: Another plus side to the book is that even though Wolfsangel is the second book in L’Auberge des Anges series, it can be read as a stand-alone, since the series is only loosely tied together by a few elements,one of them being the setting.
Disclaimer: The author has kindly sent me a copy of Wolfsangel in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.


***

by

's review
Jan 07, 14

Read from December 12, 2013 to January 07, 2014

This book is the second in a series of stories about the inhabitants of Lucie sur Vionne, a small rural village near Lyon in France. The preceeding book "Spirit of Lost Angels" tells the story of young Victoire Charpentier and her struggles during the French Revolution. Wolfsangel brings us to the Lucie -sur-vionne of the 20th Century during the German occupation of France in WWII. Here, our heroine is Celeste Roussel, a young woman who is torn between her work with the resistance and her love for a young German Officer.

Ms. Perrat's writing is engaging and beautiful. She quickly draws us in to the story and many of the plot twists keep us guessing until the very end. Using real life events as her base, the author weaves a fascinating and well researched story of what life was like under Nazi Occupation.

This is a well written and fascinating study and I highly recommend it!

***
's review
Dec 21, 13

Read from December 10 to 21, 2013

True rating - 4.5 stars. I always enjoy a good historical novel, and I really love when an author writes about a major conflict in history such as WWII but tells it from a small town perspective like Liza Perrat does in Wolfsangel. Everyone knows the big stories and events, but nobody really thinks about what small towns and rural areas went through during the German occupation and how they also did their part in the fight for freedom. This was such a captivating story that I could not put it down, and four days before Christmas when I have so much still to do, I couldn't tear myself away, especially when my emotions took a severe beating near the end. As I turned the last page, I sat in serious contemplation of how books like this really make me realize how truly lucky I am to have the life that I do and that I can never fully understand what it was like to live through such a war and hopefully I never will.

***


5.0 out of 5 stars A Gripping Tale, 27 Nov 2013
By 
Lovely Treez (Belfast, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Wolfsangel (Kindle Edition)
Back in September 2012 I thoroughly enjoyed reading Spirit of Lost Angels by Liza Perrat which was the first of the Auberge des Anges historical series set in late 18th century France. Therefore I was very eager to get my hands on the second in the series, Wolfsangel which is set in occupied France during WWII.

As in the first novel in the series, you can expect strong female characters and extensive research which both serve to make this a gripping and engaging read. The Wolfsangel title can have different interpretations, the more benign being a guardian angel watching over the Jewish Wolf family in the novel. However, the other meaning has more menacing connotations as the English translation is "wolf's hook", a symbol of the Nazi regime.

Indeed this is a novel of duality, a tale of divided loyalties as the villagers of Lucie-sur-Vionne are torn between hatred of the Nazi invaders and their desire to survive. It is difficult to take the moral high ground when your choice is between a one way ticket to the concentration camp or informing on your neighbours.

Our narrator is Celeste Roussel, an ambitious young woman, keen to join her brother in his work for the French Resistance. When she falls in love with a German officer she finds herself torn between her own desire and loyalty to her fellow villagers.

Once I picked this up I found it nigh impossible to put down as I got so involved in Celeste's story. Loosely based on the tragic events which took place in Oradour Sur Glane in 1944, this novel doesn't pull any punches and will remain with the reader for a long time.

Already looking forward to the next instalment in the series which is set in France in 1348 as the Black Plague sweeps across Europe.

***

by

's review
Nov 25, 13

Read on November 25, 2013


I really enjoyed this book by Liza Perrat. It was very well written and descriptive. I really enjoy novels by writers that can make me feel and see everything written on the page. I haven't had the opportunity quite yet to read the first installment of this trilogy but after reading Wolfsangel, I will definitely place it on my reading list.

A beautifully written story set in a time when living conditions were anything but. It's definitely a great period piece based on a true story that will stick with you for a lifetime. You can't help but come away changed in some way.

I don't often read novels that are set in this time period but I have watched a few independent and foreign films that have covered World War II and this book could easily be made into a feature film that would hold the attention of the viewer.

Can't wait to read more novels by this brilliant author.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers
***




My Review

Wolfsangel is the second novel in Liza Perrat's L'Auberge des Anges series, the novels of which are set  in the fictional French village of Lucie-sur-Vionne during tumultuous periods of French history.  While the first book in the series, Spirit of Lost Angels, takes place at the height of the French Revolution, Wolfsangel takes place during World War II when France was occupied by the German Army.  The heroine of Wolfsangel is Céleste Roussel, a young woman with a fiery spirit who, determined to do her part to undermine the German occupation of France, joins the French Resistance.  Despite her dedication to the Resistance cause, Céleste can't help but fall in love with a young German officer stationed in her village.  Knowing romance with a German could undermine her efforts to help family and friends imprisoned by the Germans, Céleste must decide if pursuing a relationship with the German officer is worth the price she might have to pay for doing so.

Much like she did with Victoire Charpentier in Spirit of Lost Angels, in Céleste Roussel Liza Perrat has once again created a strong, sympathetic heroine who readers will root for.  Céleste is a well-developed character, one whose passion for and commitment to the Resistance is always evident.   When it comes to Céleste's romance with Martin, the German officer who captures her heart, Perrat effectively conveys Céleste's internal struggles as she seeks to come to terms with her feelings for a man who she knows should only be viewed as an enemy.  As a result, the reader understands that Céleste's actions with respect to Martin are not undertaken lightly. While the romance component of the narrative wasn't my favourite part of the storyline, it was well-drawn, felt realistic, and never overshadowed the aspects of the novel I found most appealing: Céleste's involvement with the French Resistance and her attempts to help family and friends caught up in the harsh realities of the War. The threat of capture and possible death never deterred Céleste, her compatriots in the Resistance, or like-minded residents of Lucie-sur-Vionne from striking back at the Germans in any way they could.  I enjoyed learning of the ways in which French citizens sought to thwart the Germans.  Another aspect of this novel I enjoyed was how it showcases everyday village life during the Occupation and how citizens not willing to collaborate with the Nazis struggled just to make ends meet.  Most significantly though, I liked how the novel highlights the lengths to which ordinary citizens would go to help their fellow man, including complete strangers.  

