By Kelly Bridgewater
"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?
I really couldn't wait to read The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix. I enjoy a good treasure hunt to follow some aspect of history and making it come to reality for me. When I read the synopsis to the book, it caught my attention, so naturally, I wanted to read the complete novel to see what would happen. Unfortunately, this novel really didn't do it for me.
In the beginning, Phoenix has the main heroine, Jessica, roaming through the story after a huge terrorist attack at a local concert. Yes, the novel is relevant for the crazy world we live in with all the terrorist attacking people. This time I got an inside look for someone who had to survive and relive the attack after it happened. From the first chapter, I am introduced to the Ballard family who left France while being prosecuted for their faith. The past is the clue to the treasure hunt in the present.
There were moments that made me question the plot. First, Patrick is so important to Jessica, but I found out that he was not really there after the attack. He appeared to be there, but only in Jessica's imagination. The rest of the story focused on finding out if Adeline Ballard is still alive. Her letters, which were found in a sewing box at a flea shop, left a lot to be desired. While Jessica and Grant, who I suppose is the hero of the novel, run across France and England trying to solve the mystery, the ending left much to be desired. I wasn't happy with where the novel ended up.
As for the forced romance between Grant and Jessica, it didn't seem realistic enough for me. Even Jessica denied they were in a relationship for the most of the novel. Grant had feelings toward Jessica, but Grant's sister kept trying to make it more than it was. I think the romance shouldn't be in the story. It didn't fit the type of story that Phoenix was going for.
Overall, The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix left a lot to be desired for the type of story she was trying to write. The characters were lackluster and really not defined enough for me. As for the plot, it had a wonderful premise, I believe Phoenix really didn't deliver what she promised to the reader. I don't recommend this book.
I received a complimentary copy of The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix from Thomas Nelson Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
My Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars