Tag Archives: Tracy Groot

Book Review: Madman

8 Mar

If there is a way into madness, logic says there is a way out. Logic says. Tallis, a philosopher’s servant, is sent to a Greek academy in Palestine only to discover that it has silently, ominously, disappeared. No one will tell him what happened, but he learns what has become of four of its scholars. One was murdered. One committed suicide. One worships in the temple of Dionysus. And one . . . one is a madman.

From Christy Award–winning author Tracy Groot comes a tale of mystery, horror, and hope in the midst of unimaginable darkness: the story behind the Gerasene demoniac of the Gospels of Mark and Luke.


Tracy Groot is the critically acclaimed and Christy Award-winning author of several works of historical fiction. Her books have received starred Booklist and Publishers Weekly reviews and have been called “beautifully written” and “page-turning” by Publishers Weekly, and “gripping” with “exquisitely drawn” characters by Library Journal.

Tracy and her husband have three sons, one daughter (in-law) and live in Hudsonville, Michigan.

Connect with Tracy at her website (tracygroot.com), or follow her on Facebook (@tracy.groot).


My Impressions:

I lead a combo Bible study/book club at my church. Our Faith And Fiction group was concentrating on the healing miracles of Jesus and chose Madman by Tracy Groot as the complimentary novel. The book is based on the Biblical account of the Gerasene demoniac. While the book received mixed reviews from the members of the study, I found it a challenging and viewpoint-expanding read. Complex in structure as well as characterization, Madman is a book that must be read slowly to experience all that it has to offer. It is Biblical fiction like no other I have encountered. Told from the perspective of a servant of a Greek philosopher, a student in his own right, Madman gives the reader a look into the Gentile life of Palestine. Should you read it? This one is not for someone who wants a quick, easy, or even light read. Its subject matter is madness and demonic possession and the power of Jesus to reach into both and set the captive free. If you are up for a challenge, then I urge you to give this one a look.

Tallis has been sent by his master, Calimachus, to the Decapolis in Palestine to find out what has happened to the philosophical school that had been founded in his name. What Tallis finds is mystery and danger and a tormented man who lives in the tombs.

The story is told from the third person point of view of Tallis and letters to his master back in Athens. Tallis has scars from a childhood trauma that make him vulnerable to both human and spiritual attack. But as he receives warning after warning to go home, Tallis is determined to find the truth. Supporting characters are interesting and unlike what I am used to in traditional Biblical fiction. Part of that may stem from the fact that all of the characters are Gentiles, descendants of Greek colonists that now make the Decapolis their home. The Decapolis is very definitely not a Jewish enclave. Its cultural life is based upon its Greek origins and includes the pagan rites and worship foreign to their Jewish neighbors. It is this paganism that I found the most interesting. While the Greeks prided themselves on rational thought and discourse, parts of their society clung to worship of gods that demanded much from their adherents. Tallis must deal with the whys of the man’s demonic possession, something that is missing from the Biblical record. The reader soon discovers that pride, arrogance, and the search for god-like power and knowledge leave more than the man in the tombs vulnerable to demonic attack. The entrance of Jesus into the story comes late in the book, but there is a great anticipation of his arrival that is felt throughout. I found the portrayal of the demoniac’s torment and his ultimate deliverance especially powerful.

Madman is an early book by Tracy Groot. This Christy Award winner for historical fiction has just been recently re-released. While I am not sure my reading experience was one of enjoyment, I am glad I read this riveting novel.


Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)



Top 10 Tuesday — Southern Settings

1 Nov

By book club loves a story set in an exotic locale, but we also love a book set in our own backyards — the Sunny South! I’ve compiled a list of books  (18 in fact!) with Southern settings that will be a hit with your book club; many were hits with mine and the others I don’t hesitate to recommend. I could have gone on and on — so many great books set in the South! You may also see I am kind of partial to books set in my home state of Georgia!

To find out what other books bloggers are recommending to book clubs, please visit The Broke And The Bookish Top 10 Tuesday.