Well-written, with an engaging storyline and interesting characters, Wolfsangel is recommended to anyone interested in World War II-era historical fiction. Although Wolfsangel is the second novel in a series, it isn't necessary to read Spirit of Lost Angels first as the events of each novel are separated by 150 years.  For those interested in learning more about the first novel, which I can also recommend, you can check out my review here


Source: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review 




***
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping and Heartfelt World War II Romance November 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I received a complimentary copy of this book as a part of a book tour in exchange for a fair and honest review.

A story about a woman’s journey to self discovery during a time of war, Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat, is a gripping tale based on real events. Showcasing both the highs and lows of human character, Ms. Perrat’s book is filled with well developed characters, plenty of action and heartfelt emotions. Set mostly in a small town in the French countryside, Wolfsangel is a book I won’t soon forget.

Twenty years old during the summer of 1943, Céleste Roussel lives on her family’s farm in the outskirts of Lucie-sur-Vionne as the Germans begin their occupation of her city. While no one wants the Germans there, tolerating their presence, and occasionally getting the better of them in a financial transaction, is their only choice. When Céleste’s brother, and his childhood friends, become members of the resistance, Céleste realizes no one will be able to avoid choosing sides in the war. She just never planned on getting torn between her love for her friends and family and a young German officer.

Ms. Perrat does an excellent job developing Céleste’s character throughout her story. Naïve and only trained to be a farmer’s wife, the war both gives, and at times forces, Céleste to learn a different way of life. Becoming involved in the resistance, due to the rest of her family’s involvement, Céleste also develops an attraction to a young German officer stationed in their town. While her head knows it’s wrong to be attracted to one of the invaders, this is the first adult relationship in her life and she also hopes to use it to gain information from the enemy.

As the war continues around them, and Céleste becomes more deeply involved in the resistance, she’s exposed to the modern thoughts of a women being educated, treated as an equal to men, and is exposed to their willingness to put themselves in the line of danger to free their country from an enemy destroying everything they believe in. The secondary characters, of which there are quite a few, all play a part in Céleste’s education about both the war and about what it means to be a part of a changing society.

As the Allied army begins its invasion and liberation of France, Céleste is exposed to even more of the war’s ugliness as the German’s are suddenly facing a new and determined enemy. Her escalating anger and actions, along with those of the other members of the local resistance, will have some lasting effects on her town. She’ll also have to make a final choice in regards to her forbidden love.

Will Céleste and her family survive the war? Will Lucie-sur-Vionne manage to survive the German occupation? You’ll have to read Wolfsangel to find out, I really enjoyed it and consider this one of the best books I’ve read this year. In fact, I can quite easily see this book turned into a movie.


***
 
by

's review
 

Source: Review copy from author
Rating: ★★★★☆
As we hurried back to the old district of Lyon, I understood that look on Ghislaine’s face.  I saw how the occupation had changed us; how the Resistance had brought together people from every level of society and turned us all — from the aristocrat to the simple farmgirl — into counterfeiters, thieves, and murderers.
(from Wolfsangel)
Wolfsangel is the second novel in Liza Perrat’s L’Auberge des Anges series about women connected through the generations by a bone angel talisman, but it is a standalone novel.  The novel opens with 89-year-old Céleste Primrose attending a memorial service commemorating the tragedy that occurred in the French village of Lucie-sur-Vionne on June 8, 1944.  Céleste blames herself for the horrors that happened that day at the hands of the Wolfsangel, the Das Reich division of the Waffen-SS, and Perrat takes readers back to 1943, when Céleste Roussel was just 19 years old.
Céleste lives with her mother and younger brother, Patrick, at L’Auberge des Anges (The Inn of Angels), the farm that has been in the family for generations.  Despite the German occupation of their village, her brother and his best friend, Olivier, refuse to give up their Resistance activities.  Céleste hates the Germans as much as the other villagers and wants in on the action, but her impulsiveness and fiery temper make Patrick and Olivier unsure whether she can handle the work and concerned that she would slip up in her words or actions.  So she continues to work on the family farm and tries to steer clear of her cold and bitter mother, who, with her husband in a labor camp, continues her illegal business in order to keep the family fed as the Boche requisition the villagers’ food, animals, and supplies.
When Céleste catches the eye of a German officer, her sister, Félicitié, a nun whose convent is involved in the Resistance, suggests that she use the soldier’s affection to their advantage.  It’s not long before Céleste is in over her head, and her feelings for Martin conflict with her Resistance activities and her struggle to save a desperate family rescued from an abandoned hut near the Vionne River as well as her own loved ones.  With no end to the war in sight, Céleste must balance her two selves at a time when villagers are being denounced to the authorities and not even the people they’ve known their whole lives can be trusted.
Wolfsangel is fiction but based on a real tragedy that occurred during World War II, and Perrat explains the inspiration for the novel in a much-appreciated author’s note at the end of the book.  The novel has so many layers, from Céleste’s complicated relationships with her mother and Martin and the everyday hardships of living amongst the enemy to the fear and excitement of resisting and the horrible, unavoidable consequences of doing so.  Perrat made me feel as though I was in Lucie-sur-Vionne, with the tension among the villagers as the Germans take what they want from whomever they want, and the villagers learn that one of their own is feeding the enemy occupiers information about their black market activities.  I appreciated that even the fictional aspects of the story were believable, with no clichéd easy escapes or happily ever afters.  This is war, after all.
Perrat’s characters are well-developed, and she shows the good and the bad on both sides.  Those who performed heroic deeds did so knowing there would be reprisals and that innocent people would die for their actions.  The relationship between Céleste and her mother also is well done, from the harsh words and hard feelings to the tenderness that comes from true understanding.  Céleste simultaneously being softened by first love and disgusted by her feelings felt true to her character, and her evolution from innocent farm girl to hardened, battle-scarred survivor is beautifully portrayed.  That Perrat manages to infuse hope into a story of such unimaginable evil is amazing.
Wolfsangel is a powerful novel about the unthinkable ways war changes people, especially when it’s right on your doorstep.  Perrat shows the many ways people can submit or fight back, how they can lose themselves in grief or find hope among the ruins, and how guilt can color every breath they take for the rest of their lives.
Thanks to France Book Tours for having me on the tour for Wolfsangel.  To follow the tour, click the banner below.
***

