I’ve always enjoyed reading books from the early 1900’s, but Out of the Ashes is the first contemporary novel I’ve read that takes place in the 1920’s. Authors Tracie Peterson and Kimberly Woodhouse engage readers on a journey from post-war France to New York to Alaska as we follow along with a host of characters.
Out of the Ashes includes multiple storylines all interconnected (except one random storyline which seemed tacked on), but the primary story is the romance of Jean-Michel Langelier and Katherine Demarchis. They’re each dealing with hurts from their past that make it difficult for them to love again. Then God reveals to them hope that comes “our of the ashes”.
I’m very critical of modern attempts at period fiction, but the authors obviously did their research and appropriately captured the time period. I appreciated the note at the end of the book sharing their historical research and pointing out the people and places that actually existed. I loved the description of the cross country trip that Katherine and her grandmother took to get to Alaska. I recognized many of the locations they stopped at including Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
The story hit hard with the influenza storyline. As I read about the epidemic spreading and killing people, I couldn’t help but compare it with the current flu scare still spreading and killing individuals.
Out of Ashes is a beautiful, redemptive story that brings to life the 1920’s. If you’ve ever considered traveling to Alaska, this story will certainly draw you there. I’ve never had an interest in Alaska, but after reading Out of the Ashes, it made me want to pack up and visit the town of Curry.
Note: Although this is the second book in a series, I was able to fully enjoy this book even though I haven’t read the previous book in the series.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from Bethany House in exchange for an honest review. Opinions expressed are my own.