Top Books with Southern Settings

Cozy Mystery Series

Murder on A Girl’s Night Out by Anne George (Alabama)

Them Bones by Carolyn Haines (Mississippi)

Who Invited The Dead Man by Patricia Sprinkle (Georgia)



Lighthouse by Eugenia Price (Georgia)

A Respectable Actress by Dorothy Love (Georgia)

The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot (Georgia)

The Swan House by Elizabeth Musser (Georgia)



Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth Vogt (Florida)

Her One And Only by Becky Wade (Texas)

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck (Alabama)


Romantic Suspense

Dangerous Passage by Lisa Harris (Georgia)

Midnight on The Mississippi by Mary Ellis (Louisiana/Mississippi)

Shadows of The Past by Patricia Bradley (Mississippi/Tennessee)

Vendetta by Lisa Harris (Tennessee)


Women’s Fiction

Dancing on Glass by Pamela Binnings Ewen (Louisiana)

The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman (North Carolina)

Secrets over Sweet Tea by Denise Hildreth Jones (Tennessee)

The Things Left Unspoken by Eva Marie Everson (Georgia)


What’s your favorite setting?


Top 10 Tuesday — Back To School!

30 Aug

Thanks to the folks at The Broke And The Bookish for weekly hosting Top 10 Tuesday. This week is the Back To School Top 10. To find out what other bloggers are posting, click HERE.


School has been back in session since the last week in July here in middle Georgia. So, so glad that I don’t have any more kids in school! Oh wait, I do! My youngest son started his first year of Law School two weeks ago. My other two children have both completed Master’s degrees and on their way to outstanding careers. Yeah, I’m a bit proud!

When I read this week’s theme, I just couldn’t get the classic song Don’t Know Much out of my head. Here’s my list in tribute to that Sam Cooke classic.

The Don’t Know Much, Back To School Top 14

Don’t know much about  . . .

History. I really liked European history in school. American history, not so much. So here are a few books that feature those things I didn’t pay attention to in class.

Washington’s Lady by Nancy Moser (pre and post-Revolutionary War)

Burning Sky by Lori Benton (post-Revolutionary War)

The Sentinels of Andersonville by Tracy Groot (Civil War)

Though Waters Roar by Lynn Austin (Civil War, Women’s Suffrage, Prohibition)


Biology. When I think of biology, I think of the birds and bees. When I think of the birds and bees, I think great romances. Here are some that fit that title.

Crazy Little Thing Called Love by Beth K. Vogt

The Dandelion Field by Kathryn Springer

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck


Science Books. Science? Yick! I glazed over in my HS Chemistry class and I didn’t even attempt Physics. Here are four novels that involve science but didn’t make me glaze over!

Bad Ground by Dale Cramer (mining)

Critical Reaction by Todd M. Johnson (nuclear energy)

Maximal Reserve by Sam Batterman (petroleum exploration)

Undetected by Dee Henderson (sonar)


The French I Took. This may be because I took Spanish. LOL! The only French word I can say with confidence is oui! These books set in France deserve a definite oui, oui!

My Brother’s Crown by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould (17th century)

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot (WWII)

Two Crosses by Elizabeth Musser (Algerian Civil War)


What are some of your favorite school books?

Top 10 Tuesday: The Enduring TBR Pile

23 Aug

This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish have challenged bloggers to list their Top 10 Books STILL on The Shelf Long after You Started Blogging. So, do I pick them by genre, age, color of cover? I have a serious problem — 10 just isn’t enough! I decided to go shelf by shelf (I arrange by genre) and pick out the first 10. I didn’t get very far — just 1 shelf (Biblical fiction). As my dear MIL would say Oh, me! I’ll save the rest for a Freebie or Rewind week. To find out what other bloggers have on their TBR shelves, click HERE.



Top 10 Books STILL on My Bookshelves (After 7 Years!)

Some of the books on my list are those I thought my book club would love. Others are books by favorite authors. Some are classics. And others just called my name when I was in the bookstore.


51QI4JKKAvL._SX300_BO1,204,203,200_Ben Hur by Lew Wallace — Ben-Hur is the remarkable saga of betrayal, revenge, and redemption, played out in the bloodstained arenas of ancient Rome. Framed for attempting to murder a Roman official, Ben-Hur is robbed of his freedom, family, and fortune. Condemned to death as a galley slave, he lives only to avenge himself against the Roman tribune Messala—the boyhood friend who betrayed him.

Ben-Hur vividly recreates the sweep of Imperial Rome — from a thrilling sea battle, to the famous chariot race, to the agony of the Crucifixion. It is the moving, personal tale of the prince who became a slave and then — through a unique twist of fate — was able to fight his way back to the free world as a champion gladiator.

Written by the territorial governor of New Mexico, Ben-Hur was an immediate bestseller upon its release in 1880 — selling over two million copies — and continues to be an enduring classic.