by

's review
Nov 20, 13

bookshelves: favorites
Read on November 20, 2013

Expectations were high for "Wolfsangel" after reading the brilliant "Spirit of Lost Angels", but Liza Perrat met all of them and more. Her wonderful storytelling catapults you back in time. The Second World War is still very present in our collective memories: monuments, memorials, tributes,... but "Wolfsangel" takes you to the people and the villages beyond the front, away from the trenches and into the lives of people living in occupied France.
Because of the synopsis and the prologue, I couldn't help but dreading what it was that would make Céleste feel so guilty. At first it annoyed me a bit cause it seemed to stop me from really connecting with Céleste, but I soon realized that it was because of that "dread" that it was so easy to feel the anxiety, stress and hopelessness the characters feel throughout this horrible period in our recent history.
[As a heroine though, I did feel more for Victoire (Spirit of Lost Angels) than I did for Céleste.]
Once again a brilliant novel, I cannot stress enough how amazing the "L'Auberge des Anges" series is!

***

by

's review
Nov 15, 13

Read in October, 2013

At the beginning of this book, set in eastern France, we learn that the main character has a secret. It is clear that 68 years after World War II, she still feels guilt over something.
As I read Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat, I tried to guess what might have happened. So many awful things happened in World War II. Was she a conspirator? Did she betray someone accidentally because she fell for a handsome German officer?
Wolfsangel focuses on Céleste Roussel, a woman of around 20, as her French village is overrun by German soldiers. Céleste finds herself attracted to a German officer even as she continues perpetual arguments with her mother who has always disapproved of her.
This isn't simply a war story; it's the story of people who can't believe the meanness going on around them. They fight to save those they love. The characters in this novel are passionate and even though I know the overall conclusion of the war, I found myself wondering what would happen at each mission. The story was interesting and quick moving. In addition to Céleste, her brother Patrick, and childhood friends Olivier, Miette, and Ghislaine, join the resistance to defeat the Nazis.
What I didn't like about this novel -- the title or the cover. Neither of them would have pulled me in if I hadn't been asked to review the book. Although the title Wolfsangel is explained as a symbol of the SS German police, and Céleste's older sister is described as an angel, the title didn't resonate with me. The book cover isn't clear to me. The character looks more like a chimney sweep than a resistance fighter and I was never clear about the bird and I couldn't really tell that the building among the smoke was a church.
For me, the book was a pleasant surprise. It had some violence, obviously, since it was set in war time, but it all worked to set an authentic scene.

***

by

's review
Nov 18, 13

Read on November 01, 2013

Wolfsangel is the second book in the L’Auberge des Anges trilogy and opens as elderly Céleste Roussel commemorates a tragedy which happened in the French village of Lucie-sur-Vionne some 68 years earlier. This emotional opening chapter sets the scene for a powerful and dramatic story, which takes the reader back to 1943, and to a dark time in France’s history, when the German occupation of this tiny French village had a profound effect on those who lived and worked under the shadow of cruelty and repression.

Céleste Roussel, and the women of her family, have been connected to the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne, and their home at L’Auberge des Anges for centuries. Strengthened by their ancestry, and running like a silken thread throughout the narrative, is the continuing connection the women of L’Auberge des Anges have with an angel talisman, which exudes strength and positivity to those who wear it. In 1943, Céleste Roussel is the latest keeper of the talisman, she is a spirited young woman, quick witted, courageous and as brave as a lion, but she is also impetuous, capricious and entirely unpredictable. However, it is her burgeoning relationship with a Reich officer which threatens not just her sanity, but also the safety of those who are precious to her.

With superb skill, the author has manipulated the narrative into a powerful depiction of a dark and dangerous time. Lucie-sur-Vionne is so vividly described that I stood in the market square, and felt that first frisson of excitement as Céleste met the violet eyes of the German officer, Martin Diehl. I rode with her, on the same rickety bicycle, through dank, dark woodland, and cheered with relief when the stealthy movements of the local résistance succeeded in one dangerous mission after another. The squalor, the danger, and the sheer unpredictability of living life constantly looking over your shoulder is so realistic, that you feel as if you are seeing the story unfold in real time.

Beautifully researched, and based on historical factual evidence, the story has an emotional depth which pervades and which reveals a story of courage, bravery and unforgettable heroism.

I loved it and can't wait for the third and final novel in the L'Auberge des Anges series.



***

by

's review
Nov 15, 13

Read in November, 2013

Having had the honour of reading and reviewing Spirit of Lost Angels last year it was a privilege to receive a copy of Wolfangel, the second book in the L'Auberge des Anges series.

A series revolving around an angel talisman passed down through the generations by the women of the Inn of Angels. Though this has all of the qualities that made Spirit of Lost Angels such a good read it is a quite different novel in that it sees the now occupied village of Lucie-sur-Vionne a hotbed of resistance during World War II. Our heroine (Céleste) a feisty young woman determined to do her bit even if she is in love with a man who could compromise all she is fighting for and indeed the very lives of those she holds dear.

Another confident and obviously well researched novel from this talented author. A heart wrenching, moving and yet essentially life affirming story based around actual events with a myriad of strong women at its heart. Wolfsangel is a novel of such epic proportions, Liza Perrat's writing so powerful, her descriptions so vivid that it will stay with me for a long, long time. I only hope we don't have to wait another year for the next instalment.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper.
Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of the author, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.


***

by

's review
Nov 18, 13

Read from November 04 to 18, 2013, read count: 2

I was spellbound by this novel. Wolfsangel is a story of courage, of loss and growth during World War II. It centers around a young adult woman named Celeste. Her experience, her character development is one of the most well written pieces I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I highly recommend Wolfsangel to people who love historical fiction or women protagonists in fiction.

Read more of my review at my blog!There is also a US/ European giveaway!! http://ashleighgfg.blogspot.com/2013/...

***

by

's review
Nov 14, 13

bookshelves: abused-heroine, betrayal, genre-historical
Read on November 14, 2013

Taking place in 1943, young Celeste Roussel life is dramatically altered when German soldiers arrive in France and her families ties to the French Resistance. Terrified, but intrigued by a German soldier, Celeste secretly meets with Martin trusting him while she is losing her closest friends and families to death and concentration camps. Conflicted by trusting a man who is directly involved with the Nazi's.

This story goes from modern times to the memories of Celeste's time back in WWII. This was a tough read, riveting but the horrors the families endured is written with a delicacy that readers will appreciate. I thought Celeste was a believable character, she is not flawless and she is faced with challenges she never should have had to deal with. First time reading this author and it was a phenomenal read.

***

by

's review
Nov 14, 13

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read in November, 2013

Remembrance Day was marked in Canada this past week, and Veteran’s Day in the United States. It was a week for reflection for me, and so it was fitting that I was reading the novel Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat.

I was not familiar with this novelist, nor was I familiar with the setting of the book, in rural France during the Second World War. The novel is centered around Celestine Roussel, a young woman living in a the fictional village of Lucie-sur-Vionne during the war. Her father is forced into a German labor camp, her brother has been arrested by German authorities, and her village has been taken over by German troops. As Celeste’s world is upended, she makes the decision to begin working for the French Resistance. Her work places her in exquisite danger, and it seems that each new day unearths a fresh set of arrests. As rumors begin circulating about the transport of Jewish people in cattle cars to camps in Germany and Poland, Celeste’s work takes on a new layer of urgency. To make her situation more complex, Celeste develops romantic feelings toward Martin Diehl, a German officer in the village who is uneasy about his own role in the war. As the months go by, Celeste must face the decision to continue her Resistance work, whilst also allowing herself to become intimate with Martin.

I will not release any further plot details in order not to spoil the ending, but let it be said that Wolfsangel is a completely engrossing work of fiction, with a rich storyline. The story had me completely captivated, and I found it very difficult to walk away from the story. It is obvious that the author has done a great deal of research around this time in the war, and I learned much information about this time in history about which I was completely ignorant. The author mentions in the epilogue of the book that while Wolfsangel is a work of fiction, it is inspired by real events which occurred in France during the war. That gave the story extra impact, and it left me reflecting about the nature of human behavior during times of armed conflict.

Liza Perrat has created characters which are very interesting, and their dialogue seemed very believable. Each of the characters was very nuanced, and while it would be easy to create “good guys” and “bad guys”, the author does not fall into this trap. Each individual in this story has to make difficult choices which often have lasting, and often unforeseen consequences.

Wolfsangel was a very stirring and captivating read. I was really impressed with this author’s attention to historical detail, and I am eager to read other works from this series.


***

5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Historical Detail 14 Nov 2013
By Lincs Reader TOP 100 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat is the second in the L'Auberge des Anges series and follows Spirit of Lost Angels (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.
***

by

's review
Nov 14, 13

bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read in November, 2013

Céleste is a young French woman living in a small village in France during World War II. German soldiers are living in the village and most of the French residents are not happy with the occupation. Céleste’s brother is a member of the French resistance. Céleste wants to join the cause, however, her brother won’t let her in an effort to keep her safe. However, when her brother is arrested, she feels that she has to join the resistance to help him escape.

You would think this is enough stress for one character to endure. You’d be wrong. Not only is Céleste a member of the resistance, she’s also a young woman in love. With a German officer. Yep, you read that right. While she’s fighting against the Germans, she is also in a secret relationship with one. That’s not all for the twists and turns, but I don’t want to ruin the novel.

I have to admit that I wasn’t too familiar with this part of the war before reading this. I had heard that the German occupation of France was peaceful for the most part. This novel shows how devastating the occupation was to the individuals and families who had to endure it. I found myself cheering on Céleste and her compatriots.

The plot kept me engaged and I found myself rushing through to the end to find out what would happen. Every time I thought poor Céleste wouldn’t be able to handle any more, there was yet another hurdle for her to overcome. She didn’t always make the right choice, but she was brave throughout. I admired her determination, overlooked her impetuosity (she’s only 19 at the start of the story), and wanted her to succeed even though the odds were against her. You’ll have to read for yourself to find out if she did. This story shows the true brutality of war, even on the “peaceful” fronts, and it highlights how brave people can be during such a horrific time in history.

***

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

 


Book review : Wolfsangel - Liza Perrat

Earlier in the year, I shared my review of Liza Perrat's Spirit of Lost Angels, which told the story of Victoire Charpentier, a farm girl from the French village of Lucie-sur-Vionne at the time of the French Revolution in the 1780's. I was delighted when Liza sent me a copy of her new book, Wolfsangel, to review.
We rediscover the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne at another much later but equally chaotic moment in its history - it's 1943 and the sleepy village is occupied by the Germans. The central character of this novel is the young and fiery-tempered Céleste Roussel. Having watched her father disappear to the German work camps and witnessed the arrogance and heartlessness of the Nazi solders as they requisition more and more food and goods from the already impoverished villagers, as well as rounding up the Jewish families, Céleste becomes more and more determined to help the underground work of the French Resistance.
The Second World War is a period I know quite a lot about, but mainly from the viewpoint of those on the Home Front in Britain or fighting in the trenches. Although I was aware of the Resistance and the Occupation, I didn't know a great deal about how this affected families in their daily life. I'm ashamed to say, most of my "knowledge" of this aspect of the war probably came from the totally romanticised 1980's comedy show Allo Allo. Wolfsangel shows the much grittier reality that the people of Occupied France had to endure, whether or not they were involved in the work of the Resistance. Some of the scenes are almost unbearably sad and shocking, showing that the deportees were not the only ones to suffer acts of barbaric atrocity. The novel also shows that people will do whatever it takes to survive, covering the whole spectrum of human reactions, from great heroism and selflessness to betrayal. As the saying goes, all's fair in love and war - or maybe, more accurately, nothing is fair in love and war.
It's a book that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page, especially when you read the author's notes and learn that some of the people and events depicted in the novel did really exist.
star rating : 4.5/5


Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.

