- Paperback: 312 pages
- Publisher: Kregel Publications (February 1, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0825443210
- ISBN-13: 978-0825443213
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 43 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,432,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Defy the Night: A Novel Paperback – February 1, 2014
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A beautifully written coming-of-age story, Defy the Night centers around sixteen-year-old Magali Lousier’s desire to do something heroic during the Nazi occupation of France. Just as the deep chill of the burle wind whips through the village of Tannieux, the chill of the Nazi regime infiltrates Magali’s world. In her sincere, headstrong and sometimes misguided efforts to ‘do something’ against this impending doom, Magali learns through many painful experiences what true heroism looks like. Heather and Lydia Munn’s research is historically accurate and their writing breathtaking as they describe the rescue of children from internment camps by brave individuals who risked their lives to defy not only the night, but evil itself. (Elizabeth Musser 2013-11-30)
About the Author
Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in southern France, where her parents were missionaries like their parents before them. She has a BA in literature from Wheaton College and now lives in rural Illinois, with her husband, Paul, and their son. Her blog, Gravity and Grace, can be found at seedstoryteller.blogspot.com.
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This was such a fascinating story about true events you don't hear much about. I loved learning more about what was happening in France at this time and what the whole atmosphere was like. I felt I could relate to Magali's desire to do something to make a difference and I really admired her bravery and determination. She wasn't perfect, by far, and it was interesting to see her learning about the world and about herself as she not only grows up, but lives during such a harrowing time. I think the fact the story was told in first person made it feel more personal and the feelings more intense because you feel like you're experiencing what Magali is. There's a lot of action and excitement mixed in with intense emotions, which makes for a very gripping story. It felt very realistic that Magali struggles with her faith and trying to understand how such horrible things can happen. I definitely recommend this book and think it would be a great one for teens to read as well!
Magali is only 15 years old, but she has a burning desire to help. She is finally able to join Paquerette, her hero, in smuggling refugee children from internment camps. She finds the trips more difficult, exhausting, and dangerous than she could have imagined, but she longs to always be the one chosen to go. Her quick mind and determination are helpful, but she must learn that she can not save everyone. She must also let go of her pride and realize “that this is not a hero’s business.” However the lessons don’t sink in until she puts Paquerette in danger.
“There’s only one thing you can do, Magali. And that’s go on. No one turns back time. No even God. You’re not alone. You’re only young. But I tell you true, when you get to my age, there’s no one, not a one, who doesn’t have one thing they’d cut off their hand not to have done. You lie awake at night and think about it. But it’s done. The past doesn’t change. You can pray that God makes good out of it. I believe he can. But even that…even that you may never know.” [Magali’s grandfather, pg. 297]
I highly recommend Defy the Night!
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.
At times this book was difficult to read. Starving, sick, emotionally needy children are not easy to dwell on. Yet the author gives us a picture into that terrible world with honesty and empathy. She presents a heroine who challenged her own fears because she believed that one person CAN defy the ugly night and make a difference.