61LSXxMTANL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_The Big Fisherman by Lloyd C. Douglas — The story traces Peter’s journey from self-sufficient fisherman to his dependency on a risen Christ. It also presents another story of redemption and forgiveness, as he takes in a young Arab/Jewish girl, Fara. As they both learn of Jesus, it changes their lives.

The young Fara discovers that she is the daughter of Herod Antipas who married and shortly discarded her Arab mother Arnon in favor of Herodias. Her half Arab ancestry makes her marriage to the future King Deran impossible. Disguised as a boy Fara goes to Galilee to assassinate Herod in revenge, though Herod has survived eight previous assassination attempts from the Arabs who are described as people with a short temper and a long memory. She is followed by Voldi, an Arab prince who wishes to marry her and take her back home, however Voldi is captured by the Romans.

Robbed by bandits, Fara is discovered by John the Baptist who advises her to listen to the great teacher, Jesus. She comes under the protection of Peter but vows to kill Herod. She manages to be employed in Herod’s household as she can translate Greek, in particular a series of prophecies written in the language that have been given to Herod.

51KQS17X7RL._SX297_BO1,204,203,200_Journey by Angela Hunt — On this deathbed, Jacob the patriarch bestows the blessing of the firsborn on the sons of Joseph, igniting a bitter conflict between the two brothers. Manasseh, the elder son, is surprised and disturbed when Jacob deliberately crosses his hands, giving the more favorable blessing to the younger Ephraim — the blessing that rightfully belongs to him.

Ephraim glories in the unexpected promise of power and feels that he is the one to continue his father’s work and keep the Hebrews in Egypt. He is convinced that greatness for the nation of Israel will only be achieved through the mighty kingdom of Egypt.

But Manasseh, visiting Hebron for the first time at Jacob’s death, feels a warm stirring in his heart for Canaan. He believes the Hebrews should leave Egypt immediately and return to the land that God had promised to Abraham, Isaac, and his grandfather Jacob. There is no reason to stay in Egypt any longer. The famine has been over for twelve years and Jacob is dead.

Two brothers in conflict — not only over Israel’s future, but also over love. One brother loves the beautiful harpist of Pharaoh’s court, but the other already possesses her heart. Life, love, and the future of the nation are at stake!

51znTU3-HrL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Madman by Tracy Groot — If there is a way into madness, logic says there is a way out. Logic says. Tallis, a philosopher’s servant, is sent to a Greek academy in Palestine only to discover that it has silently, ominously, disappeared. No one will tell him what happened, but he learns what has become of four of its scholars. One was murdered. One committed suicide. One worships in the temple of Dionysus. And one … one is a madman. From the author of The Brother’s Keeper comes a tale of mystery, horror, and hope in the midst of unimaginable darkness, the story behind the Geresene demoniac of the gospels of Mark and Luke. 

UnknownMagdalene by Angela Hunt — Mary Magdalene. The controversial woman with a past only one Man could forgive. A true love story that changed the face of history.

“I was Miryam of Magdala, seller of fine fabrics and wife of Yaakov the fisherman. With my husband and son, I held a place of honor among my countrymen until a company of rogue soldiers took everything from me. I might not be Roman, but I knew injustice when I saw it. And I had been most grievously wronged.”

In an era when women are sequestered and silenced, Miryam of Magdala lives a contended life until her son’s careless gesture evokes a hostile action that shatters her serenity. With no hope of justice, Miryam commits and unthinkable act…and descends into depths of darkness that threaten her life and her sanity.

Even after Yeshua the Messiah dramatically restores her life, Miryam can neither forget nor forgive unresolved injustices. Prodded by a hunger for vengeance she will not deny, this woman of uncommon courage risks her life and her heart by drawing destiny into her own hands.

UnknownThe Priest by Francine Rivers —  The Priest is the first book in a new companion series to A Lineage of Grace. Each novella peers into the life of one of five biblical men (such as Aaron, Jonathan, Silas) who stood behind the great heroes of faith.

In The Priest you’ll meet Moses’ brother Aaron, the first high priest of Israel. How will Aaron support Moses while he struggles with being satisfied with God’s plan for his own life? Be inspired by how this seemingly secondary character plays a key role in supporting his leader and impacting the faith for eternity.

Rahab’s Story by Ann Burton — They were women of conviction and courage, whose stories inspire the faithful to this day. Here is Signet’s second installment of Women of the Bible, a compelling new series for fans of historical romance and fiction.

Accused of witchery, Rahab is banished to certain death in Jericho. Now the girl once known as Beautiful Rahab must join the ranks of the city’s prostitutes. She keeps her faith in God, but when Jewish spies appear, begging her to hide them, she must decide: stay safe and deny them-or help her fellow believers and transform herself from harlot to heroine.

