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From the author of the “fast-paced, heartbreaking, and hopeful” (Kristin Harmel, author of The Room on Rue Amélie) The Light After the War, a riveting and heartfelt story of a young woman recruited to be a spy for the resistance on the French Riviera during World War II. Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant From the author of the “fast-paced, heartbreaking, and hopeful” (Kristin Harmel, author of The Room on Rue Amélie) The Light After the War, a riveting and heartfelt story of a young woman recruited to be a spy for the resistance on the French Riviera during World War II. Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano. A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband. Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead. With Anita Abriel’s “heartfelt and memorable” (Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling, Lana’s War is a sweeping and suspenseful tale of survival and second chances during some of the darkest days of history.


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From the author of the “fast-paced, heartbreaking, and hopeful” (Kristin Harmel, author of The Room on Rue Amélie) The Light After the War, a riveting and heartfelt story of a young woman recruited to be a spy for the resistance on the French Riviera during World War II. Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant From the author of the “fast-paced, heartbreaking, and hopeful” (Kristin Harmel, author of The Room on Rue Amélie) The Light After the War, a riveting and heartfelt story of a young woman recruited to be a spy for the resistance on the French Riviera during World War II. Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano. A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband. Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead. With Anita Abriel’s “heartfelt and memorable” (Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling, Lana’s War is a sweeping and suspenseful tale of survival and second chances during some of the darkest days of history.

30 review for Lana's War

  1. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    4 stars for a story of love, romance and danger in WWII France. The book opens with Lana Hartmann witnessing the murder of her husband Frederic by a Gestapo officer for hiding a Jewish orphan. Lana decides to join the resistance and moves to Nice. What happens to her makes for an exciting story where she outwits Gestapo officers and helps Jewish people escape. One quote, describing Nice; "Lana opened the French doors and stepped onto the balcony. The sea was perfectly calm, and the sky was the co 4 stars for a story of love, romance and danger in WWII France. The book opens with Lana Hartmann witnessing the murder of her husband Frederic by a Gestapo officer for hiding a Jewish orphan. Lana decides to join the resistance and moves to Nice. What happens to her makes for an exciting story where she outwits Gestapo officers and helps Jewish people escape. One quote, describing Nice; "Lana opened the French doors and stepped onto the balcony. The sea was perfectly calm, and the sky was the color of topaz. Below her, the the hills were dotted with villas featuring manicured lawns and swimming pools. Thank You Atria Books for sending me this eARC through NetGalley.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Paris 1943: Lana Hartmann is on her way to see her husband Fredric to tell him some very good news, when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she's horrified to see Gestapo officer Alois Brunner shoot him dead for giving a Jewish girl piano lessons and she flees the scene. Lana’s devastated she doesn’t know what to do, she’s in complete shock for a couple of months and once she finally drags herself out of bed she passes her time by helping at the convent. Lana’s approached to join Paris 1943: Lana Hartmann is on her way to see her husband Fredric to tell him some very good news, when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she's horrified to see Gestapo officer Alois Brunner shoot him dead for giving a Jewish girl piano lessons and she flees the scene. Lana’s devastated she doesn’t know what to do, she’s in complete shock for a couple of months and once she finally drags herself out of bed she passes her time by helping at the convent. Lana’s approached to join the resistance they want her to move to the French Riviera to be a spy, her mother Tatiana is a Russian countess and Lana has the perfect background to mix with the other Russian aristocrats already living there. They want her to mingle with the white Russians, attend glitzy parties, and go to the casino; hopefully drunken German soldiers might mention things in front of a pretty woman and let their guard down. Lana's worried what people will think of her living with Guy Pascal a Swiss industrialist so soon after her husbands death; despite it only being a cover story, they assure her during such times these things are over looked by high society and she’s far too young to be single for long. The plan is for her gather information under the Nazi’s noses about upcoming raids, Jewish people are being sent to a camp at Drancy and the couple also help Jewish people escape. Lana is kind, thoughtful and despite numerous warnings from Guy that she needs to be extremely careful, she can’t save everyone and she still takes risks. Lana can’t turn away and ignore someone who needs help and especially a recently orphaned young Jewish girl. Set in the beautiful French Rivera Lana’s War is a story about revenge, Lana has a very strong conscience, and she wants France to be free from Nazi rule and her husband death has made her very determined to achieve this. She wants to help save as many Jewish people as she can, she also wants justice for her husbands Fredric’s death and hopefully Alois Brunner will get what he deserves. I really enjoyed Lana's War, I highly recommend reading this book and especially if you like WW II historical fiction and five stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    3.5 stars Paris, 1943. Lana Hartmann loses her husband and unborn child. When asked to join the French Resistance, she accepts the offer. She lost her child, but she’ll help other children to live. She leaves Paris behind and heads to Nice to join forces with a Swiss spy named Guy. What interested me into this story was the French Resistance in the south. It brings some interesting facts, but the romance spoils it. It also brings exciting descriptions of the Riviera and what makes it unique, for e 3.5 stars Paris, 1943. Lana Hartmann loses her husband and unborn child. When asked to join the French Resistance, she accepts the offer. She lost her child, but she’ll help other children to live. She leaves Paris behind and heads to Nice to join forces with a Swiss spy named Guy. What interested me into this story was the French Resistance in the south. It brings some interesting facts, but the romance spoils it. It also brings exciting descriptions of the Riviera and what makes it unique, for example the perfumeries. The setting and premise are interesting. The plot moves swiftly. But the narrative could be more polished. Lana gulps a lot. She is naïve at times. She doesn’t necessarily come across as a strong character. I enjoy well-developed characters who reveal their thoughts and feelings, but Lana constantly analysis everything. And because of that, when she expresses her feelings they fall flat. I didn’t feel her pain. When something is being said to her and she thinks it over, it creates unnecessary repetition. Some bickering between Lana and Guy was a bit too much. Source: ARC was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    It was Paris 1943 when Lana Antanova had joyous news for her husband. But when she saw him executed brutally by a Nazi, she thought her world would end. The subsequent loss of her unborn child devastated Lana – how would she cope? But cope she did. After some time with her mother and step father, Lana left for the French Riviera where she was determined to be a part of the French Resistance and help to save the Jewish people who were being persecuted by the Nazis. Joining forces with Guy Pascal, It was Paris 1943 when Lana Antanova had joyous news for her husband. But when she saw him executed brutally by a Nazi, she thought her world would end. The subsequent loss of her unborn child devastated Lana – how would she cope? But cope she did. After some time with her mother and step father, Lana left for the French Riviera where she was determined to be a part of the French Resistance and help to save the Jewish people who were being persecuted by the Nazis. Joining forces with Guy Pascal, a Swiss national, they lived together in Guy’s villa in Cap Ferrat. Her cover story as Guy’s mistress, a party girl who would befriend the Germans, gave her chills, but she was determined to avenge her husband and baby, and all the Jews who had already been murdered. As the days and weeks flowed by, tension, terror and bravery kept them going. When Lana befriended a twelve-year-old Jewish girl and her mother, more danger threatened. What would happen as the Nazis became more brazen and more Jews needed to escape? Lana’s War by Aussie author Anita Abriel is another brilliant historical novel. I enjoyed the author’s debut novel, The Light After the War, and this one didn’t disappoint. The bravery of the Resistance is well known; through Lana’s eyes, it shows another aspect of their courage and dedication in foiling the evil of the German Nazis. I found the characters well written and easy to like (apart from the Germans of course) and particularly liked Odette. Highly recommended. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    Lana lost everything the night the Gestapo shot her husband because he was hiding a Jewish child in his piano, and she also lost her unborn child because of the shock.​​ Did she really lose everything? She didn't lose her desire to help save other Jewish families and especially children. She had to avenge her husband's death, and an opportunity arose.​​ Lana was approached by the French Resistance to help out at the Riviera. She was apprehensive because she would have to pretend she and a stranger Lana lost everything the night the Gestapo shot her husband because he was hiding a Jewish child in his piano, and she also lost her unborn child because of the shock.