Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Space Between Words” as Want to Read:
The Space Between Words
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Space Between Words

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  587 ratings  ·  259 reviews
"There were seconds, when I woke, when the world felt unshrouded. Then memory returned."

When Jessica regains consciousness in a French hospital on the day after the Paris attacks, all she can think of is fleeing the site of the horror she survived. But Patrick, the steadfast friend who hasn't left her side, urges her to reconsider her decision. Worn down by his insistence,
ebook, 336 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Thomas Nelson (first published September 2017)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Space Between Words, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Pamela Barrett I thought that their relationship could have progressed into something more given more time, because there was love between them. Yeah I think it's…moreI thought that their relationship could have progressed into something more given more time, because there was love between them. Yeah I think it's rare for Christian fiction to go to magical realism, but given that it started with a child's point of view and brought her some momentary happiness I let it go. It was kind of like my mom telling me finding pennies on the ground were from someone in heaven.(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  587 ratings  ·  259 reviews

Sort order
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Unfortunately, this book sounded better in the summary to me than it really was but I'm glad there are people out there who love it.

This is about Jessica, Patrick and Vonda all living together in France for a bit. They are happy and having the time of their life until the horrible tragedy.

In the summary it tells you this is about the Paris attacks which was actually the attacks in 2015. Jessica and her friends are not the same again, but who would be?

Images flashed across my memory like a gru
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Aug 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jessica was talked into going to a concert at The Bataclan Concert Hall in Paris with her friend, Vonda, instead of to an art show with Patrick, and it proved to be the wrong choice.

Jessica and her friend were caught in the terrorist attack at the 2015 Concert Hall, but thankfully Jessica and Vonda were only harmed.

After Jessica was released from the hospital, her parents insisted she return home to the United States, but Patrick insisted more heavily that she stay in France and go on their plan
Jun 04, 2018 rated it liked it

The plot of this novel revolves around the ISIS attacks on Paris in 2015 and the historic persecution of the French Huguenots in the 1600s.


Thirtysomethings Jessica and Patrick become acquainted in Denver, Colorado when Jess responds to Patrick's ad for a roommate. The duo get along famously, but not in a romantic way, and consider themselves PMFEO (platonically made for each other). Vonda moves in later, and - though the three friends have different interests - they get along well. So it's
I really enjoyed this story! Two remarkable things happened to me while reading--the author stunned me with a plot twist that I never saw coming and she was able to bring me near to tears on occasion. Yes, that's remarkable indeed for this cynical and jaded old reader. So I recommend you ignore a few flaws in the plot and suspend your disbelief and sit back to enjoy a good piece of historical fiction.

Two horrific historical events make up the backdrop for this story: the persecution of the Hugu
Jill McGill
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Space Between Words is a hauntingly beautiful, well-written novel that I couldn't put down. This compelling story is full of history, loss, heartache, and hope. Michele Phoenix definitely has a gift and I look forward to reading more of her books!

*I want to thank NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
3.5 stars, rounded up to 4

This book turned out to be a bit different from what I expected it would be, though not necessarily in a bad way. Originally, when I had read the synopsis of the book (which is what had prompted me to request it from NetGalley in the first place), I was expecting a dual timeline historical fiction novel with equal (or near equal) emphasis on both the historical and contemporary storyline, as this type of narrative structure seems to be the norm nowadays with this genre.
Jul 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Space Between Words was not at all what I expected, it surpassed my expectations by a mile. It brings to light some unexpected things that will leave you stunned. Author Michele Phoenix deals with the themes of terror, grief, loss, fear and overcoming immense obstacles. It's a journey through the unimaginable, where one asks, "why?"

Jessica's journey to healing and to trust again is hard won. This book will leave you thinking about your priorities, and examine the value of the relationships o
The Space Between Words is utterly compelling, characterized by gorgeous prose and a layered story line. Jessica, an American traveling with friends in France, is a survivor of the November 2015 terror attacks in France. Her path to recovery is physical, but more long-lasting are the emotional and mental injury of having experienced such a horrific thing.

Though this story does deal with tragedy, I never felt the tone to be hopeless. The author speaks eloquently about tragedy, more in a way to ho
BAM The Bibliomaniac
I’d like to thank Michèle Phoenix, Thomas Nelson, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review.