411dMLAkFwL._BO1,204,203,200_Three From Galilee by Marjorie Holmes — Marjorie Holmes, the award-winning author of such classic bestsellers as I’ve Got to Talk to Somebody, God, was renowned for making the Bible come to life in books that brought hope and inspiration to millions. The first novel in this trilogy-her acclaimed, hugely successful Two from Galilee-told the great love story of Mary and Joseph as never before.

Now, in Three from Galilee, Holmes’s fictionalized retelling of the life of Jesus covers a period overlooked by the Gospels – the “lost years” between age 12, when Jesus debated the elders in the temple, to the age of 30, when he actually began his ministry. With great reverence, she dares to wonder what Jesus did during those years, if he was like other young men of his time, and whether he experienced God’s greatest gift to humanity – love. Using her remarkable talents, Holmes brings Jesus, his parents, brothers, sisters, and friends to life in a story that is dramatic, deeply moving, and unforgettable.

UnknownUnashamed by Francine Rivers — Book 2 in the Lineage of Grace series by best-selling author Francine Rivers. In her trademark style, Francine tells the compelling story of Rahab from the book of Joshua. Readers will gain a fresh understanding of God’s work through the life of this unlikely woman in the lineage of Christ.






41vrUXPRhcL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Unveiled by Francine Rivers — Unveiled is the story of Tamar, one of the women in the lineage of Jesus. Francine brings the story to life in her trademark style, showing the grace of God in the life of Tamar and her father-in-law, Judah. Unveiled is the first in the Lineage of Grace series of five novellas covering the stories of Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.








Help me out here.

Which one would you read first?

TOP 10 Tuesday — Around The World in Books!

19 Jul

This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish are focusing on Books Set Outside The United States. To find out all the great books bloggers are recommending, click HERE.



I’m not much of a traveler, but I have loved the places I visited in books! Because there are so many great books set outside of the US, I have included many more than 10, 25 in fact. Divided by geographic location, my list includes books set within the last 100 years so that you can easily see where you are visiting! Have fun exploring the world!

Around The World in Books

The Americas

CanadaThe Bachelor Girl’s Guide to Murder by Rachel McMillan.

MexicoMore Than Conquerors by Kathi Macias 

NicaraguaWater from My Heart by Charles Martin



EnglandThe Inheritance by Michael Phillips

Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot

Secrets of A Charmed Life by Susan Meissner

FranceDefy The Night by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn

Flame of Resistance by Tracy Groot

GreeceThe Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn

Netherlands Snow on The Tulips by Liz Tolsma

Ukraine Beyond The Rapids by Evelyn Puerto

Like A River from Its Course by Kelli Stuart





AlgeriaTwo Destinies by Elizabeth Musser

South AfricaThe Girl from The Train by Irma Joubert

No Greater Love by Kathi Macias

SudanSide by Side by Jana Kelley


The Middle East 

AfghanistanFarewell, Four Waters by Kate McCord

Saudia Arabia People of The Book by Kathi Macias



ChinaCity of Tranquil Light by Bo Caldwell

Red Ink by Kathi Macias 

Indonesia (Dutch East Indies)Thief of Glory by Sigmund Brouwer

North KoreaBeloved Daughter by Alana Terry

The PhilippinesRemember The Lilies by Liz Tolsma

VietnamYesterday’s Tomorrow by Catherine West




Winter in Full Bloom by Anita Higman


Where do you want to travel?


Author, Author! – Tracy Groot

29 Jun

090916-135048I had the privilege and pleasure to meet Tracy Groot and her husband in January when she shared with my two book clubs her calling of storytelling. She also shared with us about her novel The Sentinels of Andersonville. Nominated for a Christy Award, Sentinels is one of the best books I have read this year. I expect Tracy to be back at the Christy Awards next year with her latest novel, Maggie Bright. The Christy’s are tonight, so what a great day to share with you my interview with Tracy!


flame-web3By The Book: Many authors say that they have always been a writer — making up stories as a child. When did you first become a writer?

Tracy Groot: I think it was when I sought to right what I considered was a wrong: In the early years of my marriage, my father-in-law told me that his family had rescued a Jewish boy during WWII. They risked their lives to shelter him for one year, and then they got him to England through the Dutch underground. I asked him, “Did he ever come back to thank you for what he did?” “No.” “Well — did anyone thank you?” “No.”

