Flame of Resistance was well written and hard to put down once you start reading it. One of the times in history I am interested in is WWII. Ms. Groot's story of the resistance group, a downed US pilot and a woman who is trying to survive the war and Nazi occupation was excellent. I could picture the characters and settings as well as feel their emotions through the words Ms. Groot wrote. Excellent book and highly recommend it.
I'll admit it with pride: I don't like Christian Fiction. I'm a Christian who writes, but I don't feel called to write fiction that is Christian and there are very few pieces in the genre I can stand to read. But, on occasion, there is a gem of a book that I cannot stop reading. One author in the Christian Fiction genre I have really come to respect is Tracy Groot. She has written My Brother's Keeper, Stones of My Accusers, and the 2007 Christy Award Winner in the historical fiction category, Madman. Well, now she's done it again with her historical fiction novel, Flame of Resistance and is nominated once more for the Christy Award. Flame of Resistance is set in German-occupied Normandy on the brink of D-day in 1944. The story centers around three characters - Tom, Brigitte, and Michel. Tom is a downed US fighter pilot who looks like the quintessential German soldier. Michel, the leader of a French resistance cell, can't help but recruit Tom for his plan. Brigitte is a woman forced to do what ever it takes to survive - even if it means a living a life in shame. As the war sends the people of Normandy to the breaking point, she realizes she wants to shed her standing in society and become a hero for her country. Tom embarks on his undercover mission with Brigitte as his contact and their relationship and what they discover will change the trajectory of the war. This unconventional retelling of Rahab is a beautifully written and exciting piece of historical fiction. Groot writes a wonderful, character-driven piece through a thorough and intriguing setting. Though the pacing starts out slowly in the first hundred pages, she gives a big pay off in both high tension and action. You'll recognize the tipping point when you get there and won't regret the wait. Flame has one of the most satisfying endings I've read in a long time. I promise I won't write any spoilers, but as I was reaching the end, I felt as if I was tearing through pages. Some moments in shock, others in sadness, but most in awe. It takes a lot for me to become emotionally invested in a book. My roommates can testify, I was almost too emotionally involved in this one. I would wander about our room, book in hand, mumbling forlornly: "Nazi's are mean!" But seriously, she understands how to make a narrative work on multiple levels, understanding what the reader wants, when to give it and when to withhold. The way Groot ties up her loose ends and interweaving plot lines left me thinking over it for weeks following. Some of the character's fates were not necessarily what I wanted, but as I thought over what was written, it was what was needed. Beautiful piece of fiction that I would recommend to anyone.
Christy winner Groot (Madman) sets her WWII-era tale in Normandy in spring 1944. American pilot Tom Jaeger is shot down, and saved and recruited by local French resistance fighters. He will impersonate a German officer to collect intelligence from a local prostitute, Brigitte Durand, whose brothel serves German officers. But when the stakes are high and the French are exhausted by occupation and mistrust, it is easy to slip. Groot cleverly reworks the biblical story of the prostitute Rahab, who helps the forces of Joshua take Jericho. She also does good historical work with details and subtle psychological work with her characters. The Germans aren’t all villains, and not all the resistance fighters are squeaky-clean heroes. She even manages comic relief in spite of the overwhelmingly grim circumstances of occupied France after four years of war. WWII-era novels are popular; this is a superior, page-turning entry in that niche.
Groot's latest release is set to coincidewith D-Day, June 6. Based on real people and events, it is clearly historically accurate and well researched, but the large cast of characters makes it hard to track at times and slows the pace for the first part of the book.
SUMMARY: American pilot Tom Jaeger is shot down in Normandy and taken in by the Resistance. He becomes a key part in their plan to get information on the Germans and their plans for the Caen Canal Bridge. Brigitte Durand, a prostitute at a Germans-only brothel, passes on information to Tom, since she wants to help the Allies. Their window of opportunity is closing, as the invasion looms. ls the Resistance being foolhardy by placing their faith in a pilot and a prostitute?