In love we find out who we want to be.
In war we find out who we are.
What an appropriate time to review this war story!
I see so many, chanting war slogans on both sides of the border, some even excited about the idea, and all I can think about is how many of them have never read a war story and are oblivious to the horrors men, women and children have endured during WWI and WWII.
This book pays tribute to women who are the unsung heroes of the time when Nazis invaded France.
Most of the historical fiction comprises everything about wars. Men are appreciated for leaving their homes and fight for their countries, and stories of their heroism are proudly narrated. However, no one talks about the sacrifices women make back home, not only waiting for their men to miraculously arrive someday, but also trying to save as many lives as they can, including their own. Some of them succeed; some don’t, and history reduces them to just a cold statistic.
The story begins introducing readers to two strikingly dissimilar sisters; Vianne and Isabelle, finding their own ways of surviving the war when their lives take an unanticipated turn for good. Vianne, the rule-follower, living in a small village in Carriveau, bids farewell to her much-loved husband, promising to keep their daughter unharmed while waiting for his return.
“I love you, too,” she said but the words that always seemed so big felt small now. What was love when put up against war.
She is forced to let an enemy, a German soldier, live in her house. As she strives for survival, her daughter’s life is at constant risk.
Isabelle, on the other hand, is the fierce and rebellious one.
She falls in love with a young man who betrays her. The fire-spirited Isabelle, instead of letting that slow her down, utilizes the fire of revenge to grow into this incredibly wise woman, as circumstances take an interesting turn. Convinced by the belief that Nazis can be defeated from within France, she joins an underground group, The Resistance, risking her life to make a difference in others’.
From now on, she was Juliette Gervaise, code name the Nightingale.