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The day after the Paris attacks, a time of terrorist attacks wounding hundreds of innocent people, Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital bed. She felt perfectly normal until the memories of the horror she survived return. Now she wants to leave France and go home, but her friend Patrick has been by her side the entire time and asks her to reconsider leaving so they can follow through with the trip they had planned before the tragedy.
Reluctantly she agrees and while on the trip they stop at a country flea market where Jessica finds an old document hidden in an antique sewing box. With the help of some new friends, she translates the French and uncovers a manuscript about Adeline Baillard, a young woman who lost many people from her community during the Huguenot persecution, a time when Louis XIV forced Protestants to convert to Catholicism.
Now Jessica is wants to learn more about this young woman and how she relates to her three hundred years later.
Number of Pages: 336
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
|Publication Date: 2017|
"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 hasnt left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence, she reluctantly agrees to follow through with the trip theyd planned before the tragedy.
"The pages found you," Patrick whispered.
"Now you need to figure out what theyre 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 beforeher 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 familys fate, Jessica retraces their flight from France to England, spurred on by a need she doesnt understand.
Could this stranger who lived three hundred years before hold the key to Jessicas survival?
Born in France to a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle Phoenix is a consultant, writer and speaker with a heart for Third Culture Kids. She taught for 20 years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own advocacy venture under Global Outreach Mission. Michèle travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievous students, Marvel movies and paths to healing. Learn more at michelephoenix.com Twitter: @frenchphoenix
'Michele Phoenix beautifully entwines the lives of Jessica, a survivor of the 2015 Paris terror attacks, and Adeline, a victim of Protestant persecution in 17th-century France.'
'This amazing book will leave readers with a renewed appreciation for simple pleasures. The dual storylines will keep them glued to the pages.'
'Several scenes in The Space Between Words will leave readers without words, the ability of speech replaced by the need to absorb all the feels. Humor and warmth mingle with gut punches of emotion and stunning revelations. The link between past and present is woven seamlessly into the fabric of the story, connected by a sewing box that soon becomes the center of a deeply poignant tale.'
Angela BycroftOwhango, New ZealandAge: 25-34Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5A Moving and Timely TaleFebruary 10, 2018Angela BycroftOwhango, New ZealandAge: 25-34Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 3The Space Between Words was a very different book - not easy to classify as simply contemporary or suspense or romance. Its much more than that - with a setting ripped from the latest world headlines and a main character as flawed and believable as you could want.
Jessica is caught up in a Paris terrorist attach on a night club and although badly wounded she survives. Initially determined to return to her home and loved ones in the States - she is persuaded to remain in France and continue the road trip she and her best friend and room mate Patrick had planned.
Travelling into the rural back blocks of France - she meets a couple who provide not only accomodation but also the emotional support she desperately needs. While there she also discovers a antique sewing box which contains pages from a diary of a young woman who lived trough religious persecution centuries before her.
The two stories weave together to bring both healing and closure to Jessica as she grapples with her own struggles and survivors guilt.
Space Between Words is a book that once it has you - wont easily let you go. With many misdirects and unexpected plot twists, I was both moved and educated on the comparison of the modern face of terrorism and past persecutions which were just as terrorising.
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher as part of the Thomas Nelson/ Zondervan Fiction Guild. I was not required to post a positive review and the views and opinions expressed are my own.
Yvette K.5 Stars Out Of 5Powerful and Compelling novelJanuary 7, 2018Yvette K.Quality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I expect two things from a Michele Phoenix book, though granted this is based on having only read last year's Of Stillness and Storm, gorgeous prose and a compelling story. The Space Between Words has both in spades.
Having survived a terror attack in a Paris club, American tourists Jessica and Patrick make their way to a B&B in the country. As the narrator, we see this through Jessica's eyes as they go picking, what Patrick calls digging for gold, and find an antique sewing box that leads to a bit of a mystery.
With the assistance of the family that runs the B&B, Jessica works to understand the journal pages discovered in the box as well as discover the fate of Adeline Baillard and her family. It is through and because of the journal that Jessica learns about the persecution of the Huguenots in 17th century France and begins to identify her own ability to more than just survive with uncovering the survival of the Baillards.
