Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Review - Out of the Ashes by Tracie Peterson, Kimberley Woodhouse

Book Synopsis
Can the Majesty of Alaska Foster Hope and Healing for Those Who Need it Most?

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 Great Syrian Revolt of 1925. When an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel arrives, it seems the perfect opportunity.

Young widow Katherine Demarchis is also traveling to the foot of Mt. Denali with her grandmother--a last trip before she retreats into a quiet and solitary life, finally free of the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Yet when she encounters there a Frenchman from her past, her plans for the future are thrown into question.

Both haunted by the violence of their pasts, can Katherine and Jean-Michel rediscover the bond they once had? Or, when Jean-Michel's nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will it be impossible to heal what's been broken for so long?

My Review
Out of the Ashes tells the story of Katherine Demarchis.  Katherine is a young widow who travels with her grandmother to the Curry Hotel in Alaska in 1926.  While they are at the hotel, she meets her lost love, Jean-Michel Langelier.  Katherine is cautious of men because of an abusive marriage.  Jean-Michel is recovering from fighting for France in the Great Syrian Revolt of 1925.  

Both Katherine and Jean-Michel are warm, sympathetic characters.  They both are vulnerable and trying to be stronger individually -- and they long to see if they can also be stronger together, with each other's support.

I loved the glimpse of Alaska in the 1920's and the workings of the Curry Hotel - with both guests and staff.  There was an upstairs-downstairs feel to the book that was very appealing.  I was curious and looked online.  The Curry was a real hotel that burned in 1957.

There were a number of other characters included in this story:  Katherine's grandmother;  Jean-Michel's flighty younger sister, Collette;  Cassidy and Allan Brennan, who work at the hotel and are expecting their first child;  Mrs. Johnson, chef at the hotel, and Cassidy's boss and friend.  This is the second book in The Heart of Alaska series.  It took me a few chapters to catch up with the large number of characters, but once I did, I enjoyed this novel as a standalone read.

Faith plays an important part in this story.  Both Katherine and Jean-Michel are exploring ways to deepen their faith, and this gives them a connection to each other as well.  

Out of the Ashes was a lovely, uplifting read.  I recommend it to fans of historical fiction and inspirational fiction.   I hope to read the other books in this series!

Author Bio
Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than 100 novels. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana. Learn more at

Kimberley Woodhouse ( is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than fifteen fiction and nonfiction books. A popular speaker and teacher, she's shared her theme of "Joy Through Trials" with more than half a million people across the country at more than 2,000 events. Kim and her incredible husband of twenty-five-plus years have two adult children. She's passionate about music and Bible study and loves the gift of story. You can connect with Kimberley on her website and at

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House.

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