Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Virtual Book Tour & Review for The Bone Church by Victoria Dougherty

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, for The Bone Church by Victoria Dougherty.  Please leave a comment or question for Ms. Dougherty to let her know you stopped by.

The Bone Church
By Victoria Dougherty

Publisher:  Pier’s Court Press
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Formats: eBook, Paperback
Genre: Historical Fiction/Thriller/Suspense

Buy the Book

About the book:

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.

No one ever really knows the depth of man’s depravity or the lengths an individual will take to survive an untenable situation.  While this has been proven time and again, Victoria Dougherty’s novel, The Bone Church, gives us an excellent example of both.  Setting her story mostly in Prague, Ms. Dougherty takes us on a journey between events occurring during World War II (specifically 1943) and the Soviet “liberation” and then occupation of Czechoslovakia through 1956.  Well-developed primary and secondary characters, vivid descriptions of a country going through the hell of war, and a church that manages to survive both are key to Ms. Dougherty’s story. 

Beginning her story in 1956, Ms. Dougherty introduces us to “Father” Felix, a man who is on a mission to rescue a woman from communist Czechoslovakia with forged papers.  The woman he seeks from his past, Magdalena, has always had a place in his heart and their history during the years of Nazi occupation could result in her death.  The fact she’s Jewish, a member of an ethnic group despise by both the Nazi’s and the Russian communists, also plays a large role in his need to rescue her.
Taking us back and forth between the years 1943 and 1956, Ms. Dougherty develops her characters, the political and social background of Prague, and a forbidden romance.  Reminding us of the horrors of war, Ms. Dougherty paints a picture of Prague which reminded me once again of just how bad things became for the Jews who didn’t escape Europe before the war.  Ms. Dougherty’s characters portrayed the fear, distrust and betrayal in such a way that you could feel it while reading the book. 

Ms. Dougherty also showcased Felix’s unusual talent, an almost paranormal ability to communicate with the dead, which may or may not have been tied to an event in his family’s past.  The author also focused on the Roman Catholic Church’s situation during the war, what they did and didn’t do to help war victims and portrayed the importance of one particular church, The Church of All Saints (aka The Bone Church), played in Felix and Magdalena’s experiences.  Ms. Dougherty also highlighted the importance that art, both religious and secular, has always played in terms of finance when dealing with occupying armies.

This is my first experience reading a book by Ms. Dougherty and I was very pleased with my experience reading most of the book.  My only complaint was how the transitions in time between the past (40’s) and present (’56) were handled.  There were a few times that I was confused and had to re-read a section to make sure I knew when the particular events were taking place.  Overall I found The Bone Church to be an enjoyable historical suspense thriller and I look forward to reading more of Ms. Dougherty’s work.   

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

FTC Disclosure:  I received a complimentary copy of this book via NetGalley as a part of this tour in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

About the Author

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.

For more information, please visit Victoria Dougherty’s website. You can also find her on FacebookTwitterGoodreads, and Pinterest.

The Bone Church Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, June 16
Review at Flashlight Commentary
Interview at Mina’s Bookshelf

Tuesday, June 17
Interview at Flashlight Commentary

Wednesday, June 18
Excerpt at The Musings of ALMYBNENR

Thursday, June 19
Guest Post at I’d So Rather Be Reading

Monday, June 23
Review at Based on a True Story

Tuesday, June 24
Review at Bibliotica

Friday, June 27
Review at Back Porchervations

Monday, June 30
Review at Dianne Ascroft Blog
Review at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Tuesday, July 1
Interview at Oh, For the Hook of a Book

Wednesday, July 2
Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews

Thursday, July 3
Review at

Monday, July 7
Review at Library Educated

Thursday, July 10
Excerpt & Spotlight at Books and Benches

Monday, July 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Tuesday, July 15
Review at Kinx’s Book Nook

Thursday, July 17
Guest Post at Savvy Verse & Wit

Friday, July 18
Review at Curling Up By the Fire

Monday, July 21
Review at Book Nerd

Tuesday, July 22
Review at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, July 23
Review at A Bibliotaph’s Reviews

Thursday, July 24
Review at Mari Reads
Review at bookramblings

Tuesday, July 29
Review at Historical Tapestry

Wednesday, July 30
Review at Queen of All She Reads
Review at Luxury Reading

Thursday, July 31
Review at From the TBR Pile

1 comment: