Reading The Bone Church has now cemented me as a Victoria Dougherty junkie! She writes a type of thriller I love, full of drama, intrigue, and historical stories of people who lived in occupied situations, both in WWII and in post-war situations all too soon forgotten in Eastern Europe. I’m very happy that learning about Victoria led me to her blog, Cold, and her beautiful posts, as well. I look forward to reading much more of her writing on her blog or elsewhere, as well as future novels.
So what did I think of The Bone Church? A brilliant, beautiful book in all its harrowing content, seeped in struggle and sacrifice. It’s haunting and absorbing in all the very best ways. Victoria’s writing is literary; she has immense talent and a gift for words and storytelling that is few and far between. This is a book for an intelligent reader–one who likes to read for substance, for critical thinking and being held captive by feeling, for those with minds who can focus on her content and her juxtaposing between time frames.
The Bone Church is for someone who likes a book to concentrate on and contemplate. Be ready to take the plunge, because once I did into the first few chapters, it compelled me to not put it down. The characters will immediately seep into your heart and mind and they’ll not let you go. You’ll want to hear their story as much as they want to tell it. You’ll feel as if you are being pursued as they are pursued.
Magdelena’s story is featured in several parts–as she hides from her Jewish heritage during Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in WWII, and with her Christian husband, Felix, get caught up in a very scary plot, to the book’s present day in Prague during the Soviet post-war occupation in 1956. Then, there is also murder and suspense and pursuit. There are dangerous alliances.
This book can easily be defined as the epitome of cold war thriller, not only full of espionage and spies like John Le Carre (though with a similar feeling and even better writing–and Le Carre’s Russia House is one of my favorites), but with a focus on the real families that were actually effected by the political strife and domination too.
Victoria tells the story of so many real people of this era. In creating her characters, she showcases their loyalty, despair, love, and hope while intertwining things that might seem intangible, danger, a touch of pensive, and tucks in the brooding introspection that comes from intensive turmoil, death of loved ones, and fight for survival.
She’s right when she describes her work as “cold,” yet it isn’t cold to the touch. In fact, I easily connected to the storyline, the characters, as well as feeling and understanding the austere story. I really think she could easily be one of the next blockbuster authors in her genre. She’s right on par to step up on the list for anyone who likes novels of Le Carre, Ian Fleming, and Tom Clancy. She’s extremely talented and The Bone Church is a must read for serious readers! Can’t wait to read more!
The Bone Church, Synopsis~
Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller/Suspense
In the surreal and paranoid underworld of wartime Prague, fugitive lovers Felix Andel and Magdalena Ruza make some dubious alliances – with a mysterious Roman Catholic cardinal, a reckless sculptor intent on making a big political statement, and a gypsy with a risky sex life. As one by one their chances for fleeing the country collapse, the two join a plot to assassinate Hitler’s nefarious Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, Josef Goebbels.
But the assassination attempt goes wildly wrong, propelling the lovers in separate directions.
Felix’s destiny is sealed at the Bone Church, a mystical pilgrimage site on the outskirts of Prague, while Magdalena is thrust even deeper into the bowels of a city that betrayed her and a homeland soon to be swallowed by the Soviets. As they emerge from the shadowy fog of World War II, and stagger into the foul haze of the Cold War, Felix and Magdalena must confront the past, and a dangerous, uncertain future.
Buy the Book~
Author Victoria Dougherty, Biography~
Victoria Dougherty writes fiction, drama, and essays that often revolve around spies, killers, curses and destinies. Her work has been published or profiled in The New York Times, USA Today, International Herald Tribune and elsewhere.
Earlier in her career, while living in Prague, she co-founded Black Box Theater, translating, producing and acting in several Czech plays.
She lives with her husband and children in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Tour Schedule: http://hfvirtualbooktours.com/thebonechurchblogtour
Tour Hashtag: #BoneChurchTour