5.0 out of 5 stars
Excellent Picture of WWII French Resistance
This review is from: How Angels Die (Paperback)
There are many novels and non-fiction works describing the French Resistance during WWII and this tale does not encompass the French collaborators, who after the war accused by the Resistance fighters, almost tore France apart. In this story, those who might be seen to be collaborators were actually Resistance fighters, but not as military units, which is the crux of this novel.After the surrender of France to Germany and occupation by the German military and Gestapo, all young men and able bodied older ones who had not died nor been maimed fighting for France, were picked up and sent to Germany as slave labor. The McLeash family are the main protagonists in this tale. Sean, the father, is Irish, although living in France, having married Estelle, a French woman. They had two daughters, Claire, who was fifteen when France was first occupied. She with other teenagers harassed the Germans and by the time she was eighteen, was an activeResistance fighter, trained in shooting and demolition. Her older sister, beautiful Monique, age twenty-one, known only to the top echelon of the local Resistance fighters as one of them, flirted with German officers. They were the only ones with knowledge of important German military activities. She would allow them to take her to bed, knowing that because of their heavy drinking and bragging as soldiers, during pillow talk would often reveal their actions and maneuvers. This information was valuable to the Resistance in their fight. Only German officers who wore gray were fraternized with since they were regular military. The black uniformed Gestapo were feared by everyone, even German soldiers, and left alone. This is important to this story.Monique never made any emotional attachments until she met Major Pieter von Straussen and there was an instant attraction and love between them. The Major, however, after spending several hours with her, mentioned that he had a large transport of ammunition and supplies moving out the next day and where it was going. She memorized this, wrote it down on a piece of paper. While the Major was walking her home, she paused before a house to straighten her stockings and slipped the paper into an air vent. This was a safe house for Resistance fighters and the members inside quickly planned a demolition of this transport group. Pieter saw her push something in the vent and immediately became suspicious.From then on the story, made up of many subplots, encompasses the fighter Claire and her sexually active sister, Monique, in their trials, their loves and their hates. There are several important actors in this story besides this family and the author does an excellent job of character building plus weaving these subplots back and forth throughout the tale, which makes the story a mystery in some aspects. I read this on Kindle so do not know the number of pages, but it is long and a page turner. There are emotional scenes that I cried through because the author has the ability to visualize and express emotions that become alive for the reader.I truly enjoyed this story and recommend it to those who like WWII war dramas.
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