***

by

's review
Nov 10, 13

bookshelves: france-book-tours, review-reads
Read in November, 2013

This was one of many stories that I have read that explore WWII and the occupation from the perspective of those who were there. Liza Perrat has written from the perspective of Celeste, a young French woman who lives with her family in a small village. Her brother, a truism for many families of the time, worked with the Resistance, although he won’t share information with her or tell her how she can be involved as he is trying to protect her. Also, not an uncommon hurdle for women of that day to overcome, the refusal of those in the Resistance to use women, particularly innocent women; part chivalry and part logical belief that their women were often untutored in the deceptions required for a woman operating against the Germans. While Celeste doesn’t understand the reluctance, and often can’t see the forest for trees, she also emulates one of the feared problems.

See, Celeste finds herself falling in love with a German officer. I will admit that I could see her reasons and the attraction, even though I saw her immaturity at 19 to process forward the issues that this relationship could cause for her family and herself. While she wishes to participate, her faith in Martin create several conflicts that she is unprepared to process.

Forward and present in this novel are the hopes, dreams, hardships and struggles presented by the Nazi Occupation: and written in such a way that readers can instantly bond with Celeste, understand her questions, and see her quandaries. What we hear of often is the ‘peaceful’ occupation and the less savory side of the overwhelming environment of fear, deception, and treachery from friends, neighbors and even family isn’t always defined or displayed. Perrat manages to present all of these elements into a form that places a reader in the center of the action, and gives them a reason to read on.

This book holds all: fear, love, selfish and selflessness, and the omnipresent sense that hope will conquer all. Presented in lovely prose with characters that leap off the pages, you will be transported for the time it takes to read this story, and be thinking of it long after.

I received an eBook copy of the title from the author for purpose of honest review for France Book Tours. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
***
 
by

's review
Nov 07, 13

bookshelves: 2013, fiction, historical-fiction
Read on November 07, 2013

"Wolfsangel" is a historical fiction tale set in France during World War II in a small town called Lucie-sur-Vionne. This book is the second in a series about one family filled with incredibly strong females who have passed a bone angel talisman through many generations. Although "Wolfsangel" is the second book in this series, you can most definitely read this book without reading the first book, which takes place during the French Revolution.

Now I absolutely loved the first book in this series, "Spirit of Lost Angels." As with that book, "Wolfsangel" was filled with really fascinating characters that I really loved. The main character, Celeste, is wonderful. Perrat really has a way with creating characters that you either feel like you know or you feel that you want to know. Celeste is incredibly fascinating and brave in this book and I really liked following her story.

The historical detail in this book was really great! France had such a difficult time during World War II with the occupation by the Nazis as we see with Celeste's experience. France also played the setting to some really horrible occurrences during the war. Perrat gives a ton of great detail so that readers are able to experience what the characters are going through.

The writing in this book was really good and kept me reading. There were a couple parts that got a little bogged down but overall, this book has a ton of action that kept me turning the pages. The ending was especially exciting. I will be looking forward to Ms. Perrat's next release!
***

by

's review
Nov 08, 13

Read from October 28 to November 07, 2013

I don't read novels set during World War II very often and I knew very little about what happened in France during WWII before reading this book. What an eye-opener it was!

Wolfsangel is a heartbreaking novel told from the point of view of Celeste Roussel, a young woman who lives with her mother and brother in a village called Lucie-sur-Vionne. Celeste's brother Patrick works for the Resistance and is reluctant to let his sister help too, despite the fact that she is older than him. Celeste is determined to aid in some way, but hadn't reckoned on how falling in love with a German officer might affect her plans.

The plot is grounded in historical events and it is clear that the author has carried out a great deal of research. None of the small details are forgotten, and this is something I really appreciate in a well written historical novel. And well written it certainly is; Perrat's prose is simply beautiful.

The plot of this book is not at all predictable, and none of the barbarity of the period is lost, making Wolfsangel all the more heartwrenching and moving. As strange as it sounds, I found this refreshing; I've read historical novels that are set in a certain period but become less authentic when the cruelty is softened.

Even if you haven't read the first book in the series, Spirit of Lost Angels, you can enjoy this one. Although Wolfsangel features L'Auberge des Anges and the angel pendant of the first novel, it stands alone, being set in an entirely different time period with different characters. I really enjoyed this book and thoroughly recommend it.

(Free ebook received in exchange for an honest review.)


***

by

's review
Oct 28, 13

Read in October, 2013

I read and loved Liza Perrat's novel, The Spirit of Lost Angels, and have waited impatiently for the second of the trilogy. I did not think she could better the first book, but this is simply brilliant. It is so beautifully written and full of tension that one cannot put it down. And when finished reading you feel at a loss because you want more! We now have to wait for the third in the series!
Set in German occupied France in WWII, Liza Perrat's historical fiction gives the real sense of how difficult it was for the French citizens. Not only did they have their possessions and hence livelihood taken from them but they did not know whom they could trust in their small village. This tension is broken by Perrat's beautiful descriptions of the natural surroundings of the rural village where the reader feels part of the scene. One can almost smell the flowers and hear the bees buzzing. As the climax of the story builds up to the pending tragedy, the tension is enormous as one anticipates the horrendous event. I had to stop reading as I was so tense myself.
Having visited the remains of the village of Oradur- sur - Glane, that the booked is based on, Perrat has brought the village alive by personalising the residents in their daily lives.
I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying this book. If it is not a hit in the English version, when it is translated into French for the French public to read, it will have to be a sensation!


***
 
by

's review
Oct 28, 13


I read "Wolfsangel" in only a few sittings, as this novel was very difficult to put down. Besides the wonderful writing, depicting lifelike, very likable, characters that I came to sympathize with from the first pages, I found its theme extremely refreshing. I love unusual historical settings and France of the WW2 period is not a setting one meets too frequently (not to my knowledge). It may serve as the background for the other WW2 stories (the Germans washing over Europe in the beginning of the war or the Allies landing in Normandy, changing this war's course) but one not often runs into historical novel set in the occupied France as the heart of the story.
Moreover, like many people around me, I used to dismiss French people's plight, probably because so many other horrible things happened during this time period. The occupation of France seemed like a minor thing compared to what happened to the others.
Until I read "Wolfsangel", that is! This novel made me look at the horrors of this "relatively peaceful" occupation with fresh eyes, unclouded by prejudice. The hardships, the dilemmas, the tragedies of all sort of people around the countryside, their struggle to survive, their attempts to resist, are presented brilliantly through Celeste Roussel, a young 19 years old farm girl, and her brother and friends in the local resistance group, or her sister and others in the monastery. They want to fight, they do everything they can to resist the local authorities, to help refugees, to save those whose plight is even worse than theirs. They endanger their very lives and they pay the price, everyone in a different manner. This story is uplifting and a heart-breaking at the same time. It shows a different WW2 France than the one I knew of. It opened my eyes.

