“In love we find out who we want to be; in war we find out who we are,” Hannah’s narrator, Viann Mauriac, proclaims as she looks back on her life in France. The bestselling author hits her stride in this page-turning tale about two sisters, one in the French countryside, the other in Paris, who show remarkable courage in the German occupation during WWII. Through Viann we learn how life was disrupted when husbands and fathers were forced to enlist while the Germans took over their towns and villages, billeting themselves in people’s homes, gorging on food, and forcing the starved locals to wait in endless lines for rations. Viann’s younger sister, Isabelle, always rebellious, joins the resistance in Paris, finds love with another resistance fighter, and risks her life guiding downed British and American paratroopers over the Pyrenees and out of France. Viann does her part too, saving 19 Jewish children by hiding them in a convent. Despite having a German officer in her own home, she also takes in a Jewish baby—her best friend’s son—when his mother is sent to a concentration camp. The author ably depicts war’s horrors through the eyes of these two women, whose strength of character shines through no matter their differences. Announced first printing of 350,000 copies.(Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/01/2014 Release date: 02/03/2015 Genre: Fiction
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