​​ Did she really lose everything? She didn't lose her desire to help save other Jewish families and especially children. She had to avenge her husband's death, and an opportunity arose.​​ Lana was approached by the French Resistance to help out at the Riviera. She was apprehensive because she would have to pretend she and a stranger were lovers as they did their work.​​ Lana didn't have too much to do at first, but in order to not look suspicious and to get some information, she and Guy did attend lavish parties that the SS soldiers attended. The information Lana received about what they were going to do to exterminate the Jewish community including children made her ill, but she had to attend the parties and find information so they could save as many lives as possible.​​ We follow Lana and Guy as they save lives and learn of raids the Gestapo had planned. You will feel their anxiety and fear and marvel at their expertise as they carry out missions to save lives.​​​​​ I honestly didn't know that the Germans and upper class carried on as if a war were not going on.​​ Lana, Guy, and Pierre were likable, authentic characters. ​​LANA'S WAR is very well written, well-researched, flows nicely, and pulls you in with Ms. Abril's writing style and story line. 5/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Lana’s War by Anita Abriel was a novel set in both Paris and Nice on the French Riviera during World War II. It allowed glimpses into the world of the brave Parisians living amongst the threatening and terrorizing members of the Gestapo while they bravely tried to help innocent Jewish families and children. Anita Abriel’s vivid words more than adequately depicted the grim circumstances of Paris during this time in history and the beauty of the French Riviera that was muddled by the German occupa Lana’s War by Anita Abriel was a novel set in both Paris and Nice on the French Riviera during World War II. It allowed glimpses into the world of the brave Parisians living amongst the threatening and terrorizing members of the Gestapo while they bravely tried to help innocent Jewish families and children. Anita Abriel’s vivid words more than adequately depicted the grim circumstances of Paris during this time in history and the beauty of the French Riviera that was muddled by the German occupation. The characters in Lana’s War were well developed and believable. Mix in a little romance and the result was a fast paced and tender book that included danger, hope, trust, secrets, kindness and a little espionage. Lana Antanova was a young woman living in Paris in 1943 amongst the German occupiers. She had married Frederic, a talented musician and she was very much in love with him. They had met while she was attending University. Her dream was that someday she would have her own shop where she would sell her own fragrances and beauty items. Lana was learning how to be a chemist. Little did Lana know that her life was about to change drastically. It was an ordinary day in Paris in 1943 and Lana was so full of hope, love and happiness. She was carrying Frederic’s child and she was on her way to share the happy news with him.. Lana was headed toward the convent where Frederic was giving music lessons to some children. Amongst those children were some Jewish children that were being hidden from the Gestapo. Lana found her way around to the window where she could spy Frederic teaching. The most unimaginable vision appeared in front of her peering eyes, though. When Lana peered through the window, Frederic and the children were not the only ones she saw. Lana witnessed the brutal murder of her beloved Frederic by Gestapo member Alois Brunner. Frederic had hidden one of the young Jewish children in the piano. When it was discovered, Alois Brunner did not hesitate to pull the trigger and Lana’s love was destroyed in an instant. As she hurried to get away, numb with loss and fear, she felt sharp pains rage throughout her body. Lana had not only lost Frederic that day but she also was about to loose their unborn child. The next few weeks were a blur. Lana felt and did nothing but curl up in her bed and mourn for Frederic and their unborn child. When she finally gathered the strength to venture out she found her way to the convent. She helped by performing menial jobs. It kept her mind off the sadness that lurked within her. Then one day, one of the sisters at the convent, suggested that Lana join the resistance. Lana agreed to join with the hope that she could help save Jewish children just as Frederic had tried to do. Lana came from a long line of Russian ancestors. Her mother, Tatiana, was a Russian Countess, making Lana one herself. It was the perfect guise to be able to mingle among the other members of the Russian aristocracy living on the French Riviera. It would help get her invited to all the lavish parties where she would be privy to all sorts of information that the elite Gestapo guests would inadvertently share with her. The only flaw in this plan was that Lana would be living with Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist, as his lover. Lana had not fully recovered from loosing Frederic. She still missed him terribly. There was no room in her heart for love. Or was there? Two people would touch Lana’s heart in very different ways, but ways she could not ignore. Lana’s War by Anita Abriel was a book that touched on all my emotions. It was about loss, fear, friendship, love, family, survival, and the dangers that hid just beyond sight and reach.This was the first book that I read by Anita Abriel but I will attempt to read her previous book and look forward to her next book. I recommend Lana’s War very highly. It is set to be published on January 26, 2021. Thank you to Atria Books through Netgalley for allowing me to read this digital version of Lana’s War by Anita Abriel in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    The story begins in 1943 in Paris. Lana is witness to the brutal murder of her young husband, by an SS officer, for helping to hide Jewish children. Lana is quickly recruited to join the French Resistance and she travels to the French Riviera. Being the daughter of a Russian countess allows Lana to become part of the local social scene of Russian aristocrats and German officers, which includes Alois Brunner, the man who killed her husband. She pretends to be the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy The story begins in 1943 in Paris. Lana is witness to the brutal murder of her young husband, by an SS officer, for helping to hide Jewish children. Lana is quickly recruited to join the French Resistance and she travels to the French Riviera. Being the daughter of a Russian countess allows Lana to become part of the local social scene of Russian aristocrats and German officers, which includes Alois Brunner, the man who killed her husband. She pretends to be the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss businessman. The Gestapo has vowed to rid the Riviera of all Jews and Guy is committed to savings as many people as possible now with Lana’s help. As Lana uses her background, beauty and intelligence to get closer to the Nazis to get details of their latest plots, she makes the dangerous decision to get close to a Jewish mother and daughter who cannot leave their home for fear of being seen by the Germans. While Lana’s War delves into the horrible and cruel activities of the Nazi’s, it is a much lighter work of Historical Fiction than many other books that take place during this period. The addition of a love story provides a nice element of romance. There is intrigue as Lana has the eye of both Brunner and Captain Von Harmon but the story moves quickly so it never gets too suspenseful. It was nice to see Lana evolve and show great strength in her missions. There is an interesting cast of characters. Some are clearly the “good guys” and others are beyond evil. But there are some people we aren’t sure about which was effective. Many people during this period were not who they appeared to be. Some sympathized with the Nazi’s while others worked unselfishly to stop them. The author did an excellent job creating a beautiful setting for the book – the beauty that hid the ugliness around them. Many thanks to NetGalley, Atria Books and author Anita Abriel for the opportunity to read this enjoyable book in advance of its January 12, 2021 publication date. Review posted on MicheleReader.com.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bam cooks the books ;-)

