Wednesday, June 27

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot

D-Day looms in Nazi occupied France, and everyone knows something is going to happen, but are unsure of how it will turn out.  Brigitte runs a brothel, but secretly brings much needed food to the French resistance.  Meanwhile, an American pilot, Tom Jaeger, is shot down, and quickly joins the resistance until he can reconnect with US forces.  Tom poses as a German officer and works with Brigitte to gain information vital to the resistance.  But each day that passes is another day to be caught.  Will they gather enough to help the resistance, or will they be caught?

This is Tracy Groot’s fourth novel.  Her first three were Biblical Fiction, including the Christy Award winning Madman.  I read Madman a few years ago and enjoyed it.  Last year I had the opportunity to meet Tracy, who is a West Michigan native, and she told me about Flame of Resistance, which at the time was not yet out.  While still historical fiction, it is her first novel not in Biblical times.  However, readers might notice that the story is a loose retelling of Rahab’s story.

One of the things I appreciate about Tracy’s writing is the obvious research that goes into it.  From specific people, to terms and places, this research added believability to the story without slowing it down.   It wasn’t even until the author’s acknowledgements at the end that I realized how much of the story was influenced by real events or people in World War II.  While the story itself is largely fictionalized, several characters are based on real people.

Another one of Tracy’s strengths is the strong characterization.  It might be easy to read Brigitte as the cliché prostitute with a heart of gold.  However, she’s more than that.  Tracy makes her into a believable character, and she does not seem to fit the cliché.  The other characters are also well rounded.

The story moves briskly, making this a quick read.  Tension builds around every corner, and it kept me invested in the story.  There were occasional times where there seemed to be a bit too much going on, causing me to go back a re-read some sections, but they were few and far between.

Still, this is a strong story, and I’d recommend this to lovers of historical fiction, especially if you enjoyed Tracy’s earlier work.

4/5 stars

I received this book free from Tyndale. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

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