Elizabeth Musser is quickly working her way onto my favorite authors list. This final part of the Secrets of the Cross Trilogy brought mixed emotions- anticipation to finally read the rest of the story and disappointment to turn the final page. Originally published in French, Secrets of the Cross is being republished in English to a brand new audience of readers.
Two Destinies brings us once again to Montpellier, France and Algiers, Algeria. This time the year is 1994, and Ophelie Duchemin and her half brother Eric Hoffman are young adults navigating the realities of the growing Islamic/Christian culture clash in southern France. As Ophelie is drawn to helping the homeless, Eric falls in love with Rislene, an Algerian Christian convert. When Rislene’s sister discovers the Bible under her mattress, their father sends both girls back to Algeria to live with their grandmother while a suitable Islamic husband can be found for Rislene.
Get up right now and get this book- or the entire series! Discover the fascinating world of North African culture during a time of struggle for independence from France and the ensuing battle for Islamic control.
In this second book of the Secrets of the Cross trilogy, the story of the Algerian war for independence from France continues. David travels to Algeria to rescue his friends and discovers his estranged father has been kidnapped as well. The orphanage in France struggles for survival in the midst of controversy and threats. Gabriella struggles with confidence as she contemplates taking on the running of the orphanage with Mother Griolet’s failing health. A young Arab boy is sent to the orphanage as a spy with orders to kill one of the children as well as Gabriella and David, but in the face of so much love and care, he has a change of heart.
Two Testaments is not at all a disappointment as a sequel. I read far into the night, way past my bedtime, as the pages seemed to turn of their own volition. In addition to learning about a segment of history that I knew little about, I also found it interesting to read about life at the beginning of the Arab domination of North Africa.
I am eagerly awaiting book three of the Secrets of the Cross trilogy as Elizabeth Musser brings the story into the present day! If you are a historical fiction fan, you should definitely put this series on your short list!
Historical Fiction at its finest! Gabriella is the daughter of American missionaries to Senegal. Mother Griolet is the head of the French-American exchange program at the boarding school in the south of France. David Hoffmann is the very handsome American professor of French Literature. Gabriella finds herself an innocent participator in a world she never imagined. A Huegenot cross necklace she received from her mother becomes a link to the past and also puts her in danger from those who believe she is part of an underground spy organization.
Algerian innocents and Europeans living in Algeria are caught between the FLN, the Arab socialist political party seeking independence from France, and the OAS, the French nationalist organization working to prevent Algeria’s independence. Hugo is the mysterious head of the underground resistance, but who is he? From secret messages hidden in loaves of bread to orphans smuggled out of Algeria on sail boats, the suspense keeps you turning the pages.
I LOVE historical fiction, and this series is not only captivating but also very well-written. I would put Elizabeth Musser right up there with the Thoenes, and that is high praise indeed! In addition to crafting a masterful story, the author has chosen a fascinating, yet little known, historical event as a setting. Two Crosses is the first book of Elizabeth Musser’s Secrets of the Cross trilogy. Be on the lookout for my review of Two Testaments coming soon!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher and was not required to write a positive review.