    This story is really a romance in a WWII historical setting. Lana's husband is killed for protecting young Jewish music students at a convent in Paris, causing Lana to miscarry her baby that same day. In her grief and wanting revenge, she accepts a mission to work for the Resistance in Nice, where she will pretend to be carrying on an affair with a wealthy Swiss banker, Guy, while gathering information. The setting and lifestyle depicted are fabulous but I thought the story was fairly lightweigh This story is really a romance in a WWII historical setting. Lana's husband is killed for protecting young Jewish music students at a convent in Paris, causing Lana to miscarry her baby that same day. In her grief and wanting revenge, she accepts a mission to work for the Resistance in Nice, where she will pretend to be carrying on an affair with a wealthy Swiss banker, Guy, while gathering information. The setting and lifestyle depicted are fabulous but I thought the story was fairly lightweight and the ending rather implausible. What woman would accept that explanation?? I received an arc of this new novel from the publisher via netGalley in exchange for my honest opinions. Thanks for the opportunity.

  9. 5 out of 5

    eyes.2c

    A World War II romance with tragic overtones (or maybe a tragedy with romantic overtones) set during the German occupation of Paris with the plot moving to the Riviera. Unfortunately I just wasn’t connecting. An Atria Books ARC via NetGalley

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shelleyrae at Book'd Out

    ⭐️⭐️= OK Lana’s War is Anita Abriel’s second historical fiction novel set during World War II. Discovering she is pregnant, Lana Hartmann (née Antanova) hurries through the streets of occupied Paris, anxious to share the happy news with her husband, a music teacher. She is horrified when she finds her husband being questioned by the gestapo and devastated when she witnesses his callous execution while trying to protect a young Jewish girl. Miscarrying their child that same day, Lana staves off des ⭐️⭐️= OK Lana’s War is Anita Abriel’s second historical fiction novel set during World War II. Discovering she is pregnant, Lana Hartmann (née Antanova) hurries through the streets of occupied Paris, anxious to share the happy news with her husband, a music teacher. She is horrified when she finds her husband being questioned by the gestapo and devastated when she witnesses his callous execution while trying to protect a young Jewish girl. Miscarrying their child that same day, Lana staves off despair by volunteering at a convent where she is offered an opportunity to join the resistance. Eager to honour her husband’s sacrifice and save Jews from the Gestapo, Lana accepts and is sent to the Riviera region of France. There Lana is asked to trade on her Russian heritage and, as Countess Lana Antanova, help Swiss resistance member, Guy Pascal, with his efforts to smuggle Jews out of the country. I like that Abriel has chosen a setting for her novel in an area of France usually overlooked in WWII historical fiction, which tends to favour Paris or the French countryside. Nice, and its neighbours including Cannes, St. Tropez, and Monaco, are part of the French Riviera, on the south east coast of France. Just 30km from the Italian border, Nice was occupied first by the Italians, and then the Germans before being liberated in 1944. When Lana arrives in November, 1943, she is surprised that the city seems largely unaffected by the war. Unlike in Paris, stores are open and well stocked, and the casino’s, hotels and cafe’s are well patronised, though the place is overrun with German soldiers. Abriel ties the plot of her novel in with the escalation against Jews in the area, where Lana is tasked to learn the timing of upcoming raids, giving them an opportunity to evade being sent to Drancy Internment Camp. I liked the premise which promised adventure, tension and romance, unfortunately the execution fell short for me. I liked Lana well enough but I didn’t find her to be a particularly consistent or convincing character. While her motivation for her choice to work with resistance is strong, and she’s obviously intelligent, given her education, she doesn’t seem wise enough to be so adept at espionage. It’s also a bit of a stretch that within days of her arrival she has four men essentially in love with her. I did like the romantic attachment Lana formed, but I wasn’t keen on how it played out. Lana’s relationship with Odette, a young Jewish girl, however was lovely. Unfortunately, despite finding the broad strokes of the the story to be engaging, I thought the prose itself was rather flat, and a touch repetitive. Though I dislike the phrase, I also thought there was far more ‘telling than showing’ and as such, tension rarely eventuated, or fizzled out. A story of war, vengeance, courage and love, Lana’s War was a quick read, but for me, not a particularly satisfying one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jeanne

    Lana is a young newlywed living in France during the war. She is hurrying to her husband's school to tell him that she is pregnant but instead witnesses him being shot by a German while he was trying to protect a Jewish child. In her grief she decides to join the resistance and try to save as many people as she can. This book captivated right from the beginning. There weren't a lot of characters so the book moved along quickly for me. I liked Lana but at times I really wanted to slap her. She is Lana is a young newlywed living in France during the war. She is hurrying to her husband's school to tell him that she is pregnant but instead witnesses him being shot by a German while he was trying to protect a Jewish child. In her grief she decides to join the resistance and try to save as many people as she can. This book captivated right from the beginning. There weren't a lot of characters so the book moved along quickly for me. I liked Lana but at times I really wanted to slap her. She is paired with a man, Guy, and given a mission in the Rivera but she seems to fight him every step of the way. She was reckless and impulsive and sometimes I thought she didn't realize the gravity of the things she did and how much she put others in danger. Her mission was to infiltrate the White Russians that were Nazi sympathizers and try to find out their plans for getting rid of the Jews. Guy tells her to be careful with Natalia, Charles and Giselle but instead she argues with him that they are nice people and he's got it all wrong. At times I found the book repetitious. The fact that Lana had lost her baby and how much she loved her husband seemed to be mentioned every couple of pages. The setting of the Riviera and Monaco with all the wealth and glitter was very well depicted. I really enjoyed the story and will recommend it to friends. Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for providing me with a copy of this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Milena

    I was excited to read Lana's War because of the French Riviera (one of my favorite places), and it has Russian emigres as characters. I thought it was a unique setting for a WW2 novel. Unfortunately, I didn't love it as much as I wanted to. The writing style was bland and superficial. I didn't connect to any of the characters or care about them. It was an easy and quick read, but it didn't have an emotional impact you would expect from a WW2 book. This genre is very saturated, so it's hard to fi I was excited to read Lana's War because of the French Riviera (one of my favorite places), and it has Russian emigres as characters. I thought it was a unique setting for a WW2 novel. Unfortunately, I didn't love it as much as I wanted to. The writing style was bland and superficial. I didn't connect to any of the characters or care about them. It was an easy and quick read, but it didn't have an emotional impact you would expect from a WW2 book. This genre is very saturated, so it's hard to find a unique story. I was hoping Lana's War would be it, but, alas, it was not! *ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tami

    Set in World War II, this book takes readers away from occupied Paris, to the beautiful French Riviera. A location known for displaced “White Russians” and other wealthy individuals, the Riviera is still somewhat of a safe place for Jewish people. Unfortunately that is soon to change. Lana, the daughter of a Russian Countess who lives in occupied Paris, has recently witnessed her husband’s shooting by a German soldier. Still grieving, Lana is introduced to someone in the Resistance by a local nun Set in World War II, this book takes readers away from occupied Paris, to the beautiful French Riviera. A location known for displaced “White Russians” and other wealthy individuals, the Riviera is still somewhat of a safe place for Jewish people. Unfortunately that is soon to change. Lana, the daughter of a Russian Countess who lives in occupied Paris, has recently witnessed her husband’s shooting by a German soldier. Still grieving, Lana is introduced to someone in the Resistance by a local nun, and is soon on a train to the Riviera to work as a spy in aiding the Resistance. As far as war hardships go, Lana has it easy, but she is still in the path of danger because she is associating with German soldiers in order to find out sensitive information. Lana has been teamed up with Guy, another resistance worker who is always nearby looking out for her safety. I found this a bit predictable, but still interesting. The ending did surprise me but I think book clubs would find it worthy of discussion. Many thanks to NetGalley and Atria books for allowing me to read an advance copy and give my honest review.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee Bree

