Book Review: Out of the Ashes by Tracie Peterson & Kimberly Woodhouse

book review out of ashes tracie peterson

The synopsis on the back of the book:

After the death of their father, Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier are no longer tied to post-war France. While his sister dreams of adventure, Jean-Michel is hoping to finally escape reminders of the horrors he faced in the war. When Jean-Michel receives an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel, it seems an opportunity for a change he needs. Katherine Demarchis is a young widow who does not grieve the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Now she just wants to retreat to a quiet life, content to be alone. First, though, she's agreed to accompany her grandmother on a final trip but never expects to see a man from her past. Katherine and Jean-Michel once shared a deep love that was torn apart by forces beyond their control. Reunited now, have the years changed them too deeply to rediscover what they had? And when Jean-Michel's nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will faith be enough to heal what's been broken for so long?

  • Genre: Christian Historical Fiction
  • Published: 01/2018
  • Pages: 323
  • Goodreads rating: 4.22 stars
book review out of the ashes tracie peterson
But what if your heart is shattered into a million pieces? Katherine Pushed. Grandmother’s smile had warmed her heart. “That’s when God can do His very best work. That’s when He can remold your heart to be exactly as he would have it be. Filled with love for him.
— Katherine and Maria Harrison

Why I Chose This Book

I chose this book because I love Tracie's books. She is one of my favorite Christian authors. She has a way of relaying the message of God in a unique and beautiful way. 

First Initial Thoughts

At the beginning, Katherine is left a widow by a man named Randall Demarchis. Randall was a despicable man. He would emotionally and physically abuse her. He just used her for his appearance in the Senate seat. My heart ached for Katherine because she was absolutely traumatized after her 3 years of abuse. Katherine once loved Jean-Michael but her parents forbade their union. 

Jean-Michael just came back from the Great War in Syria. He experienced horrors that no one can begin to imagine. He would suffer from night terrors and episodes. I just wanted to give him a big hug because he needed one! Collette his sister was ready for adventure. Though hesitant at first reluctantly agrees to go. 

I absolutely loved Maria Harrison, Katherine's grandmother. She was hilarious and I loved that she was adventurous at her old age. When she sent the letter and money to Jean-Michael to join them in Alaska, I just couldn't help to smile with happiness! 

The Curry hotel sounded luxurious when Tracie described it in the novel. It just sounded like one of those mountain resorts you see in magazines! Also to see Alaska in the 20s must of been exciting to say the least. It was even more deselat and wild! 

Setting

Tracie did an amazing job recreating Alaska and what it would be like in the early 20th century in a land that is still considered the last frontier. Curry hotel was an actual place and operated from 1922 to 1957. In 57' it was completely destroyed by fire. 

Here is a picture: 

  Image curtesy of Alaskarails.org

Image curtesy of Alaskarails.org

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
— Romans 15:13

Final Thoughts

I really appreciated Tracie and Kimberly for pointing out the real struggles of suffering from PTSD. She did an amazing job in making the reader understand how soldiers suffer after they come home. Same with Katherine, with her recovering from 3 years of abuse. That is also a traumatic experience. 

What I also liked is that it wasn't a love story per se. Katherine and Jean-Marc already loved each other. The story was about learning to trust and love again after a traumatic experience. I also appreciated that even at the end of the story, though it was happy, they were not completely 100% healed from their past. Which is true for most people suffering from PTSD. 

Collette, even though a minor character in the story, I think grew the most. She was sheltered most of her life. She grew to understand her brother better and his condition. She learned how to help him heal with the word of God. She learned about the Bible and truly started to understand what it meant to be close to God. 

The hotel staff was just absolutely lovely and I loved their little side story as well. I think that even though Cassidy and Allen were minor characters in the story they were their put for a reason. They helped Katherine and Jean-Michael realize that there is true love out there. And to not be afraid to reach out for it. 

This story was a reminder that even if you experience the most horrific of scenes, know that God is always with you. He loves you and is there ready to help you heal. But also remember, that it's ok to ask for help. Because you can't do it alone. 

Would I recommend? 

Oh yes! It's a great book to read on an afternoon weekend. However, if you are sensitive to mental illness subject matter, you might want to proceed with caution. 

 

I hope you enjoyed the review and decide to read the book! 

You can purchase the book ---> HERE

Thanks for stopping by and until next time! 

the caffeinated bibliophile

**Note: I was given this book by Bethany House Publishing Company to review. All opinions are my own.