Beside the main problem of the foreign occupation, "Wolfsangel" shows another interesting development of the beginning of the modern-day history. The struggle of women for independence. Initially Celeste is not allowed to join the local resistance group, because she is told that "it's too dangerous for a young girl". But her brother, Patrick, a year or so younger than herself is a part of this group. And so is their best friend, Olivier. Why? She found herself asking that, knowing that it was her gender that made the fighters see her as "too young". Celeste's sister is fighting but in a lady-like manner, by actively hiding refugees, and not by putting home-made explosives under the passing German trains. She is risking her life hideously, just like the boys do, but Celeste is not like her. She wants to fight actively, she wants to help the boys, and as the story progresses, we see other young women like her, those who think that they can do no worse than the men. I loved this additional aspect of the story. It's so very true to the history as it developed later on and this aspect is often overlooked too, while concentrating on the pure heroism of the outright acts of bravery. Women fought in this war no less than the men, sacrificing their lives as bravely. I love that this story shows that angle as well.

Bottom line, this story is as highly entertaining as it is revealing a less known side of the very well known historical period, and this is what I love about historical fiction the best. It made me learn while enjoying myself immensely - the best combination!
***
4.0 out of 5 stars Good look at the complexities of the war October 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Most people know the basics of WWII. Nazi-controlled "evil" Germany occupies much of Europe, and the hero Allied troops beat him. Anyone who is on the side of the Germans must be a terrible person, right?

The truth is actually much more complicated, as Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat shows. A 19-year-old girl, Céleste Roussel, is torn between love and patriotism - between helping the French Resistance and between her love for a German officer. This novel is a great value - $3.99 for Kindle - for such a stirring portrayal of the choices many people in occupied countries actually faced. Right and wrong weren't so clear cut for those actually in Europe at the time, Germans, occupied countries, or Allies. This book does a good job of humanizing the "bad guys" and giving the reader a strong sense of empathy for the choices Céleste makes.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

***

by

's review
Oct 24, 13

Read from January 01 to October 23, 2013

This book is heart wrenching and heart warming. I know that is a contradiction, but that is the truth. You come to care for Celeste and feel her pain, happiness and determination. Celeste is a 19 year old girl in war torn Europe, she lives in the small town of Lucie, which is now occupied by the Germans. She lives at L'Auberge des Anges which sits on a hill above Lucie. Celeste's family is made up of a father whom "volunteered" to work at the German's labor camps in Germany, a mother who is an Angel Maker and Celeste believes doesn't like/understand her. She also has a sister who is a nun/resistor (who ultimately gives her own life for the less fortunate) and a younger brother who is a resistor. Celeste meets the dashing German solider Martin Diehl, she is given the resistance mission of using him to gather information from the Germans, but makes the heart-wrenching mistake of falling head over heals in love with him. Follow Celeste's journey through war torn France during the German occupation in World War II. The author did an amazing job of making you feel Celeste's pain, heartache and happiness. You can delve into the resistance world of World War II France and feel like you are actually living it through Celeste's eyes. i would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Holocaust Fiction or Non-Fiction, or anyone who enjoys read a wonderfully detailed and thrilling novel that touches the heart.

**I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.**
***
 
by

's review
Oct 24, 13

Read from October 16 to 24, 2013

I've just finished reading Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat and have given it 5 stars; it was absolutely amazing. I haven't read a book like this in quite a while which made me go through so many emotions. Relief, fear, sadness, loss and tears.

My genre is historical fiction/non-fiction, at the moment it is reading but in the future hopefully, writing as well. This is the kind of book I would like to write. The writing was effortless and flowed from page to page, I never felt bored or wondered why something happened. The plot was tight and fast paced and kept me gripped right to the climactic end which I did not see coming. The suspense was built up to perfection; I knew something was going to happen to the villagers and the village but did not know what. My heart was beating and I felt as though I was there, with them all, and the German SS pointing their guns right at me and the feeling of fear and dread. I could feel the smoke in the church filling my lungs and at one point I had to reach for my asthma inhaler - I forgot to breath. It's rare a book can do that to me, to make me feel like I am really there and go through all the emotions the heroine is feeling. That truly is good writing and good story telling.

When I read an historical novel I want two things from it; to read a well written and exciting story and feel satisfied at the end, and to learn something from it. Liza Perrat has obviously done her research well because it shows in the details of French village life in the 1940's and the workings of the Resistance and the Gestapo and SS. I had no idea how much the French suffered with the German occupation, not only in the cities but the villages as well. We've all seen films and TV mini series and documentaries about the horror of war, but this book actually goes deeper and tells the very personal, human story of what the French people went through at the hands of the Nazi's - I was shocked.

This is a story which is beautifully and sensitively told, and I challenge anyone not to be moved by it. Also, have a box of tissues handy, you'll need them.

