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A page turner that leaves each chapter end on a cliff edge, the story draws you into the world of the main protagonist, Claudette, and how she sacrifices much to be part of the Resistance movement. It explores how she lives her truth amidst a world falling apart and where fraternising with the enemy is part of survival. It brings moral dilemmas under the spotlight as well as the horrors of human cruelty and judgement in a time of perpetual suffering and fear. It is a moving tribute to those who risked all to be part of the Resistance movement in France. The story also celebrates the power of the human spirit, where living amidst ongoing tragedy and pain, strength and resilience can prevail, even when all hope seems lost.
This is an incredibly atmospheric book with well developed characters that one becomes attached to. I enjoyed the format of the story, with each chapter alternating between the present day and Paris during the war. I could not put the book down and felt like I was there, immersed in the story and places. I was sorry to finish it and the story remains with me still after turning over the last page. A well written debut novel. I look forward to Jan Harvey's next novel.
was such a turnoff.
Every character in this story is magnificently drawn, vividly described, their back stories richly detailed, and in many cases those background stories are emotional and harrowing. There are moments throughout this excellent book that will long remain with me, searing and stark images that are indelibly etched in my memory. The research is exceptional, the detail included but the narrative wears it lightly, and the writing has an ease and flow that makes it easy to become totally immersed in the story.
The modern story is equally strong – the shocking scene at its start, Connie’s sad history, her quest to discover playwright Freddy’s history, alongside a developing love story running far from smoothly. I liked the way the stories converged – and, although I’m not always a fan of stories told in alternating chapters, both stories were strong enough to support the structure and keep my attention and interest.
This was a book I really enjoyed, a page-turner with real originality, the strongest of story-telling, and a historical background that was just fascinating. A book I’d highly recommend.
Days later: I took quite awhile to think about this book, partially because I was sick, but mostly because I wanted to spend some time to rethink some of my preconceptions. I found this book extremely readable and beautifully written, but it opened my eyes to the importance of the French Resistance in France during WWII. I now want to read more about that portion of the war.
This book made me curious, which is very important. It made me want to know more about what I was reading, to dig deeper into a subject that I had spend very little time getting to know and that is a good thing!
The story itself is very well told and very readable. I will be re-reading this book. I have recommended it to numerous friends (including my husband). Thank you to NetGalley and Troubador Publishing for the opportunity to read this amazing book!
Good story! 1940's France, Claudette is secretly working with the French resistance and is sent to work as a maid in a bordello to spy on senior Nazi officers, but she unexpectedly falls in love with one of 'them'. Present day England, Connie witnesses her friend Freddy March commit suicide by falling in front of a train.
The story unfolds in layers with alternated chapters between present day Connie who desperately wants to understand why Freddy killed himself, and Claudette in Nazi occupied France.
Claudette is in the resistance during the war and occupation of France. She is sent to Paris to work as a maid in a whore house to spy on the Germans. Jan Harvey brings the present and the past together very well. An interesting read.
Most recent customer reviews
'.For readers who enjoy novels about the lives of ordinary people and how they survive the horror of war, this should...Read more