Fragments of Light by Michèle Phoenix
June 6, 1944. Paratrooper Callum McElway jumps into Normandy on D-day but ends up tangled in a tree. A young French girl cuts Cal down, tends his wounds, and brings him into the castle where the villagers are hiding in case the Germans return. All Cal wants is to complete his mission and return to his wife and the baby daughter he’s never met. But then the Germans return…
In modern times, Ceelie Donovan has finally finished her chemo for breast cancer and is looking forward to getting back to normal life with her husband, Nate. Then Nate leaves her. And cancer returns for her best friend, the delightfully eccentric Darlene Egerton. All her life Darlene has borne the burden of anger seething beneath her perky façade – anger at the father who returned from World War II and immediately abandoned Darlene and her mother. Ceelie sets out to solve the mystery in the hopes of finding peace for Darlene and even for herself.
Fragments of Light by Michèle Phoenix is a story of pain, abandonment, and guilt – but also of hope and light. The historical research is well done, the modern-day exploration of Normandy highlights the D-day tourist sites, and Cal’s dilemmas echo the stories of far too many veterans. With beauty and depth, the writing brings Ceelie’s emotions to life and shows the importance of making the difficult decision to choose forgiveness over resentment. A lovely story that will stay with you. Highly recommended.