    I wanted to love this one, I did. I hoped it would fill that fraught, courageous, emotionally tragic void I leave ajar for stories that take place during historical war times. I thought it could end up being reminiscent of Kristin Hannah's work by delving deep into themes of loss, and horror; by exploring the intricacies of forbidden love, of human compassion, of hope and resiliency during WWII. Unfortunately, this book ended up falling short for me in a couple respects. The premise itself was m I wanted to love this one, I did. I hoped it would fill that fraught, courageous, emotionally tragic void I leave ajar for stories that take place during historical war times. I thought it could end up being reminiscent of Kristin Hannah's work by delving deep into themes of loss, and horror; by exploring the intricacies of forbidden love, of human compassion, of hope and resiliency during WWII. Unfortunately, this book ended up falling short for me in a couple respects. The premise itself was meaty enough: what with a Paris/French Riviera setting, an undercover resistance plot, and a heroine who not only witnesses her husband's murder by the Gestapo but miscarries their child before throwing herself straight into danger months later with a man named Guy, a Swiss industrialist and resistance fighter, with a mysterious past of his own. Together, the two work to foil the Nazi's raids. Helping as many Jews as possible avoid the camps and escape to freedom. All of the elements were there. Potential was ripe for the plucking. The broad overarching strokes of the story held merit, I will say that; however, it was the implementation of them that failed to captivate me. As characters, Lana and Guy were basic. One-dimensional. Even though they both suffered losses throughout the war, fettering a string of similarity between them, I had trouble investing in their tragedies. I couldn't feel the breadth of them. The soul-crushing expanse. Perhaps it was a result of too much telling and not enough showing, but the anguish and despair I expected to feel as their personal histories were revealed didn't hit its mark. It fell flat. The same can be said for their romance. Not only did it progress quickly, without much depth or development, but it was weak. Predictable. Lacking the emotional turmoil or turbulence that you'd anticipate between two people who are thrust in the middle of a duplicitous, perilous, war-torn reality. This wasn't a bad book by any means. Just a little deficient in certain areas for my taste. It prevented me from being as engaged with the characters, with their story, as I'd hoped to be. Thank you to Atria Books, Isabel DaSilva, and NetGalley for the ARC! BOOK BLOG

  15. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn

    Review to follow

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Long

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If you’re looking for a lighter WWII fiction, Lana’s War is the book for you. It’s an engaging, fast paced book that will cleanse the palate for those who need a break from the extremes that can be found in this genre. Lana Antanova is a grieving young, widow having witnessed her husband being killed by the Gestapo for hiding Jewish children in a convent. Her desire to help the children does not go unnoticed by one of the sisters in the convent. She is recommended to the resistance and after som If you’re looking for a lighter WWII fiction, Lana’s War is the book for you. It’s an engaging, fast paced book that will cleanse the palate for those who need a break from the extremes that can be found in this genre. Lana Antanova is a grieving young, widow having witnessed her husband being killed by the Gestapo for hiding Jewish children in a convent. Her desire to help the children does not go unnoticed by one of the sisters in the convent. She is recommended to the resistance and after some soul searching decided to take them up on their offer. She relocates to the Riviera which has a large community of Russian immigrants with the intention of running elbows with important people and gaining valuable information to pass on to the resistance and potentially saving dozens of lives. She flirts with German officers and helps to save many Jewish citizens. She didn’t expect to fall in love with her Resistance partner or a young Jewish child who lost both of her parents. Constantly living in fear, Lana puts on a brave face because if she can save the children, the future generation, she’ll be able to make her husband proud and avenge his death. This novel has a great cast of characters. The authors doesn’t dive too deep into their backstories but just enough that you can read between the lines and understand each character and their place in the story and the war. Their strength, determination, bravery and compassion is very apparent from page one. If you need a break from the intense and emotional aspects of WWII but are like me and cant tear yourself away from the genre....this a great reprieve. Thank you to NetGalley, Simon and Schuester and Anita Abriel for the early peek at this novel. I enjoyed getting to know Lana and greatly admire her fearlessness.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    This gorgeous cover is perfectly suited to this story of a displaced Russian countess who works for the Resistance on the French Riviera. I breezed through this new release quite quickly and really liked Lana, Guy, and many of the other characters. Lana experiences great tragedy and puts herself in extreme peril to save Jewish children from being sent to concentration camps. The French Riviera really comes to life and seems like the effects of the war were delayed there in comparison to Paris. T This gorgeous cover is perfectly suited to this story of a displaced Russian countess who works for the Resistance on the French Riviera. I breezed through this new release quite quickly and really liked Lana, Guy, and many of the other characters. Lana experiences great tragedy and puts herself in extreme peril to save Jewish children from being sent to concentration camps. The French Riviera really comes to life and seems like the effects of the war were delayed there in comparison to Paris. The ending is a nice surprise. What I found hard to believe is the choices Lana made regarding her relationship with Guy just a few months after she lost Frederic. It seemed like a different person was making the decisions to share a bed and hotel room openly for real rather than as a cover, especially with Odette staying with them. Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Maureen Timerman

