Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Review - The Measure of Gold

Title:   The Measure of Gold
Author:  Sarah C. Patten
Publisher:  Ashland Press
Genre:   Historical Fiction; Literary Fiction
Format:  Audiobook ARC
Narrator:  Elizabeth Cottle
No. of Pages:   365
Date of Publication:   March 2, 2021
My Rating:   3 Stars


In Sarah C. Patten’s WWII-era novel, “The Measure of Gold” (Ashland Press, March 2, 2021), it is the fall of 1940 and Germany has just invaded France. Across the ocean, in Sweetwater, Tennessee, Penelope receives an urgent letter from her childhood friend, Naomie, urging her to Paris. Bereft from the loss of her widowed father, Penelope leaves her life and reunites with her lost friend. There, she meets Naomie’s brother, the brilliant, mad alchemist Fulcanelli and his mysterious apprentice Lucien.

As Penelope falls headlong into the esoteric world of alchemy and espionage, she is assigned to spy on the clients of a powerful French brothel. She listens, learns, and dances to seduce one of the most infamous murderers of World War II in a desperate calculation to save Lucien. Through the devastating magic of life, Penelope learns that alchemy has far more to do with the person than the element.

An epic story of betrayal and courage, “The Measure of Gold” showcases the heroine’s journey during wartime, and serves as a powerful reminder of what’s needed for us to transform from stone to pure gold.

In this historical fiction story, during the years of World War II, Penelope arrives in France after receiving a note. She got the note from her friend Naomie and when Penelope arrives, she finds that Naomie has been captured by the Nazi's. Also, Naomie's brother is an alchemist working for the resistence. Penelope joins forces with them and eventually goes to England. There Penelope receives training as an S.O.E. operative.

In this intense book - one that was rather difficult for me to follow - we see the fight many take up, which include activities of alchemy as well as spying. 

I am glad that I got this as an audiobook ARC so that I could follow this story a bit better. This is a book that I will have to read again to see if I can do a better job with a review of this title.

Many thanks to Ashland Press and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


I grew up just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee. I earned my BA in English from Cornell University. My focus in writing at that time was primarily poetry. I earned my MALS in creative writing from Dartmouth where I completed my thesis, a collection of short stories entitled The Laying on of Hands. Over the course of my career, I spent almost fifteen years working as an English teacher, a creative writing instructor, then a school administrator before leaving those positions to pursue writing full-time. I live in Asheville, North Carolina with my husband and three children.

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