Wolfsangel, is not the type of novel I would be drawn to in a bookshop. I've always avoided stories of war, even those which describe the ability of the human spirit to survive. Perhaps it was that I was born in the midst of the Vietnam War to very "counter-culture" parents and I just got sick about hearing of war. Nevertheless, Wolfangel had me riveted.
The protagonist, Celeste Roussel, still cannot get over her guilt for the events of the past seven years since the German occupation. Celeste is torn between her blossoming love for a young German officer stationed in her town and her patriotic duty to fight with the French Resistance. As tensions in the town mount, Celeste's choices lead her deeper into a dangerous game of deception with life or death consequences.
Perrat has a wonderful way with character development; they are so real, so human. The reader feels their anguish, anxiety and their frustration with a world not only occupied but dominated by men. Perrat allows her characters to make mistakes, to fall and often to rise again demonstrating once again the resilience of the human spirit. Honestly, I think I needed to be reminded of that and I appreciate Wolfsangel for reminding me that it isn't the horror of war one should remember but the beauty that the oppressed created in the midst of it.
Wolfsangel is a wonderful work of historical fiction, capturing all the elements that make it a truly exceptional novel. Rich and interesting, but human characters, wonderful detail of the setting, all wrapped in a factual historical framework. I would recommend this book without hesitation to all readers; it is truly as near perfect as it gets.