    Horrible circumstances bring young Lana to the French Riviera, where she is now using her heritage to help the resistance. Her mother fled Russia before she was born, but she uses this to her advantage and becomes Countess Lana Antanova, and begins her work as a spy. This is a riveting page turning read, that you will need answers from one page to the next, and not know whom you can trust. Unfortunately, this is a fictional story, but based on what really happened during these dark times in histor Horrible circumstances bring young Lana to the French Riviera, where she is now using her heritage to help the resistance. Her mother fled Russia before she was born, but she uses this to her advantage and becomes Countess Lana Antanova, and begins her work as a spy. This is a riveting page turning read, that you will need answers from one page to the next, and not know whom you can trust. Unfortunately, this is a fictional story, but based on what really happened during these dark times in history. We know the outcome of the war, but this book put faces on those who give the ultimate, and more, and there are surprises, yes, all the way to the last page. I never anticipated the ending, but thinking back to those times, yes, very possible! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Atria Books, and was not required to give a positive review.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The setting: Lana Antanova [her cover--her married name is Hartmann], a young French newlywed, and daughter of a Russian Countess [another whole story] sees her husband shot before her eyes--AND--she loses her unborn child. Distressed [duh], she agrees to be a spy for the Resistance in the French Riveria seeking to help Jewish families and children [often orphaned] escape. She leaves Paris under the cover of a "mistress" for Gu I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The setting: Lana Antanova [her cover--her married name is Hartmann], a young French newlywed, and daughter of a Russian Countess [another whole story] sees her husband shot before her eyes--AND--she loses her unborn child. Distressed [duh], she agrees to be a spy for the Resistance in the French Riveria seeking to help Jewish families and children [often orphaned] escape. She leaves Paris under the cover of a "mistress" for Guy Pascal who has a villa on the French Riveria. Lana is to infiltrate the Russian emigres living there as they are often in the company of German officers--because there is sympathy between the two countries. The setting makes it totally different from the usual Holocaust novel. And the descriptions of life among the wealthy on the Riveria! Thankfully this was not a bash over the head, extremely despressing holocaust novel. That said, there were of course Nazis, the Gestapo and horrible things. Suspense/some mystery, danger, romance and some sweetness [particularly between Lana and Odette.} I found this book quite an easy, fast read. I could see it as a Hallmark movie. For me, the ending is often the clincher to a rating. This one--OY! All of a sudden it's 11 years later and.. [no spoiler from me], but a definite downturn. And--sort of neat and tidy.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jade

    I haven’t read as much WW2 historical fiction as I would normally do this year, so I was excited to get into this one during the holidays. It’s a quick read, very fast-paced, and for the most part holds up. If you like historical fiction that has a heavy side of romance, then you will probably enjoy Lana’s War. Lana Antanova’s mother fled Russia during the Revolution and brought her daughter up in Paris. Lana marries her love Frederic at the beginning of WW2, but after witnessing his murder at t I haven’t read as much WW2 historical fiction as I would normally do this year, so I was excited to get into this one during the holidays. It’s a quick read, very fast-paced, and for the most part holds up. If you like historical fiction that has a heavy side of romance, then you will probably enjoy Lana’s War. Lana Antanova’s mother fled Russia during the Revolution and brought her daughter up in Paris. Lana marries her love Frederic at the beginning of WW2, but after witnessing his murder at the hands of the Gestapo, and then losing her unborn child, she decides to join the French Resistance. Posing as a Russian countess looking for some fun on the French Riviera, she works as a spy with the intent on saving as many Jewish families from being deported as she can. I enjoyed the whole French Riviera jetset theme, where life continues to go on despite the atrocities that are happening right in front of them, where everyone plays a role (or two), and you never know who you can trust or not. But I wanted more depth, and felt like everything was just too rushed for my liking. Lana and Guy both felt one-sided, and I couldn’t find myself connecting to either of them. The only character I liked was Pierre, the cab driver/Resistance hero. I personally felt like there was so much focus on the romance side (which wasn’t completely plausible to me), that the actual bones of the plot (WW2, Resistance, spies etc etc) fell to the wayside and wasn’t developed as much as it should have been. There are a few areas that aren’t 100% correct based on the timeline, but I grew up in France and studied WW2 inside and out so I know I’m a bit too nitpicky! If you are looking for a quick romance to read with a bit of a WW2 setting, this will suit your tastes. Lana’s War wasn’t really my cup of tea (although it was well written, in a dreamy tone that suited the story well). Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Lana's War by Anita Abriel is an excellent historical fiction novel that takes place in the Riviera during WWII. I have been a fan of Ms. Abriel ever since I read her wonderful book, The Light After the War, so I was excited to be able to read this novel. This second book did not disappoint. I loved the unique location of this novel, the French Riviera. I loved reading about the beautiful landscapes, the resorts, hotels, estates, and glitz and glamour. The author does a wonderful job depicting t Lana's War by Anita Abriel is an excellent historical fiction novel that takes place in the Riviera during WWII. I have been a fan of Ms. Abriel ever since I read her wonderful book, The Light After the War, so I was excited to be able to read this novel. This second book did not disappoint. I loved the unique location of this novel, the French Riviera. I loved reading about the beautiful landscapes, the resorts, hotels, estates, and glitz and glamour. The author does a wonderful job depicting these gorgeous images. I also loved the plot. There was suspense, mystery, intrigue, romance, and I enjoyed the ending. I feel like the author was able to create a nice wrap-up to the characters and it was fitting to their wishes and hopes that were spoken within the story. I liked Lana, the main female character, and enjoyed reading about her fight for justice. Despite all of the horrific losses she experienced as a child and in her young adult life, she was able to overcome all of this sadness and help right whatever wrongs she could within the Resistance. As a student of chemistry, she was smart, she was complex, naïve at times, but she learned from her mistakes and errors. She was stronger and more feisty then she gave herself credit for. I am glad to see that she received the ending that her character deserves. An excellent novel for anyone that loves a great historical fiction, WWII novels involving the French Resistance, and enjoy a satisfying ending. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and Atria Books for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Bookbub, and Instagram accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, B&N, and Instagram (again) accounts upon publication.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Toni Osborne