I hope there are more to come.***

Pre-review: Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat

by Kate Policani on October 17, 2013
http://katepolicanisreviews.wordpress.com/2013/10/17/pre-review-wolfsangel-by-liza-perrat/

Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction

Five stars

Generations after the life of Victoire from Spirit of Lost Angels, her ancestor, Celeste Roussel, lives her life in the town of Lucie Sur Vionne. Celeste, inheritor of the bone angel necklace, now endures the Nazi occupation of France in World War II. Life, once rich and bountiful, has become tenuous and difficult. Any wrong move can mean trouble or death for the occupied French, especially Celeste’s brother and the other Lucie Sur Vionne boys who have joined the resistance, and her sister, a nun who hides Germans in the convent. Celeste longs to join too, but finds herself torn between her duty to her country and a blossoming love for a forlorn and seemingly misplaced German soldier named Martin. Can Celeste avoid the traps and perils that loom around every corner to resist the “Boche”? Will her heart lead her to betray her family and friends, and will any of them live to be betrayed anyway? Will she leave behind her oppressive and unloving mother or will she discover why Maman’s heart was so closed to her?
Like Spirit of Lost Angels, Liza has written another historical fiction gem in Wolfsangel. She brings the era to life with the struggles of her characters in a dynamic and beautiful depiction. Biography can not explore the variety of scene and struggle like Liza’s tales, and I love to hear so much about the time period all in one contrasting, unified whole. I find it hard to reconcile that her characters are not real people and that Liza did not experience what they experienced.
The relationships of Wolfsangel fascinated me and moved me. No simple romance for Liza’s characters! I love her bravery and head-on exploration of taboo romance and complicated, close relationships clouded by hardship.
Excitement and tension fill the pages. No restful peace awaits Celeste as danger after danger threaten her and those she cares about. I felt the anguish and stress of never knowing who would be caught, hurt, or killed by an enemy with all power and no motivation for mercy. Wolfsangel kept me eager and afraid for each new chapter.
Liza has given us a new and exciting tale of a turbulent time in French history with her daring and endearing style. I thoroughly enjoyed this thrilling tale.
I approve this title for Awesome Indies. http://awesomeindies.net
I received this book from the author for the purposes of an unbiased review.
Wolfsangel will be released November 16!


***

by

's review
Oct 20, 13

Read from October 09 to 14, 2013

Seven decades after German troops seize the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne, Celeste Roussel still cannot get over her guilt for the events of the past. As a young woman living in Nazi-occupied France, Celeste is torn between her blossoming love for a young German officer stationed in her town and her patriotic duty to fight with the French Resistance. As tensions in the town mount, Celeste's choices lead her deeper into a dangerous game of deception with life or death consequences.

When I read the first book in the series, Spirit of Lost Angels, I was immediately hooked by Perrat's writing. It was obvious that she put a lot of time into researching the historical period and culture for her book, yet the writing never dragged or felt dry. Wolfsangel is no different, with the same authentic historical setting, fast pace, and plenty of twists and turns. However, I added a star here because if anything, this book is even better than the first!

I love that Perrat's characters feel so real, and I especially love her heroines; they feel very human. They're not perfect, they make mistakes, and you don't always know if things will go well for them. There were some nice twists and turns in Wolfsangel that really kept me guessing as to how the book would end. I felt like the relationships between Celeste and her family, friends, and Martin were well-drawn and very realistic.

An interesting note about Wolfsangel: some of the events in the book are based on actual historical events that took place during World War II, though I won't say exactly which ones and ruin the ending. I really enjoyed the way Perrat worked these events into her story and I enjoyed learning a little more about these events from the notes in the back of the book.

If you like historical fiction, particularly stories set during World War II, then I highly recommend this book! I took this on my Kindle during my vacation this month and ended up sitting up late one night to finish reading it. I just couldn't put it down!

***
5.0 out of 5 stars Another wonderful read October 19, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Liza Perrat has done it again. "Wolfsangel" was a book that I could not put down. The continued story of another generation of Angel Maker's was fascinating.World War II has always interested me since my grandfather was involved. The historical basis of this book opened my eyes to events which happened. The readers follow Céleste Roussel through her journey from girl to womanhood. Céleste wanted so badly to make a difference and help bring her village back to normal. Her adventures as Gabrielle proved that Céleste was vital to the resistance. I look forward to more books from this series as the delicately carved angel moves from generation to generation. 
***

by

's review
Oct 17, 13

bookshelves: reviewed

Wolfsangel is the second in the author’s ‘bone angel’ series, but can be read as a standalone novel. Set in a small French town, a hotbed for the Resistance during the German occupation, Celeste Roussel longs to join and do her bit for France, but her brothers feel she wouldn’t be strong enough to withstand torture if caught.

However, when her brothers are captured, it is Celeste who comes to their rescue. But Celeste is forced to lead a double life, because she falls in love with Martin Diehl, a German officer. While Martin is away, Celeste is raped by two of his fellow officers. Her plan for revenge affects the town she loves in ways she could never have imagined.

Liza Perrat’s skill at bringing the characters and events vividly to life make Wolfsangel one of the best novels I’ve read on this period of history.

Highly recommended – this is one I’ll read again and again.
***
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bone Angel Returns 18 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Once again, Liza Perrat takes her heroine on a difficult journey - one that will see her tested in all sorts of ways and which will have you rooting for her and turning the pages to see how things will turn out. Couple this with a real understanding of good writing, a passion for story and a gift for description - both sublime and earthy - and you have Liza Perrat's books. I so enjoyed Spirit of Lost Angels and while very different in terms of the era - World War Two this time - and the characters, Wolfsangel drew me in in the same way. The sense of place is palpable and the characters so real. Lucie-sur-Vionne is once more a character in itself and I loved the way the author portrays continuity and change.This is a book to make you think - what would you do in that situation? Should Celeste have taken revenge in the way she did? What are we capable of when we are pushed to our limits? Go and read Wolfsangel and see for yourself.

***


by

's review
Oct 18, 13

Read on October 18, 2013

Wolfsangel is the second of Liza Perrat’s novels which track the journey of the bone-carved angel talisman, as it is passed down through generations of French healer/midwives. This time, the story is set in the Second World War and the harrowing events of the book come to a terrible climax, which is both shocking and heart-wrenching and, sadly, is based on a war-time atrocity that happens to be true.
As with the first in the series, Spirit of Lost Angels, this novel has everything I love best in Perrat’s writing: stunning, vivid and sensuous descriptions of the life and times of the people of the village of Lucie-sur-Vionne, and engaging 3D characters whose lives become so real for the duration of the book, it’s impossible to put it down. Much of the action hangs on the agonising dilemma of the main character, Celeste Roussel, who works for the Resistance and yet has fallen in love with a German officer.
Liza Perrat’s writing is absolutely gorgeous and carried me along with the sheer pleasure of her evocative language. You can hear, smell, feel and see the French landscapes, towns and markets on every page.
I adore Second World War stories, but you don’t have to be a fan of historical fiction to love this book. It frequently made my heart beat faster and occasionally made me cry. I have to say the final, cruel (and true) tragedy is deeply distressing and has stayed with me: a reminder of the utter senselessness and barbarity of war. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.
***

's review
Oct 10, 13

Read in October, 2013

World War II and the French Resistance is not an area which I generally choose to read about, but when I heard that one of my favorite authors had published a new book that concerned just those areas I had to read it!

