Temperance’s Trial (Virtue and Valor Series) by Halee Bridgeman ~Review~

Temperance’s Trial by Halee Bridgeman

About the Series:

Temperances Trial

To better understand what the book, Temperance’s Trial is about, we must first become acquainted with the Virtue and Valor series. This is a series like a television mini-series, in which an entire tale is told in seven episodes. There is a cohesive, overall story where each novella plays a part in telling that story. Every book in this series is inspired by real people and real events. The setting and time frame is World War II in Occupied France, and England. “Seven women from different backgrounds and social classes come together on the common ground of a shared faith. Each will earn a code name of a heavenly virtue. Each will risk discovery and persevere in the face of terrible odds.”

  • Part 1: Temperance’s Trial
  • Part 2: Homeland’s Hope
  • Part 3: Charity’s Code
  • Part 4: A Parcel for Prudence
  • Part 5: Grace’s Ground War
  • Part 6: Mission of Mercy
  • Part 7: Flight of Faith

About the book:

Like the other novellas in this series, this book is a fictional account based on real people and real events. In a small town of Occupied France, villagers work together with the churches to hide Jewish children and their parents wherever they could. Sometimes they adopted the children, and sometimes managed to get them out of the country. Many other organizations from America and all over Europe collected donations and helped take care of the refugees.

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Marie and Edward’s father was one such pastor in France. Any time they expected to come under the scrutiny of the Nazi Security Forces and the Vichy police. One night they were awakened with pounding at the door of their home and they knew their moment had arrived. Brother and sister fled out the back window while their father distracted the forces at the front door. Eventually Marie and Edward Gilbert made it safely to England where they promptly joined the Royal forces to fight back. Even Marie joined a special unit for undercover work in the war. Her code name was Temperance. She and other women in her unit underwent rigorous training in their specific skill sets. She was trained in sending and receiving coded messages quickly. She was given the cover story, and even learned, to be the local town’s seamstress.

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Once ensconced in her role and war work in France, many months passed without incident. A Nazi Lieutenant began to pay her attention. Temperance wondered if he suspected her real occupation or was just attracted to her naturally. She needed to be careful. Because her transmissions could be triangulated, she needed to find a different place to transmit her messages each time. Her other duties included some spying, so with only a bicycle for transportation, she was kept busy. Then one day she was alerted by courier that her position had been compromised. She managed to send out a partial code to London before she was captured and arrested. In prison, she was interrogated, beaten, stripped and humiliated, doused with frigid water repeatedly, and suffered broken bones, without mentally breaking. She knew a large resistance operation was coming soon, and she would not betray them.

Oberleutnant Schafer was in charge of the prison where Marie was held. She was arrested while he was away a few days. He was furious at her rough treatment and subsequent injuries. He had plans to earn her trust to gain information. Now he had to re-think his methods. But were his motives purely political? The story ends with a cliffhanger and continues in the next episode of the series.

My review:

The author has written a suspenseful, action-packed story that I was able to read in just a couple of sittings. I enjoy reading historical fiction filled with details as a result of good research. This is that kind of book. I found it easy to imagine myself along side the main characters. I felt admiration, fear and concern for Marie as she faced constant danger weekly in France. Her personality is written well and I feel that readers of all ages will identify with her plight.

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The one element I found to be most compelling was the faith and support of the seven members of the special team–the Virtues. They trained together, prayed together, worshiped together, and offered each other emotional support. Once in France, Marie worked alone most of the time. She read her Bible often and prayed, leaning on God for her comfort. Her faith in Him played an important part of her character. As short as this episode is, I felt I had come to know this character, and could have called her a friend. I am looking forward to reading more novellas in this series.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from The Book Club Network on behalf of the author and Olivia Kimbrell Press. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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