Tangled Ashes by Michele Phoenix

This book is a fantastic historical version reminiscent of the idea “if walls could talk”. There have been many times I have been in older homes and I wished they could tell their story!
I love the way it is written, alternating between the present day and the historical time period. In modern day time, Becker, a very troubled, angry, alcoholic is more or less tricked by his business partner into going to France and renovating an ancient castle. The owner is a jovial and very wealthy man, Mr. Fallon. His deadline for the main part of the castle is for a party for his pregnant wife’s 40th birthday. The renovation is extensive and the date set seems almost impossible.
Becker has become bitter and withdrawn throughout the years and is stretched to the limit with the jobs demands, a very nervous French designer he is forced to work with, and Fallon’s nanny and two children who spend each day there.
The historical time is in the 1940’s during WW2 and Hitler’s occupation in France at this very castle. Two young girls, Marie and Elise, are hired as housemaids by Heinrich Himmler who used the castle to house the Lebensborn Program. Both Himmler and program actually existed during WW2. I had read about and seen documentaries about this program. It was part of Hitler’s plans for a “perfect race”. Young unmarried women became pregnant by German soldiers. They were cared for and pampered by the Third Reich until they delivered their babies. After delivery, they left and their babies stayed to be eventually adopted out to German couples and be raised as Nazi’s. Falling in love with a German stableman, Elise is influenced by the propaganda and becomes pregnant by him. After she becomes a resident in the chateau, she begins to realize what she has done and that she will lose her baby. The girl’s lives and the discoveries Becker makes during the renovation being to interconnect.
There are many surprises, twists, and turns in the story. I was never bored, always wanting to read further. I found several spiritual lessons within the story about loyalty, facing our problems with faith, forgiveness, and caring in the face of rejection. This was a great book! It was my first book to read by Ms. Phoenix and I look forward to more.
I received this book free from Handlebar Publishing in exchange for my honest review. 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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