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Book One, Secrets of the Cross Trilogy
by Elizabeth Musser
Publisher:David C Cook / Kingsway
‘When Gabriella Madison arrives in France in 1961 to continue her university studies, she doesn't anticipate being drawn into the secretive world behind the Algerian war for independence from France.’ Publisher
Gabriella is the daughter of American missionaries in Senegal, so arriving in France is quite a culture shock, but eased by staying and studying at St Joseph’s where the nun in charge of the Franco-American exchange programme in Castlenau, Mother Griolet, is a long time friend of Gabriella’s mother. Very soon Gabriella meets those who are going to be teaching her, among them the very attractive but aloof David Hoffmann.
That sets the scene, but very quickly we realise there is going to be horror, terror, hate and cruelty in this story, and I found it difficult to read at this stage, but as it continued I found it a real page turner. We are drawn into scenes in Algeria towards the end of the war of independence, but not the end of interfaction resentment and the urge for retribution. Children are at risk and it is saving as many as possible that occupies the good people in the story. Here we find strong faith, love and loyalty all surrounding the other main character the little Ophélie. A gripping story – and more to come.
Reviewer: Mary Bartholomew (20/09/12)