Review copy provided by author
Self-published, May 2012
Synopsis- Her mother executed for witchcraft, her father dead at the hand of a noble, Victoire Charpentier vows to rise above her poor peasant roots.
Forced to leave her village of Lucie-sur-Vionne for domestic work in Paris, Victoire suffers gruesome abuse under the ancien régime. Can she muster the bravery and skill to join the revolutionary force gripping France, and overthrow the corrupt, diabolical aristocracy?
Spirit of Lost Angels traces the journey of a bone angel talisman passed down through generations. The women of L’Auberge des Anges face tragedy and betrayal in a world where their gift can be their curse.
Amidst the tumult of revolutionary France, this is a story of courage, hope and love.
Review- Liza Perrat is an Australian author residing in France who has debuted with her historical fiction novel, Spirit of Lost Angels. Its set in the 1700’s during the French Revolution.
The protagonist, Victoire Charpentie is a peasant girl from Lucie-sur-Vionne in France who has a traumatic childhood- losing both of her parents. Over the course of her life she faces many more challenges yet she is a resilient and determined young woman.
As a young girl she dreamed of marrying her best friend Leon but she was sent away as a teenager to a noble family to work as a scullery maid. Here she was molested by a Marquis and falls pregnant. She has no choice but to abandon her child and reluctantly returns to Lucie-sur-Vionne to be wedded to a kind, widowed man who also happens to be Leon’s father. She must set aside her feelings for Leon and be a dutiful wife, raising young and living at least a couple of years contently. However, this stability is interrupted when her husband falls ill and during a very deep well of grief tragedy strikes and Victoire’s life is never to be the same again.
The time Victoire spent in an asylum was particularly interesting, albeit disturbing. As I work in the mental health field, I am both fascinated and sickened by the methods of treatment and oppression of women utilized in earlier times.
Perrat throws many obstacles in Victoire’s path of survival, but there are certainly times when Victoire is allowed to grow and rise above the adversity. She discovers a different side to her sexuality when she befriends the seductive Jean in the prison asylum and upon re-entering society Victoire takes on the persona of a lady of higher status and becomes involved in the politics that surrounded the French Revolution.
Spirit of Lost Angels is an epic historical saga spanning over several decades of the protagonist’s life. It is both exhausting and moving as Victoire’s life unfolds and it was encouraging how resilient and courageous she was to overcome the hard times in her life. A fantastic historical fiction debut by an Australian author living abroad.
“I really liked this”
Spirit of Lost Angels can be purchased from Amazon
About the author: Liza grew up in Wollongong, Australia, where she worked as a general nurse and midwife for fifteen years.
When she met her French husband on a Bangkok bus, she moved to France, where she has been living with her husband and three children for twenty years. She works part-time as a French-English medical translator.
Since completing a Creative Writing course ten years ago, several of her short stories have won awards, notably the Writers Bureau annual competition of 2004 and her stories have been published widely in anthologies and small press magazines. Her articles on French culture and tradition have been published in international magazines such as France Magazine and France Today.
She has completed four novels and one short-story collection, and is represented by Judith Murdoch of the Judith Murdoch Literary Agency.
Spirit of Lost Angels is the first in a historical series set against a backdrop of rural France.
This book was read as part of the AWW2012 challenge: