Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chapel in the Woods by Susan Louineau Provides Intriguing Historical Romantic Suspense!


"There was a car,. It came round the corner so
fast," she tried to control her voice which
had begun to tremble. "It was in the middle
of the road, I had to swerve..."
"Where do you live?"
We're moving in to the Champ de Foire in
rue Montgommery...
...
In the heart of every French village, town and city is a memorial to the fallen. This one was weathered, but nevertheless it stood tall and proud; a totem to the past, a talisman to ward off the eroding power of time. Diane was admiring it as she approached the bend in her battered 4-wheel drive...
Diane gasped as a roar and a blur of red filled the road ahead. She omjerked the wheel sending the car hurtling towards the side of the road. The blur sped past bleeding crimson in its wake.
Even seconds afterwards she couldn't remember the impact. There was a throbbing pain in her head. The engine was hissing and steam billowed. As it cleared, shed could make out a man standing next to the bonnet. In his armsBen was sobbing violently. She tried to move but found she couldn't. It was as if her brain no longer controlled her body. She began to panic as she watched her baby son crying in the arms of a stranger and she, his mother, was powerless to save him...She watched uselessly as the stranger shuffled Ben onto one hip and leant over the passenger seat. His free arm came towards her and clamped around her waist, pulling her from the car as if she was made of paper...
Diane looked over at her car, its front bumper was smashed in. It was wedged onto the stone pedestal with its two front wheels
lifted off the ground. Beneath it, a pool of water ran in steaming rivulets on the surface of the duty road.
Following her eyes Marcel interjected. "You're not the first to crash into it. Stupid place to put it. Anyhow it's the mayor's responsibility...In more ways that you can... imagine!"


The Chapel in the Woods
By Susan Louineau

What a wonderful imaginative story that brings three women from three time periods into a historical romantic suspense that is both memorable and enchanting...almost supernatural...
The book begins in the present with Diane and her husband buying a home in the country. She is the one who pushed for it since he was a fireman who was away from home, especially during the time of war. She was totally satisfied with her new home and hopedher husband would adjust to it since he liked living in the city...That was not to happen though... especially when an old girlfriend followed them to the area and now lived in a nearby town...


Helene Godard - 24. Nurse. Training: Couvent de Sainte Marie, rue d'Alabastre, Paris's  Come to work for the doctor in Jaunay. Codename: Francine. She ran it through in her head, just as she had done for the previous weeks...
In just twenty seconds Helene Godard would be born...The dispatcher nodded at her as he pulled open the trap door...Then the tap on the shoulder, and GO!
She hadn't wanted to upset her parents either, but she had to do something and joining the FANYs was the only thing she could do. How could she allow her nursing training to go to waste when it was acutely needed...
...She was the first agent to be sent into occupied territory in such a permanent capacity...

Helene was to work with a local doctor and all arrangements had been made. Only thing was she had no idea who knew who she really was. Her contact, of course, did and had worked with her to get established but he was later killed and knew nobody else to help her until... she met a certain farmer who was the son of one of her patients...
 
The doctor and housekeeper were hospitable and the doctor took her immediately on his rounds, assigning the ones she would be doing from then on. She bicycled to each of those placed on a daily basis and things were beginning to settle in, except she hadn't found a place to hid her radio, until finally she located the perfect hiding place--with a little help with her saw... 
Retrieving the mini saw issued to her in London she set about sawing through the two other plants in the base of the cupboard, whilst singing an Edith Piaf song to cover the racket as best she could. She removed the planks just as she reached the end of all nine verses. Downstairs she heard the front door clatter open. Madame Clement must have arrived...                                                                            ~~~

"It is the wrath of the almighty that I must suffer now,
on my route to purgatory. This is where I must go to
pay for my sins. Cowardice and self-interest have
driven me since the day of my birth; the day I took my
mother's life from her. By the grace of God I was
offered unto Him, and now I have disgraced his name,
in shunning Him and following my own selfish needs...
The pain in his head reassured him that he had not
yet met his maker...
"Touch me. Swallow me. End this miserable servitude.
I beg you." He lay waiting for a response, but none
came...
~~~
But it is Clothilde who I would describe as the person who started the story.  She and Edward...
You might call Edward a "Monk of the Run..." He had left the monastery where he had lived and fled after some tragedy, although what that was never came out.  He had arrived in an area under the rule of the
Montgommery's... But was so involved in
his prayers that he appeared ill...
Clothilde found him and whispered that he
could not stay where he was, that there were
always soldiers riding through...
After they had talked a little, she led Edward to a sort of cave that she had found long ago but had kept a secret...
There she nursed him back to good health...but it was through his instructions to her that she was able to nurse him. Edward had apprenticed and learned much about healing, but didn't feel he was that good to help others--now he was helping himself... And soon he was helping others in the village by curing Clothilde's mother first... Thereafter they both starting collecting plants from the woods and Andrew started writing down as much as he remembered. Everything was going well until the Seigneur, the lord of the manor, became very ill... He wanted Clothilde to come to their home and nurse him. She had no choice and from describing what was wrong, Edward was able to send medicines with her... But the Seigneur had not followed all the instructions about his eating and drinking...
He died and Clothilde was accused and put in prison!
Three scenarios, but before the end of the book, those three times would have been crossed with each other in quite remarkable ways... 
So what do we get? Romance, betrayal, secret agents, murder, romance, war, nursing and healing, medical training/teaching, discovering and solving a long-term secret, baking and catering and a final romance. Now see if you can match up what each of the women were involved with! LOL... Actually, the key thing that connects them is their locations in France and their being near the chapel in the woods. The only hint--the chapel did not exist before these three women lived...
I think I'd call this historical romantic suspense--it's the closest I'd think of to cover the variety of material. Got to say I was intrigued all the way through and there wasn't a clue that would help you project the climatic ending...yet you will love, Just Like I Did!

Highly recommended!
GABixlerReviews

Susan Louineau was born in 1966 in Bombay, India to a linguist father and a school teacher mother. She holds a first Class BA (Hons) in French and English Language from La Nouvelle Sorbonne and the Open University.Susan's international background and the strong influence of her father's language skills drew her to travelling. As a child she was struck by the exoticism of French food and culture and has remained smitten ever since.
Susan has been writing stories since she read 'Brer Rabbit', her first ever story, at the age of 4. 'It has just always been a part of me; almost an addiction!