This is a novel that engaged my heart as well as my intellect. Immersive, devastating, and ultimately hopeful, both the pursuit to find the ultimate fate of Adeline Baillard's family and Jessica's post trauma experiences all add up to what will, as with Phoenix's previous novel, likely be one of my most powerful reads this year.
This review refers to a finished copy I voluntarily received through Thomas Nelson and Zondervan's Fiction Guild. All opinions expressed are my own.
KavRCanadaGender: female5 Stars Out Of 5The kind of indefinable treasure meant to be savored not just during the read but for a long time afterwards.January 2, 2018KavRCanadaGender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I'm bordering on speechless as I grapple for words to explain the impact this book had on me. It's left me feeling raw and exposed, like my nerve endings are all on high alert and I can't quite settle the rapid beating of my heart. Because Jessica's journey is powerful and emotional and ultimately triumphant. It's full of unexpected twists. There was one startling moment when I gasped out loud and had to put the book down. What just happened? I read and reread until understanding seeped into my heart. And then I got goosebumps.
This is the kind of book that is impossible to describe. I can tell you it's about a 21st century woman who goes on a quest to discover what happened to a persecuted Huguenot family centuries ago. I can tell you that in the process Jessica finds the missing pieces of herself. What I can't tell you is how exceptionally moving that story is. Phoenix is such a gifted storyteller. Sometimes the beauty in her words is almost unbearable. And the takeaways are astounding.
"God layers good over bad." (p 239)
"Though our lives have been dismantled by the cruelty of man, God in his faithfulness has scattered flecks of gold amid the debris of our loss." (p 123)
This is the kind of indefinable treasure meant to be savored not just during the read but for a long time afterwards.
Brittany_BnBblogAge: 25-34Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5The Space Between Words Michele Phoenix (4-4.5 Stars)November 28, 2017Brittany_BnBblogAge: 25-34Gender: FemaleQuality: 0Value: 0Meets Expectations: 0In The Space Between Words, Jessica finds herself in the midst of the Paris attacks. As an American in a Parisian hospital, she struggles to grasp the horror of her experience, even as the French medical professionals try to help her understand the situation. Her friend, Patrick, helps her to cope through the early days of her recovery as he encourages her to pursue their planned journey to the southern part of France for an antiquing trip. A chance encounter and an antique box of old documents soon set Jessica on a new journey. Translating the archaic French, Jessica discovers the story of the persecuted Huguenots and their faith-filled community. With the help of new-found friends, she pursues the Huguenot familys story from France to England, in the hope of discovering the reason for their hope in the face of suffering.
Weaving together the past and present, Ms. Phoenix offers a compelling tale of faith and courage. Her story goes beyond the terror of one day to explore what comes next in her characters lives.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Space Between Words. While I am not familiar with Ms. Phoenixs other works, I found this novel to be surprisingly accessible, with a good writing style and pacing that allows it to be easily read by a wide variety of readers. She also manages to create a depiction of both the Paris attacks and Huguenot persecution that are both horrific and minimally graphic. While I would be unlikely to hand this book to a relatively young reader, I didnt have to worry too much about having nightmares from it myself, which I much appreciated. The Huguenot/historical part of the story was absolutely fascinating, as was Jessicas journey to discover more about the family involved in the making of her antique box. With such a strong story of faith included in the historical components of the novel, the contemporary side of the plot felt much weaker in that regard. Particularly, I found the end to have needed a bit more development, even as I was very happy to see such an emphasis on Christian faith included in a novel published by Thomas Nelson (which has not been the case in some of their more recent releases).
Special thanks to The Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson for the promotional copy of The Space Between Words!
Brittany at the Books and Biscuits Blog
LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5Gripping ReadNovember 13, 2017LucyWVAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I wasnt sure what to expect when I started reading this but was soon caught up in a beautifully written story that can be hard to digest at points. I was intrigued by the history of the Huguenots and hung on every word that told Adelines story. Im almost at a loss for words in describing this novel, as it has such depth and layers, like peeling the layers of an onion. I love the phrase, the layering of light over darkness. This is a book you dont want to pass up and will not want to put down.
I received a complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction Guild. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.