    I am a huge fan of historical fiction especially when the story is set during WW11 and involves the French Resistance. This light, fast-paced and engaging story opens in Paris 1943 then moves to the French Riviera. After Lana’s husband was executed by the Gestapo she joined the Resistance, her cover story makes her the mistress of a wealthy industrialist on Cap Ferrat. Her mission as a spy was to infiltrate the aristocrat community who socialize with the German officers and gather information on I am a huge fan of historical fiction especially when the story is set during WW11 and involves the French Resistance. This light, fast-paced and engaging story opens in Paris 1943 then moves to the French Riviera. After Lana’s husband was executed by the Gestapo she joined the Resistance, her cover story makes her the mistress of a wealthy industrialist on Cap Ferrat. Her mission as a spy was to infiltrate the aristocrat community who socialize with the German officers and gather information on upcoming raid on the Jewish community in order to help them escape. Escape to freedom to the French Riviera with all its beauty a place in which the rich appeared to be little impacted by the war. They were attending parties, galas, dinners, visiting casinos and brushing shoulders with high level Nazis. Lana was amongst them. “Lana’s War” follows her odyssey and along with her we experience a full range of emotions. The story is quite smooth with a bit of suspense and intrigue but what excel is the description of the beautiful landscape and how vibrant the characters played out their part in the drama. Although the main focus was on Lana we see what the resistance had to do at the risk of their lives in order to save as many people as they could. Yes, the story leads to some teasing and a tad of romance between Lana and Guy and of course I wished it would have gone further but it was not meant to be.... The story is nicely done and leaves us in awe in the last chapters. I was surprised and definitely never expected the dramatic turn of events the story left us with, what an about turn. Could the author be plotting something? Who knows, maybe a sequel?... I received a copy of this book from Atria Books via Netgalley for an unbiased review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Julia (jaylamm.reads)

    After Lana's husband is brutally murdered for hiding Jewish children, Lana begins a new life helping the French resistance by moving to the French Riviera and socializing with the German officers to try to gather information.  This story starts with such a shocking and heartbreaking scene that you immediately are so invested in Lana's story. She has lost everything but she is determined to do some good in the world.  Although we've heard this type of story before, I enjoyed the setting of the Fren After Lana's husband is brutally murdered for hiding Jewish children, Lana begins a new life helping the French resistance by moving to the French Riviera and socializing with the German officers to try to gather information.  This story starts with such a shocking and heartbreaking scene that you immediately are so invested in Lana's story. She has lost everything but she is determined to do some good in the world.  Although we've heard this type of story before, I enjoyed the setting of the French Riviera. This is the first World War II book that I have read that was set there. This book felt a little more light hearted as the normal World War II book. It was a beautiful journey of Lana healing and moving forward with her life. 

  24. 5 out of 5

    Liviu

    While somewhat predictable with the usual formula of similar books, I liked the characters and the writing in this one too like in the earlier similar novel of the author - see my short review of The Light After the War: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... - which is applicable to this one too. Definitely recommended While somewhat predictable with the usual formula of similar books, I liked the characters and the writing in this one too like in the earlier similar novel of the author - see my short review of The Light After the War: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... - which is applicable to this one too. Definitely recommended

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Mussell

    I give Lana’s War 3.75 stars. It was a quick, thrilling read. Lana is a character that goes through many battles. Love, loss, fear and estrangement. I wanted a little more in the end as it felt a bit rushed. I love a good historical fiction and this one fed my obsession.

  26. 5 out of 5

    April Perdomo

    I was torn between 2 and 3 stars for this one. I think it falls squarely at 2.5. I usually do not rate books halfway, but here I am. As far as having a compelling plot goes, this one has an absolutely fantastic plot. The set up for the characters is very interesting. Unfortunately in actual execution this one fell a bit flat for me. The backdrop of this was unique and the plot was fast-paced. I wanted to keep reading because I genuinely wanted to know where the story would turn next. That said, I was torn between 2 and 3 stars for this one. I think it falls squarely at 2.5. I usually do not rate books halfway, but here I am. As far as having a compelling plot goes, this one has an absolutely fantastic plot. The set up for the characters is very interesting. Unfortunately in actual execution this one fell a bit flat for me. The backdrop of this was unique and the plot was fast-paced. I wanted to keep reading because I genuinely wanted to know where the story would turn next. That said, the actual players in this story felt very one-dimensional and the dialogue was stiff. I wanted to breathe some life into the characters because they never felt real to me. This was probably the greatest downfall of this read and I am a little bummed by it because the potential was very much there. While this did not work for me, I believe this is landing with quite a few other readers so this may work for you. As I said, the plot itself is engaging. I really, really wish the characters had more life than they did because I think this would have been a solid read otherwise. Blog / Insta

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Lana Antanova witnesses her husband's murder by Gestapo officers, and she thinks her life is over. But an opportunity arises for her to join the Resistance on the French Riviera with the cover of a Russian countess. The only two catches are that she must pretend to be the mistress of wealthy Swiss industrialist Guy Pascal and get friendly with the men who killed her husband and now want to remove all the Jews from the area. Will Lana be able to keep her secrets and her integrity as she fights th Lana Antanova witnesses her husband's murder by Gestapo officers, and she thinks her life is over. But an opportunity arises for her to join the Resistance on the French Riviera with the cover of a Russian countess. The only two catches are that she must pretend to be the mistress of wealthy Swiss industrialist Guy Pascal and get friendly with the men who killed her husband and now want to remove all the Jews from the area. Will Lana be able to keep her secrets and her integrity as she fights the war? I enjoyed the mystery and the new viewpoint of the resistance and WW2. Lana is also brave and proves herself to be a loyal friend to Jews. But once the author introduced sex into the storyline, I lost interest. The shift Lana made romantically was also too abrupt and didn't flow with her previous actions. I lost interest because of the poor editing and unrealistic storyline and only finished the book because I wanted to see how the story ended, which was also abrupt and unfulfilling. 3 stars because of the unique storyline, otherwise I would have only given this book 2 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    The Lit Bitch

