Monday, July 27, 2020

TLC Review: Fragments of Light by Michele Phoenix

Title: Fragments of Light
AuthorMichele Phoenix
Year Published: 2020

Genre: Adult fiction

Pages: 352

Rating: 5 out of 5

Location (my 2020 Google Reading map): USA (IL) and France

FTC Disclosure: I received this book from TLC Tours for a fair and honest review

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

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

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

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

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

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Thomas Nelson

Connect with Michele: Website | Twitter

Review: Oh boy, what a wonderful book! It has all the elements that work for me:
  • Dual timelines of World War II (D-Day) and current day
  • Family saga that spans generations
  • A bit of a mystery and family secrets
  • Multiple narrators in alternating chapters
I loved the friendship between Darlene and Ceelie. They had the shared experience of fighting cancer to initially bond them, but discovered deep caring for one another. Their friendship was bold, funny, and heart-warming.

I wasn't sure at first how the present-day women would connect to the young soldier, Cal, who parachuted into France on D-Day, and when the story got there (around page 100), I was so excited. I wanted to know the outcome for each of the characters and embedding it all in history really worked for me.

This novel carried me along at a quick pace without being surface-y or shallow. I feel like I really got to know the characters, what made them tick, and what mattered to them. I wanted them to be okay, to find one another, and to have it all wrap up neatly in the end.

Challenges for which this counts: 

Michele Phoenix’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, July 14th: @read.write.coffee

Monday, July 20th: @shobizreads

Wednesday, July 22nd: Books Cooks Looks and @books_cooks_looks

Friday, July 24th: Kritter’s Ramblings

Monday, July 27th: Helen’s Book Blog

Wednesday, July 29th: Blunt Scissors Book Reviews and @bluntscissorsbookreviews

Friday, July 31st: Leighellen Landskov and @mommaleighellensbooknook

Monday, August 3rd: @booksandbackroads

Wednesday, August 5th: Girl Who Reads

Friday, August 7th: The OC Book Girl and @theocbookgirl

Monday, August 10th: Well Read Traveler and @wellreadtraveler

Wednesday, August 12th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife

Monday, August 17th: Christian Chick’s Thoughts

Wednesday, August 19th: @nurse_bookie

Saturday, August 22nd: @booktimistic

Monday, August 24th: Books & Bindings

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