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. 

About the Author Sharon Wilharm

Christian women’s speaker, Sharon Wilharm, is a ministry leader, podcast host, and female filmmaker whose stories have impacted audiences around the globe. An accomplished storyteller, Sharon draws the audience in with humor, engages them with stories, then ties everything together to bring to light spiritual truths. Her heart’s desire is to encourage women in their walk with the Lord, showing them how to find God’s will for their life through prayer and scripture. “God is the Master Storyteller,” says Sharon. “I love helping women see how God is always at work behind the scenes laying the foundation for the glorious future He has in store for us.” Sharon is a firm believer in the power of prayer and has many stories to share of God working in miraculous ways in her own life as well as those around her. She’s passionate about teaching women how to pray and loves engaging with women in personal prayer. Wherever she goes, she finds herself surrounded by women in need of prayer, and she considers it an honor to pray with women whether they’re friends, family, or complete strangers. Sharon has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with women of the Bible and loves applying the biblical stories to modern situations. She teaches a Women Through the Bible study at her church, applying the S.O.A.P. method of scripture study. She especially enjoys delving into lesser known women and discovering encouraging truths for women of today. She recently launched a new podcast where she works her way through the Bible sharing the stories of All God’s Women.

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