    Last year I read Anita Abriel’s debut novel, The Light After the War, and it was good for a debut novel. I don’t know that I loved it, but I enjoyed it and was looking forward to seeing how her writing evolved in future books. The author’s mother was a Holocaust survivor so it’s not surprise that the author drew in real events and personal history not only with her first novel but with this one as well. With having the first book under her belt, this was one I was really looking forward to explor Last year I read Anita Abriel’s debut novel, The Light After the War, and it was good for a debut novel. I don’t know that I loved it, but I enjoyed it and was looking forward to seeing how her writing evolved in future books. The author’s mother was a Holocaust survivor so it’s not surprise that the author drew in real events and personal history not only with her first novel but with this one as well. With having the first book under her belt, this was one I was really looking forward to exploring and seeing how things evolved from the first book to the second. The author’s books aren’t a series, but there are clearly themes in both books that are similar and clearly close to her heart. This book was really up there on my anticipated list because the plot sounded dangerous. The main female character works as a spy to infiltrate the Nazi organization. While perhaps not unique in historical fiction, the way the story was described, promised tension and danger which made me really eager to read it. I have come off a couple of more serious and emotional historical fiction reads lately which on one hand has been rewarding because emotional novels always stay with me for a while meaning I think about them long after I am done. But at the same time, I am going to need a break from more serious historical fiction such as this. This was a well written story that I enjoyed much more than her debut novel. This book packed a lot more emotion into it, something that I expected in the first book but felt wasn’t delivered. However in this book, I think the author delivered. Lana was a wonderful character study in strength and heroism. I can’t imagine going through the kind of loss that she experienced but watching her rise above it and to use that anger and loss—to do something with it, was really wonderful to watch unfold on the pages. Lana was a wonderful character and I really enjoyed her as well as the other characters in the novel. As far as history goes, this book is set during WWII obviously, which clearly is a time period full of novels right? Well this one sets itself aside by being set in the south of France. While occupied Paris is often the go to for WWII era novels, this one takes us to a more exotic destination and to perhaps show us how other areas in France were dealing with the war and the Nazi occupation. I thought it added a lot of interest for me as it felt different and not quite like everything else I have read. The only thing that I felt was a little lacking in this was the romance element. I didn’t quite buy into the romance in the way that I was hoping. For me it felt flat and unnecessary really to the larger story. The story was strong without the romance so if left me feeling like the romance was simply thrown in. It wasn’t terrible but I felt as though the story was strong enough on its own. If you are a fan of historical fiction though, this was a wonderful read. It had a lot of emotion and history that will keep readers interested and enjoying the book. See my full review here

  29. 5 out of 5

    The Latest Book

    3.5 Lana Antanova is living in Paris, 1943 when she loses her husband and unborn child at the hands of the Gestapo. At the height of WWII, Lana is left heartbroken and unsure of how she can keep living when her world is falling apart.⁣ ⁣ Shortly after her tragic loss, Lana is approached and asked to join the resistance, where she will have the chance to save hundreds from the Jewish community by escaping the deadly Nazi raids. As the daughter of a Russian countess, she knows she would be a perfect 3.5 Lana Antanova is living in Paris, 1943 when she loses her husband and unborn child at the hands of the Gestapo. At the height of WWII, Lana is left heartbroken and unsure of how she can keep living when her world is falling apart.⁣ ⁣ Shortly after her tragic loss, Lana is approached and asked to join the resistance, where she will have the chance to save hundreds from the Jewish community by escaping the deadly Nazi raids. As the daughter of a Russian countess, she knows she would be a perfect fit to infiltrate the world of the wealthy French and weasel her way into the lives of the powerful German officers who keep their company.⁣ ⁣ With nothing to lose, Lana travels to the French Riviera where she is launched into high society and becomes an undercover spy. In this novel, the stunning French Riviera is the backdrop for horrific and tragic events. And as the war rages on around her, Lana experiences her own internal war mixed with heartbreak, love and loss. ⁣ ⁣ I have to start by talking about how despite it being the middle of WWII, the French Riviera was still described so beautifully in this book that even I stopped reading a few times just to imagine myself basking in the sun and walking the Mediterranean shoreline (maybe at a different time in history though). ⁣ ⁣ The story started off strong, with plenty happening and I felt that, like Lana, I was being catapulted into this story head first. The excitement continued into the middle of the book, but then the story started to lull. I felt as though some scenes were repetitive and it was almost as if the growth of the characters was happening too fast for it to be realistic. That’s when the story lost me. ⁣ ⁣ I pushed through to finish the story and I can still say it was entertaining albeit a bit rushed at times. Historical fiction is also right up my alley so I might be a bit biased when I say that I enjoyed the story even when it was lacking intensity and suspense.⁣

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sharlene

    I so enjoyed the first book by Anita Abriel and was looking forward to this one and it did not disappoint. Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano. A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the I so enjoyed the first book by Anita Abriel and was looking forward to this one and it did not disappoint. Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano. A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband. Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead. This is a heartbreaking tale of survival and second chance during World War II and such a great example of how strong so many women were during this time.

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