I wanted to thank him, on behalf of this Jewish boy. So I wrote a story to do it. I believe that when I did, I became a writer. 

BTB: What inspired the writing of Maggie Bright, and how did you research the subject matter?

Tracy: I remember reading about Dunkirk while researching for my WWII novel, Flame of Resistance. In fact, the topic kept coming up, so I googled the story — and knew instantly I had to write about it. It was way too juicy to pass up! Peril and prayer, what’s not to love about it?

UnknownAs far as research goes, I approach research from basically 3 areas: Book Learning, Site Learning, and Film/Documentary Learning. For Book Learning, I read several histories of an event to get a well-rounded view. I also read fiction relative to that period, so I can get a sense of vernacular. (For example, I read a few Agatha Christie novels set in the late 30s.) Site Learning is really important: I have a chance to get a feel for weather, space, distances, etc. For Maggie Bright, I spent some time on the Thames in London, to get a feel for Elliot’s Boatyard. I stayed in Dover for a few days, visited a great Dunkirk exhibit at Dover Castle. I also visited war museums in London, and hung out at St. Katherine’s Pier where I met a few owners of some actual Little Ships of Dunkirk that had rescued men over 75 years ago (talk about a thrill!). I also went to Dunkirk, in France, where I also found a fabulous little museum dedicated solely to the evacuation. It was pretty amazing to stand on the shore of the beach, where so much happened 75 years ago.

Period films and documentaries lend other great elements to research: I can pick up visuals of the day, through costumes and set designs. For Maggie Bright, I watched some 30s period films and several war films, including an excellent docu-drama called Dunkirk. It starred the excellent Benedict Cumberbatch, so I recommend it! 🙂

BTB: What do you want your readers to take away with them after finishing one of your novels?

book_brothersTracy: Lots of things. I hope they are entertained. I hope they find something that inspires them. I hope they learn something. I hope they remember my characters. I hope God uses some obscure little nugget to help them in some way — something I never thought about, and didn’t intend. That’s my favorite part of this writing gig, when God takes something and uses it as a catalyst for the reader; something that makes me go, “Really?! That inspired you?!” I love it when that happens!  I’m far better on accident than I am on purpose. I’ll never forget when someone read The Brother’s Keeper, and commented on something that had me nodding to her like I’d intended it all along — truth was, I never thought about it the way she did. 🙂

BTB: Readers are always curious as to what a writer is working on or just what is next to be published. Can you give us a glimpse of current works in progress?

Tracy: I guess I am the current work in progress. 🙂 I recently set aside my current project because I realized that after writing 3 historical fiction novels in only three and half years, the well had gone decidedly dry. And I was in complete denial about that dryness. Call it pride — I’m a bit of a workaholic when it comes to writing. I get intense and deliberate about making a writing schedule, and keeping to that writing schedule; but what I often fail to schedule in is “Refill the Well” time. And three and half years of non-stop writing, with very little refilling of the well, is danger-zone time.

So, after several months of pretending that I was writing, when all I was really doing was treading water (no pun intended, because the current project is a story about Jonah, ha ha…), I made the decision to set aside my pen and get serious about filling up the well. And that may take time. But writing comes from what is in that well. So I’m being deliberate about the following: 1. Reading. LOTS of it. (Writing comes from reading.) And this means no research books! I can only read what I want to read, and what I’ve put off reading. In fact, just started a Classics Only book club! Always wanted to! 2. Homemaking. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to have a clean house. So I’m creating a systematic plan of attack to deep clean my house. (Order helps me to create.) I’m rediscovering the joy of baking and cooking — really planning mealtime, and having fun with it again, instead of falling back on the same old same old, which means recipes that are tried and true, but after a long stretch of time, boring! 3. Hobbies. I’m revisiting doing the things that I like to do: knitting, doing puzzles, visiting museums (for the fun of it, this time), doing a paint-by-number, watching old classics movies like Anne of Green Gables (I’m watching the whole series, and loving it!). 4. More social time. (And I emphatically do not mean more “social media” time.) I’m making a point to go out for lunch with old friends.

madmanI will say this, as far as something sort of current: I own the rights to a novel I wrote, Madman. I bought the rights back from the publisher when I felt that they weren’t doing enough to keep it selling. I believe in the book enough to get it going again, so that is something that is in the works— looking for a new publisher for it.

