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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Flame of Resistance By Tracy Groot

Nazi occupation has stolen much from Brigitte Durand. Family. Freedom. Hope for a future. Forced to turn her home into Germans-only brothel to survive, Brigitte clings to patriotism by sneaking food to the French Resistance and the downed airmen they are hiding nearby.

When American fighter pilot Tom Jaeger is shot down and picked up by the Resistance, he becomes the linchpin in their plan to leverage Brigitte's sympathy. By posing as a German officer, Tom can smuggle out critical intel she acquires from other soldiers about the nearby bridges, whose capture and defense will be crucial to Allied forces.

D-Day looms, and everyone know invasion is imminent. But so is treachery. When loyalties are betrayed, the life of one American pilot jeopardizes everything. He becomes more important than the mission to a man who cannot bear to lose another agent...and to a woman who is more than just a prostitute, who finally realizes her courage could change history.

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot was an interesting novel, filled with betrayal, love, and sacrifice. The plot line was excellently written and intricately woven with mystery, suspense, and unexpected curve balls. The last few chapters were incredible. I was just blown away by the twists and turns at a point where the conclusion seemed obvious and heart wrenching. Of course, the conclusion was still heart wrenching, but it was much better than what I imagined it to be. However, there were several points in the story that seemed impossible and unrealistic. For example, the spies for the Resistance were horribly unprepared and trained for their missions. While I understand that part of the reason was because their leader was falling apart, it still seemed unbelievable considering how secretive and well organized their resistance group was. Overall though the plot was very interesting, and I read the book without stopping in one afternoon.

The characters were not as well developed as the plot. Tom was a fairly static character, which was disappointing considering his importance to the storyline. I would have preferred if he had experienced more growth during the story. Brigitte was an interesting character. While I understand that she felt a brothel was the only way she could survive, I did not like the author's inference that it was OK for the character to continue in that lifestyle later on the book once Brigitte realized she was able to accomplish so much more than that. I also wish that Tom had given Brigitte stronger message than that God accepts all even the ''worst'' sinners. While this is true, it does not mean that one is supposed to continue in that lifestyle. A person is called to leave their sinful lifestyles when they come to God. I also disliked the fact that the characters worshiped and valued their country and patriotism more than God and doing what was right. While those things are certainly worth valuing, I just wish there had been a better balance shown in the story.

Despite these issues, there were a couple characters that did develop more throughout the novel. Michel Rousseau and Hauptmann Braun were my favorite characters. Michel was a very major character despite the fact that the story centered around Tom and Brigitte. He and Braun experienced the most growth and development as characters, and I enjoyed seeing and experiencing their thoughts and changing ideas. Braun was an incredible character, and I loved seeing his changes throughout the story.

Flame of Resistance was a good story overall. The plot was fantastic, but some of the supposedly main characters experienced little to no growth which took away from the story. The themes of the novel could have been developed more, and I disagreed with the way some of the values were esteemed in the story. However, the novel was still an excellent read; I would just recommend that you be prepared for some violence and other improprieties that come along with a brothel.

I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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