I read, and reviewed Liza Perrat's first book "The Spirit of Lost Angels" last year and it was at that time that I became hooked on Ms. Perrat's writing. In my opinion her work should be far more well known than it is. While I do not know Ms. Perrat, I am a fan of her work!

"Wolfsangel' is a sequel of sorts, but not really. It is a perfect stand alone book. The story line revolves around a small French town during the German occupation of France during World War II. Celeste (Celestine) Roussel is the main character. Her mother runs the centuries old family farm. Aside from running the farm, her work involves assisting women who find themselves inconveniently pregnant, often due to being raped by members of the occupying German forces. Celeste's father had volunteered to go and work in Germany, where the purported pay was good. They had received no word from him though in many months and they had no way of knowing if he was even still alive.

Celeste's sister is nun based in a convent that takes in families at risk from the Germans, and her brothers are part of the Resistance movement, but do not allow Celeste to join them because they fear that she may not be able to withstand the rigors of questioning were she to be found out. The town itself is acknowledged to be a 'hotspot' for Resistance activity. The Germans 'requisition' the best food stuffs from the town has, they take what they want and blackmail those who they suspect may be Jews hiding under the pretext of false papers and new, more French sounding, names. Women are raped, people go hungry, and the German's loot at will.

After one Resistance expedition, Celeste's brothers and friends are arrested and imprisoned. The prison is a place from which most never return. The firing squads make short work of the inmates after they are questioned and severely tortured. We follow Celeste as she matures, becoming involved with the Resistance in her own way as she formulates a plan with other Resistance workers to free her brothers from prison. The brothers are provided with just enough of an infectious serum to make them ill enough to be transferred to a hospital where Celeste has been placed. In a gripping series of chapters their escape is effected and Celeste and her long time friends become well known as good Resistance operatives.

Meanwhile, Celeste becomes involved in a romantic diversion with an unlikely man. A German officer named Martin Diehl. Martin does not relish being in the Army and provides Celeste with a few small luxuries and the security of his protection. They fall in love and talk of a future after the war. This dalliance causes a lot of conflict for our heroine since any sort of relationships with the hated "Boche" is decried by all town members, other than the few who are profiting by the largesse that the Germans can provide.

In a moving chapter, after Celeste is raped by two German officers while Martin is away and cannot provide any protection, her mother shares her own dark secret that had never been spoken of. She too was raped in her youth, perhaps explaining her seemingly cold and aloof manner. Celeste forms a plan as she quietly plans her revenge.

The last part of this book reveals Celeste's plan for revenge, but does her successful plan manage to backfire on the entire town? I just cannot say more without revealing too much of this intricate plot that would spoil it for your reading!

This book is simply wonderful, and I could not stop reading it. I finished it in a day because I could not put it down! The plotline is well constructed, they story is taut and gripping, and the characters are more than well fleshed out. I felt as though I too was a member of the Resistance. The only problem is that the book had an end, and I wanted to read more!

The book is factually based on a real village, true resistance heroes, and a massacre that remains a reminder of the brutality that war can bring. Ms. Perrat provides an excellent epilogue that was also spine chilling reading for me in which she presents the facts from which her story is based.

I learned a lot from this book, one thing is that perhaps I should read more about this brutal period of history. It's really quite amazing to me what the human spirit can survive.

"Wolfsangel" is currently available as an e-book, but the paperback edition is soon to follow.

This book will appeal, I think, to all readers of excellent general fiction as well as those who enjoy historical fiction, and fiction that revolves around World War II. I cannot imagine that reading this book will not move you, and perhaps, as it did for me, teach you a thing or two about what people can, and do, endure in the name of freedom. 

***


by

's review
Oct 11, 13

Read in October, 2013

For all of you who don't know Lisa Perrat she was known for her great novels, on the French culture. She has won awards at the 2004 Writers Bureau annual competition. She was writing her novels and they've been mentioned in magazines and anthologies.

Now her two known books in the series that she has written are the Spirit of Lost Angels, Wolfsangel, and shes working on her third book for this series called Blood Rose Angel.
They all revolove around the wars in France and the last one she is working on is about the 14th century Black Plague.

I was able to review the first of the series, Spirt of Lost Angels. Now, I'm happy to say that I'm reviewing one of her newest additions. The second book in the series, Wolfsangel.

These books are in the catagory of historical fiction, and revolve around the wars and tragedies that took place in history. She puts real life history in to these pages that make it sound so realistic. Making the story more exciting page after page.

Now the story is about a girl named Céleste Roussel. She is fighting her guilt after the German troops marched into her village seven decades ago, 1943. As her loved ones were being deported to concentration camps. She was left to either Help with the French and fight the Germans or pursue her love for this German officer. This is one tough decisiion she has to make and it will be something she'll remember for ever.

The book is one unforgettable journey about a woman's choice and problems she'll be facing during this World War. So in short, Wolfsangel is a blend of what comes from the courage She must face through mind, body, and spirit.

In my opinion, I loved how it felt as this was someones journal brought to life in a story form, could one day be a movie thats how good it was. The descriptions made the scenes sound so real, as if your right there. I really get sad when you read how people started putting signs in the windows saying No DOgs, No Jews. I hated hearing about that in history class. How harsh back then it was, and hurtful. When you have a hard choice to make and during something like a War, you know it will definetly stick with you no matter what. I mean if your stuck between two choices and either way it works in your favor, but might cost lives or even a love that may be.. You will always remember that date and never forget what you chose.

I also want to point out she uses factual events and put together a tale that you never know could have occured back then in a similar matter. However, with all the facts that were put in this story, it sounds as if your reading a real historical event.

I think if your into a little history lesson and want to take a journey with Céleste Roussel, this would be the book for you.
Not only will you get a wonderful story, but you'll be moved by her choice and how everything resolves.

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