I’m really not sure when I’ll be back in the writing saddle. But I will be, because I want to be, and want is usually an indication of destiny to me, and it’s up to me to put feet to it. So, in the famous words of a certain Terminator: I’ll be back. 🙂


Thanks so much, Tracy, for sharing with my readers. I know we are all anticipating your return! 


ptg0330_9713b1Tracy Groot is the critically acclaimed and Christy Award–winning author of several novels. Her most recent books exemplify her unique style of storytelling—reimagining biblical stories within other historical contexts. Tracy’s novels have received starred Booklist and Publishers Weekly reviews and have been called “beautifully written” and “page-turning” by Publishers Weekly and “gripping” with “exquisitely drawn” characters by Library Journal. Tracy and her husband have three boys and live in Michigan.

Book Review + Giveaway: Maggie Bright

18 May

383231England, 1940. Clare Childs knew life would change when she unexpectedly inherited the Maggie Bright―a noble fifty-two-foot yacht. In fact, she’s counting on it. But the boat harbors secrets. When a stranger arrives, searching for documents hidden onboard, Clare is pulled into a Scotland Yard investigation that could shed light on Hitler’s darkest schemes and prompt America to action.

Across the Channel, Hitler’s Blitzkrieg has the entire British army in retreat with little hope for rescue at the shallow beaches of Dunkirk. With time running out, Churchill recruits civilian watercraft to help. Hitler is attacking from land, air, and sea, and any boat that goes might not return. Yet Clare knows Maggie Bright must answer the call―piloted by an American who has refused to join the war effort until now and a detective with a very personal motive for exposing the truth.

The fate of the war hinges on this rescue. While two men join the desperate fight, a nation prays for a miracle.


ptg0330_9713b1Tracy Groot is the critically acclaimed and Christy Award–winning author of several novels. Her most recent books exemplify her unique style of storytelling—reimagining biblical stories within other historical contexts. Tracy’s novels have received starred Booklist and Publishers Weekly reviews and have been called “beautifully written” and “page-turning” by Publishers Weekly and “gripping” with “exquisitely drawn” characters by Library Journal. Tracy and her husband have three boys and live in Michigan.


My Impressions:

With my two book clubs and reviewing schedule, I read a lot of books. A. LOT. And sometimes I get a bit weary of the same old same old — books that are good, just not great. A few weeks ago I was ready for great and I got it. Maggie Bright by Tracy Groot is not only great, it is excellent, exceptional. Set amidst the defeat of the British Expeditionary Force in Europe and its retreat to Dunkirk, the novel can certainly be labeled historical fiction. But with its imaginative plotting, inventive writing style and unforgettable characters, Maggie Bright is a literary gem that will appeal to all book lovers. This one is easily rated Very Highly Recommended!

There are two parallel, yet connected story lines in Maggie Bright. Private Jamie Elliott cannot believe the British Army is in retreat. Charged with safely delivering an injured Captain back to England, Jamie is faced with an army in full retreat, attacks by the Germans from the air and on land and a broken man who can only communicate in verse. He, along with a motley group of fellow soldiers, makes his way to the city of Dunkirk hoping against hope for rescue. On the home front, Clare Childs, American Murray Vance and Detective William Percy (as well as other minor characters) are swept up in intrigue and espionage as they face the chilling truth of Hitler’s ideals. Ordinary people are called to extraordinary efforts in a fight of good against evil.

Maggie Bright is a novel to be savored, not rushed through. Tracy takes her time developing the story and her characters. Her characters are the finest of men and the most courageous of women.  Her research is impeccable and her writing finely crafted. Several things stand out in this novel. Most of the book is dialog — an interesting means of revealing emotions and motives. Tracy’s use of John Milton’s Paradise Lost quoted by Captain Milton as point and counterpoint to the action going on in Northern France is truly impressive. She is also able to convey the determination, courage, tenacity and grace of the English people as they are faced with holding the line against tyranny and injustice.

Prayer is an essential part of the story of Maggie Bright. Very few of the characters pray on a regular basis, and many are not even sure of who God is. The description of King George’s call to prayer and the British response is very moving. Sacrifice is also a major theme. I loved that the actions of the men of the Dunkirk rescue are described as love disguised as duty.

There is so much more I could say about Maggie Bright, but I will leave you with just one thought — read this book!!

Very Highly Recommended.

Audience: older teens to adults.

Great for book clubs.

To purchase this book, click HERE

(Thanks so much to Tyndale and Tracy Groot for review copies of this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)


I have an embarrassment of riches — I received 2 copies of Maggie Bright! I have to keep one copy; it is signed by Tracy. But I will give one lucky reader a copy of this fabulous book. Just leave me a comment. The giveaway will run through Memorial Day, May 25.