There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned."
When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn’t left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip they’d planned before the tragedy.
“The pages found you,” Patrick whispered.
“Now you need to figure out what they’re trying to say.”
During a stop at a country flea market, Jessica finds a faded document concealed in an antique. As new friends help her to translate the archaic French, they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution.
“I write for our descendants, for those who will not understand the cost of our survival.”
Determined to learn the Baillard family’s fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesn’t understand.
Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessica’s survival?
My Review of The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix
Michele Phoenix gives us a heart wrenching story of the power of faith and the human spirit to survive in The Space Between Words.
Jessica and Patrick are the best of friends living a quiet life in Denver. When Patrick decides to leave his antique shop for a time to study at the American University in Paris, he invites Jessica to join him the last few weeks of his Paris stay to sightsee and treasure hunt together. But pleasure turns to tragedy when an evening concert is shattered with the sound of gunfire leaving Jessica badly hurt and Patrick fatally wounded. Wanting badly to flee Paris after the horror of the attacks, Jessica embarks on a journey to Southern France to complete a trip she and Patrick had planned to find antique treasures. Staying in a B&B in Balazuc, Jessica meets the proprietor Mona, her son, and Mona’s brother Grant. With their help she discovers a barn filled with antiques where she is emotionally drawn to a beautiful wooden sewing box. Arriving back at the B&B, Jessica discovers a secret compartment in the sewing box containing a letter and pages from an antique Huguenot Bible. Enlisting Grant’s help, little by little they translate the old French language into English where they uncover the story of Adeline Baillard and her family, Huguenot’s, persecuted because of their faith. Touched by Adeline’s story, Jessica and Grant cannot rest until they ascertain the fate of Adeline’s family. Traveling as far as England, Jessica and Grant begin a quest for answers. As Jessica and Grant come closer to the truth healing begins for the both of them. Tragedy and pain are confronted providing an open door to a new and loving relationship.
I loved the Space Between Words. This book is filled with tenderness as well as gut wrenching emotions. I loved the characters that Michele Phoenix created both past and present. Adeline’s devotion to God, her family and students was both maternal and altruistic. Her courage in the face of persecution was heroic. I also loved seeing the gradual emotional healing of Jessica and the emerging relationship between her and Grant. I cheered them on as the pain of their past gave way to a brighter and hope filled future. As a reader I was left feeling Jessica and Grant’s lives were now full of possibilities and that made me happy. Like any good book I was reluctant to let the characters go.
The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix is a heartrending journey that takes you from the persecution of the Huguenot’s in France to a terror attack at a rock concert in present day Paris. It is the story of faith, courage and healing in the most tragic of circumstances. It is a woman from the past helping a woman today heal and live again. It is a story that will continue to haunt you long after you turn the last page.
I want to thank Thomas Nelson-Fiction via NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix for a fair and honest review.
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