Phoenix is a speaker and writer for an outreach program, so I have to keep that in mind while I write my review. That changes my perspective regarding her audience. If she is trying to speak to young adult readers then she’s right on target.
The protagonist of our story is directly involved in the Bataclan shooting, a victim. We follow her as she heals both physically
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
OK, this gave me goosebumps. I received the ARC, but I didn't read the blurb about it so had no idea what it was about...just loved the title. Turned out it was (what I call) a "God thing" that led me to it. 😊Something put in your way at a specific time and place in your life by God because He knows you needed it. I laughed, I cried, I was horrified but ultimately I was indelibly touched by this story. A blend of an historical story (a French Huguenot family's persecution and perseverance in the ...more
Aug 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: net-galley
For those who believe in an almighty being, there never is an end to life. The spirit goes on and lives within words, sounds, and breaths. For Jessica, a young woman living for a time in France, with her very good friend Patrick, life is good. She has friends, she is living in The City of Lights, and she has her independence. However, that is taken away from her by a horrific terrorist attack at a concert she attends with a friend. She is left devastated, fearful, shot, and suffering from PTSD.

Kara Isaac
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It's been a long time since I read a book in a few days let alone found myself awake at 3am, unable to get back to sleep until I finish a book but that was what happened last night (well, more like this morning). The Space Between Words is a clever, enthralling, spellbinding story that starts with a terrorist attack in Paris and seamlessly intertwines the present with a family of Huguenots persecuted in 17th century France. It's not an easy read but it is a great one.

This was the first time I'd
Sep 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
“Enduring with courage, resisting with wisdom, and pressing on in faith.”

Books dealing with recent horrific and tragic events will never be an easy read. It’s a painful revisit and a reminder of the broken world we live in. Phoenix’s story of loss, pain and the path to healing though, not only had me fully engaged, I was reminded that life is beautiful and precious. I enjoyed the modern day story, but also really enjoyed the historic piece of this novel. It was a piece of history I didn’t know a
Karen Kay
I received this from in exchange for a review.

Jessica is suffering from PTSD after surviving a terrorist attack in Paris. She finds tantalising clues to the life of Adeline who lived centuries before—her faith condemned, her life endangered, her community decimated by the Huguenot persecution. Her mantra "Endure with courage, resist with wisdom, persist in faith" is a constant theme throughout the book, and Jessica soon adopts it as her own.

As with most stories told in dual timel
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A novel that captured me from the first few pages, intertwining history with present day events in an intriguing way that kept me turning pages until I reached the end! The author's skill and research is evident, but her gift of story is clear, and this is one to be savored and thoroughly enjoyed! Brava!
This book wasn't quite what I was expecting, but that ended up being good. Set amidst two historic events, the Huguenot Persecution and the much more recent Paris Terrorist attacks, Phoenix delves into the PTSD and survivoring such horrific trauma. Both stories took twists I wasn't expecting, and I was very invested in all the characters. My only complaint is I wish we had more of the Huguenot story. But it wasn't needed for the book. I sat down and read this book in one setting. It is that good ...more
Jocelyn Green
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written and powerful. Many times I was moved to tears by the strength of the story, and the truth that shone through the characters' experiences. This author's writing possesses that rare quality of being eloquent without being superfluous, and being profound in its simplicity. I loved this book, and listening to it on Audible gave it an extra dimension with the narrator's accents for the characters. What a treasure this novel is.
Rachel McMillan
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fascinating split-time featuring a formidable story that intertwines the lives of two women centuries apart amidst devastating tragedy.

The modern frame is wound around the all-too-recent terrorist attacks in Paris, while the historical piece weaves Huguenots history in a deftly researched way.

Literary fiction at its finest--- the strong narrative (for both pieces of the tale) places it above your run-of-the-mill women's fiction
Jean Cole
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in considering matters of faith
Thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Jessica and her good friend Patrick are in France on an antique-hunting trip. In an unimaginable turn of events, Jessica and Patrick are involved in the horrific terrorist attack that took place at a nightclub in Paris in November 2015.
The antique-hunting trip happens anyway, and this is where the other story comes in. Jessica discovers an old sewing box with a secret compartment, concealing parts of a journal written by a young
Oct 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
The Space Between Words is about one survivor's reaction and journey to less pain following the November 1995 terrorist attack in Paris.

Jessica is an American spending three weeks in France with two American friends Patrick and Vonda. Very little of the novel is about the attack itself. The novel is more about the emotional and mental stages that Jessica goes through afterward.

A part of Jessica's healing is researching the fate of a family that was persecuted for their Protestant faith in the la
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
As I've said before, contemporary fiction isn't usually my cup of tea. But there was something about the cover that drew me, and of course, I can never say no to a good historical mystery. I was especially interested in it because of the Huguenot aspect- a sizable Huguenot population fled to Charleston and established a church there, and I've actually been inside that very church for their annual French service.

I was almost immediately captivated by this story, and I read through it faster than
Sally Bradley
Sep 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A. Maz. Ing. Go read this!
This book is a story within a story, a book of resilience, a look at friendships, tragedies and the ability to continue on.
The book starts out in 1695 where Adeline Baillard, is telling the story of her families struggle of being protestants and being persecuted in France for their religion. A risky place to live and where, they could only meet in secret to pray and express their faith. Some would escape the country, but others had to live with the consequences of being caught.
Then we come into
Aug 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
(Thank you NetGalley and the Publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book)
The Space Between Words by Michele Phoenix is a wonderful read!
I will not post spoilers but there is a bit of a twist I just did not see coming. Jessica has suffered a gunshot to the abdomen during the Paris Attack and wakes up in a hospital. Her only comfort is her friend Patrick, who is with her to encourage her to stay in France and not rush home to Denver. Her best friend Vonda who was at the club with h
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't really read many Christian fiction books, but will do so if the synopsis grabs my attention. Nor do i really enjoy stories that has dual timelines. 'The Space Between Words' is one of those novels whereby not only did it grab my attention from start to finish, but the timelines didn't put me off. A very touching novel, with plenty of twists and turns. It is the first time that i have read any novels by this author and shall be looking forward to more. Recommended.

My thanks to Netgalley a
Oct 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Space Between Words starts in Gatingy, France, with Adeline Baillard as the narrator.
It’s 1695, the time of the persecution of the Huguenots, those Protestants who refused the King’s orders to convert to Catholicism. The story then skips forward to 2015, to a first-person account from thirty-four year-old Jessica. Jessica is living in Paris with her friends Patrick and Vonda.

They are about to leave Paris to go touring around Southern France. First, they decide to celebrate with one last nigh
Oct 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
"Endure with courage, resist with wisdom, persist in faith."

Jessica's life takes an horrific turn when she is reduced from tourist to victim; suffering a gunshot wound in the historic terrorist attack on a defenseless heavy metal concert audience in Paris, France. Separated from her friends, she is desperate to remember, and to forget. The one person who remains at her side is Patrick, incessantly optimistic and insistent on Jessica remaining in France to complete their already planned countrys
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 plus stars

Our book opens in 1695 with a woman named Adeline Baillard who is recounting the history of her family in the Protestant movement in France. The Edict of Nantes allowing for the tolerance of religion in France is overturned. This leads to the ongoing persecution, torture and killing of the Huguenots (Protestants.) The remainder of her family has escaped to make a life in another region of France.

We then meet Jessica in the present day as she narrates her story. She and her roommates
Doreen Prentiss Gabriellini
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Michele Phoenix has written a beautiful new novel. It is heart-warming story of courage, survival, grief, loss, fear, hope, healing and forgiveness. The ‘Space Between Words’ was not at all what I expected. The window into the main characters life is unexpected and at times will leave you absolutely stunned. It allows you to journey through the unimaginable. It reaffirms that life requires courage, and resilience. That ‘God layers the good over the bad’.

Michele Phoenix had me so glued to this b
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: The Space Between Words by Michèle Phoenix 2.5 stars 1 6 Dec 28, 2018 05:08PM  
  • As the Tide Comes In
  • My Sister's Prayer (Cousins of the Dove #2)
  • Love in Three Quarter Time
  • Where Hope Begins
  • The Cupcake Dilemma (Rock Creek)
  • In Spite of Lions
  • Behind the Scenes (Apart from the Crowd, #1)
  • The Secret Life of Sarah Hollenbeck
  • Across the Blue
  • The Methuselah Project
  • Life After
  • The Lost Garden (Tales from Goswell #2)
  • Honor Redeemed (Keys of Promise #2)
  • The Long Journey to Jake Palmer
  • The End of Law: A Novel of Hitler's Germany
  • The Wounded Shadow (The Darkwater Saga, #3)
  • Raptor 6 (Quiet Professionals #1)
  • Frame 232
Raised in France by a Canadian father and an American mother, Michèle is a mentor, author and speaker with international sensitivities. She taught for twenty years at Black Forest Academy (Germany) before launching her own work as an advocate for Third Culture Kids. She now travels globally to consult and teach on topics related to this unique people group. She loves good conversations, mischievou ...more