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|Format: DRM Free ePub|
Vendor: David C. Cook
Publication Date: 2012
Availability: In Stock
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The Hugo mission begins in Two Crosses, where a nun, an Algerian harki, an atheist teacher, and a Protestant exchange student, unknowingly at first work together to rescue pied-noir and harki children from a revengeful man in Algeria, with the symbol of the Huguenot cross leading the way. Mother Griolet, the nun who operates a French exchange school in Castelnau as well as an orphanage, is not new to keeping information secret and housing children displaced by war. But when Gabriella Madison arrives as a student, Mother Griolet becomes unsure of what God has in store as she remembers another young woman with a painful past. As Gabriella grows closer to the young and handsome teacher David Hoffman, Mother Griolet's suspicions of the man lead her to feel protective of Gabriella.
After David rescues a small girl named Ophelie Duchemin off the streets of Paris following a riot, Mother Griolet feels a little better about David, but Gabriella is pulled even deeper into danger as she travels to random towns with David and gets to know Ophelie because of the Huguenot cross necklace they both wear. As both David and Gabriella fight with the idea of forgiveness in regard to their pasts, Gabriella tries to hold onto Jesus' promise that, "I am the vine; you are the branches" (John 15:5), but several "accidents" occur and lead to life-or-death situations, threatening the success of the Hugo mission and bringing about an understanding that saves more than one life.
However, as seen in Two Testaments, even with the Hugo mission being mostly successful, the cease-fire and call for independence in Algeria leave thousands of pied-noir and harki families without a place to call home. The French do not want them to steal jobs and space, and those loyal to Algeria see them as traitors and foreigners. When David decides to continue his work in Algeria in order to rescue Anne-Marie Duchemin, a past lover and Ophelie's mother, Gabriella starts to wonder if he will realize he still loves Anne-Marie and forget about his new love for her.
After a couple of deadly weeks in Algeria, David is finally able to get Anne-Marie to a ferry that will take her to France, but when no harkis are allowed on the ferries, David once again prolongs his stay in Algeria in order to save Anne-Marie's friend Moustafa and his family. Luckily, Anne-Marie is not alone on the long journey, for she meets an old friend who holds her father's last testament, which could reveal that nothing is left after the war or change her and Ophelie's lives forever. When Gabriella is left to take care of the children from the St. Joseph orphanage and protect Anne-Marie and Ophelie from an unforeseen threat, she must have faith that God will protect them and see her through all that lies ahead.
Throughout these two books, Musser's style remains consistent, pulling readers along as she introduces them to complex, relatable characters and takes them through the beautiful streets of France and the terrifying alleys of Algeria. Through the use of strong dialogue and the characters' inner thoughts, Musser is not only able to tell an amazing story about courage, love, and forgiveness, but she also informs readers about a piece of history they may not know or remember, showing that minorities, no matter where they are, should not be taken for granted.
I am so glad that the first two books came out together, because it would not have been fun impatiently waiting for the second book to come out months later. With that said, I most certainly recommend reading Elizabeth Musser's Two Crosses and Two Testaments. - Nicole E. Dynes, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
Deana5 Stars Out Of 5Wonderful Story of an Historic WarAugust 30, 2016DeanaQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I have become a huge fan of Elizabeth Musser. She takes a story and captures the time period with such ease. This book was so intriguing I couldn't put it down. I loved the description of France and felt like I had been swept away to witness the story of Gabriella and David. There is more to the book than just a blossoming relationship as the story also takes us to a scene where a war is raging on. It's the heart of the book and brings intrigue and hidden secrets that will change people's lives.
Gabrielle is a smart young woman with fiery red hair and blue eyes that sparkle in the sun. . She wears a cross around her neck that is very special to her. I loved the intricate description of the cross and could picture it as it hung gracefully around Gabriella's neck. She has come to France in 1961 to further her studies. I loved the beautiful countryside where she stayed and the history of the Algerian war. I am not familiar with this war at all, but with the details that the author wrote , I have become very fascinated by this time period. I could hear the sounds of war as people screamed . The author did an excellent job of vividly bringing the war to life with her descriptions. Will anyone be able to survive the horrors of the war?
The secrets, deceit, intense drama and overall powerful story had me glued to the book. I found David to be quite a charmer. He is one of Gabriella's teachers and is drawn to her from the start . Can David be trusted? It was interesting to read the interactions between the two as Gabriella shared her faith with David. As an unbeliever, he really struggled to believe there was such a God who forgives and loves unconditionally.
When Gabriella learns a secret about her mother, will she turn away from those she trusts? Can she forgive those who kept the secret from her for so long? The story is intense at times and there are times I found myself gasp out loud. What is the connection to the nun who Gabriella is staying with and David? I loved how we see Gabriella praying and relying on her faith when she sees danger closing in on her. The book is very well written and l loved the reading about the orphans. Are they being hidden from someone? I am so glad to know that there are more books that continue the journey of David and Gabriella. Will David be able to find who he is looking for? Can he accept someone he didn't know existed and be able to forgive what happened in his past?
Forgiveness is not just for the offender. You're a victim , and until you forgive , you will always be a victim, locked in your hurt and bitterness. Forgiveness frees."
I received a copy of this book from The BookClub Network for an honest review.
CaroljoFarmington, MOAge: Over 65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5France and Algeria in the 1960sAugust 28, 2016CaroljoFarmington, MOAge: Over 65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Two Crosses started out being difficult for me to keep everything straight. This may have been because I knew nothing about the 1960s Algerian war for independence from France. Once I had the characters straight in my mind, it was an intriguing story that I didn't want to put down! Two Crosses is the first book in the Secrets of the Cross Trilogy and I will certainly be looking for the next books! I would recommend Elizabeth Musser's book to anyone who wants a more intense story and is not afraid to read of some of the horrors of war time. I received my copy of Two Crosses from www.bookfun.org in exchange for my honest opinion.
KGD history teacher5 Stars Out Of 5A Unique Historical FictionAugust 12, 2016KGD history teacherQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Never having read anything about the war for independence in Algeria, as a student of history, I was intrigued. Couple that with the fact that it was written by Elizabeth Musser, I was very interested in reading this book. The story takes place both in the village of Castelnau, France and in Algeria in 1961. The main character, Gabriella Madison, is the American daughter of missionaries to Senegal. Her parents have sent her to study in France to a town and a nun who, Gabriella will later discover, have connections to her family. She is bright, full of life, loves the Lord, and very nave. One of her professors, a young American with a seemingly other agenda than teaching, seems to take an instant liking to Gabriella. Soon, he is offering friendship and tours of the French countryside. Unwittingly, Gabriella is becoming embroiled in a dangerous scheme involving Algerian refugees and the orphanage that is housed at the University she attends.
The other plot which intertwines with Gabriella and David involves the child, Ophelie and her mother, Anne-Marie. Early in the story, Ophelie is separated from her mother who is kidnapped and taken to Algeria. Ophelie is miraculously rescued and ends up at the orphanage where she hides important letters from her mother until she can learn to read them. The story moves back and forth from Algeria to France. Most of the characters lives are in danger from the evil Ali who is out for revenge. Mother Griolet, the head of the university and orphanage, seems to rise above and offer words of spiritual insight to all. But, she too has her secrets.
This book has much to offer. The topic of the Algerian war for independence has, as far as I know, never been addressed in Christian Historical Fiction. It is worth reading for that alone. But it has other themes as well. David is a child of the Holocaust. He has never learned to forgive or trust God. Gabriella must learn to face truths about her past and trust God with them.
While the book jumps back and forth from France to Algeria, I did not find this confusing. Students of French will enjoy the inclusion of many French expressions. If you have read some of Elizabeth Mussers other novels, this will not disappoint. Since this is part of a trilogy, readers will probably want to continue the story in the two succeeding novels. I had to order them right away.
I received this from The Book Club Network in exchange for my honest opinion.
B MaceAlexandria, MNAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Hard to put down!August 1, 2016B MaceAlexandria, MNAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5The Algerians are fighting for their independence from France. It's 1961 and young Gabriella travels from Senegal to continue her studies in a small French village. Take this lovely, naive redhead, an old nun who runs the school and an orphanage, a story, long hidden, that seems destined to come to light, a symbol of the Huguenots - a cross, an American professor and 'pain de seigle' - put them all together with any other unlikely players and you have a book you won't put down until you are finished!
Enjoy this well written story that makes you consider whether you would forgive if this happens to you. Is your faith strong enough to see you through?
I received this paperback book from the Bookclub Network in return for my honest review.
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5AmazingSeptember 12, 2015KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Astonishingly good. Musser knows how to cast a spell that will hold her readers captive until the very last page...at which point there will wailing and gnashing of teeth because this is the first book in the Secrets of the Cross trilogy and while there is some resolution there's still a cliffhanger ending.
Truly compelling. Characters, plot, intrigue and especially the moving testimony of forgiveness that is expertly woven throughout. God touches lives in this novel in unexpected ways. Gabriella, so solid and resolute in her faith struggles for answers to questions she never thought she'd have to ask. And the wisdom and strength of Mother Griolet is inspiring. A mesmerizing read that held me spellbound.