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Resistance

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Now available in mass market paperback for the first time, this novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author takes readers on an unforgettable journey into a harrowing world where forbidden passions have catastrophic consequences.


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Now available in mass market paperback for the first time, this novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author takes readers on an unforgettable journey into a harrowing world where forbidden passions have catastrophic consequences.

30 review for Resistance

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ivana Books Are Magic

    Well, the beginning of Resistance wasn't bad but it all went downhill from there. This was my first book by Anita Shreve and despite the fact that I didn't like it, I'm prepared to give this author another try- hopefully her other works are better. Anyhow, I have many issues with this book, but I will just try to write down a few: - This is one of the most unevenly paced and illogical books that I have ever read. The introduction to the book wasn't bad, a bit cliche and stereotypical but bearably Well, the beginning of Resistance wasn't bad but it all went downhill from there. This was my first book by Anita Shreve and despite the fact that I didn't like it, I'm prepared to give this author another try- hopefully her other works are better. Anyhow, I have many issues with this book, but I will just try to write down a few: - This is one of the most unevenly paced and illogical books that I have ever read. The introduction to the book wasn't bad, a bit cliche and stereotypical but bearably so. However, after the introduction what we get is a story that not only drags but doesn't make much sense. The author uses a ton of repetition, possibly mistaking it for poetical writing and setting the done- it was just painful to read. The plot is both slow and obvious. There was one episode (a date in a cafe) that was downright silly and terribly written (in every sense of the word). Towards the end of the book, there is a sudden twist and it really got my hopes up, I was sure that the book will start to make sense. Alas, it didn't. In fact, the culmination of the book was the worst kind of ending for this story. If possible, the ending made the book even more sentimental, emotionally manipulative, predictable, stereotypical, and cliche. -I found it hard to relate to the characters, possibly because they weren't written very well. This especially applies to the protagonist of the novel, the American pilot and the Belgian resistance fighter/housewife. Instead of taking the time to form characters, the author relied on adding random details about them and repeating them ad nauseam. I can see how someone might still be drawn to them, but I wasn't- or I wouldn't keep noticing all the odd details. For me personally, Shreve's writing didn't made the character come to life and it wasn't poetical. The other characters were just as stereotypical. The only character that I found touching was an old Jewish lady mentioned at the start of the novel, but I have a feeling that hers is a true story (or based on a true story), so the fact that it was touching had little to do with the writer's skill. - The main character Clare who is supposedly and intelligent women who reads English book apparently knows how to use only one tense in the English language: the present continuous. She keeps using it through the book, never learning another tense. It is both annoying and it makes the reading painful. As someone who teaches English as a second language, I can tell you this makes no sense. A person just starting to learn English might confuse the present and continuous tenses, but the very notion that a person wouldn't learn or use more than one tense is idiotic. Obviously, an adult person would have a clear enough concept of past, present and future. As far as I know, tenses exist in the French language. Someone who stills struggles with English might use the present simple when the present continuous is more appropriate or confuse one tense with another occasionally but they wouldn't use one present tense to describe past events- all the time. It makes no sense. - Another thing that I found annoying is that a lot of things didn't add up. For example, Claire is supposed to be taking care of a large farm, that includes a lot of animals that need to be fed and etc. every day. The American pilot admires her for that quite clearly on one occasion. However, when the two of them hide in one part of the house for days because they are afraid of Nazi Germans finding them, those animals and the farm magically take care of themselves and Claire is able to get back to her farm duties without problems. I also found it strange how easy they found it to hide from the Germans, it was all to convenient- every time. There was little logic to their actions. Sometimes the two of them would hide for days but more often they would risk everything by listening to BBC radio loudly. Whatever. -I had a feeling the author is being condescending towards the Belgians. They are all depicted as stupid peasants, especially in comparison to the American pilot (who doesn't do much in the course of the book but I got this feeling that his superiority is something to be taken for granted). Some of the Belgian characters are depicted as brave, but they are not impressive or well portrayed characters. They don't seem relevant, besides obviously Clare who has an interest in English literature, so that makes her better than anyone else in the author's eyes. - I also don't like the 'all powerful' and 'larger then life portrayal' of Nazis. All right, they don't take a significant part in the book but there are some unpleasant implications. The Nazis are supposed to be all knowing, all seeing, infiltrating even the smallest of peasant resistance movements.... If the Nazis were so smart, why did they lose the war? I honestly can't remember reading a book that describes Nazis as conceded, pompous, lazy or stupid. I feel like the Nazis are always hyped up to make the fight against them seem more dramatic. It is almost as bad as saying that what they believed (the racial superiority of Germans) is true. I hate reading about Nazis as some kind of superhuman beings. - While we're on a subject, I don't like it when war is being idolized or romanticized. I have a feeling that some people enjoy reading about terrible things that happen to others, for purposes that have nothing to do with learning or education. They do it for excitement, possibly because they have or live empty lives themselves. It is one thing to read about historical horrors for the sake of education, it is another to make a fetish and/or soap opera from it. I have my own term for it, I call it 'war porn' and I don't like it at all. I'm often surprised with how little do people actually know about WW2 in terms of numbers and statistics. Most people don't even know how many people were killed in their own country, possibly because their whole concept of WW2 history is founded mostly on romantic films. I could go on and on about this novel but maybe it is enough to say that I didn't really care for it.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Belgium in the Second World War. My grandmother was Flemish, and it never even occurred to me that she and her family lived through the war in occupied territory. I approached this book as a window onto my own blurry family history, and this personal connection to the subject matter drew me in. Belgian collaborators, Belgian resistance fighters, Belgian children caught in the middle, and every one of them changed forever. What I would give to sit my grandmother down and have a chat with her over Belgium in the Second World War. My grandmother was Flemish, and it never even occurred to me that she and her family lived through the war in occupied territory. I approached this book as a window onto my own blurry family history, and this personal connection to the subject matter drew me in. Belgian collaborators, Belgian resistance fighters, Belgian children caught in the middle, and every one of them changed forever. What I would give to sit my grandmother down and have a chat with her over a good, strong beer. Sadly, we never met. The war is the backdrop to the story Anita Shreve wants to tell which, according to the blurb on the back, is one of "impossible love" and "forbidden passions". I would mark this as a spoiler if it weren't scrawled across every summary, since those "forbidden passions" graciously aren't ignited until the second half of the novel. Romance is not my usual genre, so forgive me for admitting that I didn't have the stomach for the long descriptions of shapely mouths and gratuitously long looks where reams of meaning leap through the universe and lock their souls together. The characters seemed like cartoon shadows of themselves, stumbling along a predictable story line riddled with improbable events. There is a constant narration of their (simple) thoughts that smacks of lazy writing. I want an author to show me what they're thinking, I want to feel the novel seeping through my pores, I want the ideas to leap off the page at me and send my mind reeling. But alas, this is not great literature. A vaguely satisfying but ultimately forgettable literary bag of chips that I ate compulsively even as my lips started to smart at the excessive salt and my stomach yawned at the lack of substance.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    It's really too bad I can't give this zero stars. It's probably one of the worst, most cliche books I have ever read. Stay away from it! It's really too bad I can't give this zero stars. It's probably one of the worst, most cliche books I have ever read. Stay away from it!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth (Alaska)

    Plot-driven novels are generally quicker reads than character-driven ones. Overall, they have less to offer. Still, I found the WWII setting in Belgium enough different from my normal fare to be interesting. An American plane crashes in a Belgian pasture and the survivors are quickly hidden by the Resistance and moved to safety. As one might expect, one fellow was a bit more seriously injured than the others and had to remain in the small village for a few short weeks to heal and recuperate. It's Plot-driven novels are generally quicker reads than character-driven ones. Overall, they have less to offer. Still, I found the WWII setting in Belgium enough different from my normal fare to be interesting. An American plane crashes in a Belgian pasture and the survivors are quickly hidden by the Resistance and moved to safety. As one might expect, one fellow was a bit more seriously injured than the others and had to remain in the small village for a few short weeks to heal and recuperate. It's been some time since I've read Anita Shreve. Snobbishly, I'll say that in many ways I've outgrown her. But I'm also glad to have been reminded that she can be perfectly enjoyable and that she can continue to have the occasional spot in my reading. I see some of the titles on the Readers Also Enjoyed section for this are what appear to be sleazy romances. If they are, I don't think this fits with those, although there is a romance. It was a decent story. Her prose may not be superb, but it's good enough and will stand well over time. This isn't entirely devoid of characterization, but that aspect wasn't the point, I thought. This probably sits right at the line between 3- and 4-stars, but I enjoyed it enough to give it the higher rating.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kirsty

    This was my choice for Belgium in my Around the World in 80 Books challenge. I love reading about the resistance movement during the Second World War, which is what Anita Shreve's Resistance largely concerns itself with. I was a little sceptical, as I have not been a great fan of Shreve's writing in the past due to its simplicity and detachment. These criticisms worked well with the ensuing storyline here, however, becoming almost qualities of the novel; they are just right for capturing the bat This was my choice for Belgium in my Around the World in 80 Books challenge. I love reading about the resistance movement during the Second World War, which is what Anita Shreve's Resistance largely concerns itself with. I was a little sceptical, as I have not been a great fan of Shreve's writing in the past due to its simplicity and detachment. These criticisms worked well with the ensuing storyline here, however, becoming almost qualities of the novel; they are just right for capturing the battle scenes, it seems. Resistance, whilst still not a favourite of mine, was a lot more engaging than I was expecting. Shreve does a good job of highlighting the bravery of ordinary people during World War Two, and the ways in which they made so much difference to lives. Resistance kept me engaged for the most part, but it is certainly fair to say that it follows quite a lot of cliches. The ending was really quite terrible, and I feel it really let the whole down.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    This book takes place during WWII in Belgium. An American pilot goes down in his plane while trying to bomb Germany. He is rescued by a group of resisters in the small town where his plane crashes. I found the book pretty boring, and I didn't really see why I was supposed to care about any of the characters. If it hadn't been really short I don't think I would have bothered finishing it. This book takes place during WWII in Belgium. An American pilot goes down in his plane while trying to bomb Germany. He is rescued by a group of resisters in the small town where his plane crashes. I found the book pretty boring, and I didn't really see why I was supposed to care about any of the characters. If it hadn't been really short I don't think I would have bothered finishing it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rubi

    Waste of time. Too mushy. I only bought this because Borders was selling it for like a dollar. Now I know why!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Connie G

    An American B-17 bomber makes a crash landing into a field in a Belgian village during the Nazi occupation. Resistance workers hide the wounded airmen in homes in the village. Claire Daussois nurses the pilot, Ted Brice, back to health in the attic of the house she shares with her husband. A passionate relationship develops between Claire and the pilot, giving them a few weeks of happiness in a terrifying world. Meanwhile, the Nazis are carrying out reprisals against the villagers. There are som An American B-17 bomber makes a crash landing into a field in a Belgian village during the Nazi occupation. Resistance workers hide the wounded airmen in homes in the village. Claire Daussois nurses the pilot, Ted Brice, back to health in the attic of the house she shares with her husband. A passionate relationship develops between Claire and the pilot, giving them a few weeks of happiness in a terrifying world. Meanwhile, the Nazis are carrying out reprisals against the villagers. There are some villagers who are cooperating with the Nazis, so the Resistance workers do not know who they can trust. There were good descriptions of the bombing mission, the Belgian village, life on the farm, and the dangerous work of the Resistance workers. This was both a love story and a tribute to the courageous people during World War II. There was one incident when Claire and Ted ventured out of the house to a public place because Ted wanted to feel "as if there were not a war, and they were just a normal couple" that seemed very unrealistic considering the danger. But overall, the story seemed plausible and kept my interest.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou

    What started as an intriguing novel about the Belgian resistance in WWII turned into a sappy romance. A pity. But as sappy romances go, this one had a more interesting premise than the average Hallmark movie. As for the writing, Shreve has an unfortunate habit of starting each new section with pronouns rather than names. One often has to read several paragraphs before knowing which character is being written about! It can be an effective device used sparingly, particularly in a suspenseful scene What started as an intriguing novel about the Belgian resistance in WWII turned into a sappy romance. A pity. But as sappy romances go, this one had a more interesting premise than the average Hallmark movie. As for the writing, Shreve has an unfortunate habit of starting each new section with pronouns rather than names. One often has to read several paragraphs before knowing which character is being written about! It can be an effective device used sparingly, particularly in a suspenseful scene, but for Shreve it seems to be a bad habit - one that her editors should insist she break.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mary Durrant

    Anita Shreve's books are all so different but written in a way that instantly grabs you. This one is set in WW2 in occupied Belgium. Ted an American pilot's plane has crashed. A very moving story of the harsh realities of war. Claire's husband Henri is a member of the resistance. Young Jean finds the injured pilot and brings him to Claire who hides him in their loft. I loved this book and so didn't want it to end. Sadly told and heart wrenching. Anita Shreve's books are all so different but written in a way that instantly grabs you. This one is set in WW2 in occupied Belgium. Ted an American pilot's plane has crashed. A very moving story of the harsh realities of war. Claire's husband Henri is a member of the resistance. Young Jean finds the injured pilot and brings him to Claire who hides him in their loft. I loved this book and so didn't want it to end. Sadly told and heart wrenching.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Christi

    This is a terrific book to curl up with on a rainy day and just read and read. The setting is WW II Holland and the love story that ensues will sweep you off your feet. I did not truly understand what the people of Holland risked when they hid our American soldiers that had been shot down. They were selfless and devoted to a cause greater than their own safety. A truly inspired read.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Patricia Williams

    I was surprised at how much I loved this book once I had finished it. It is a wonderful love story. It is in the beginning a typical World War II story, pilots crashes plane, found by local people, hidden from the Germans as long as they can. But then the love story begins and it is such a sweet and wonderful story. It makes you feel good and although it does not have a happy ending for the two main characters, I was happy with how the story ended and it made me feel good. I started this book af I was surprised at how much I loved this book once I had finished it. It is a wonderful love story. It is in the beginning a typical World War II story, pilots crashes plane, found by local people, hidden from the Germans as long as they can. But then the love story begins and it is such a sweet and wonderful story. It makes you feel good and although it does not have a happy ending for the two main characters, I was happy with how the story ended and it made me feel good. I started this book after the passing of Anita Shreve. I have read a lot of her books and enjoyed them all, some better than others. This was the only book I had of hers that I had not read, so decided to read it in honor of her memory. I was then pleasantly surprised at how much I loved this story. Definitely recommend.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Helena

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. While Anita Shreve does a wonderful job capturing life in a small Belgian town during the occupation, certain elements of the main story line made me groan. After a horrifyingly well-drawn picture of the Retributions that would occur to instill fear in the locals in which several prominent members of the town are hanged (one, ironically, from his own balcony), the love story between Claire, the local Resistance fighter, and Ted, the downed American pilot, continues unhindered. At one point, Ted While Anita Shreve does a wonderful job capturing life in a small Belgian town during the occupation, certain elements of the main story line made me groan. After a horrifyingly well-drawn picture of the Retributions that would occur to instill fear in the locals in which several prominent members of the town are hanged (one, ironically, from his own balcony), the love story between Claire, the local Resistance fighter, and Ted, the downed American pilot, continues unhindered. At one point, Ted suggests that they go out in public in some semblance of a normal "date" - despite the terrifyingly non-normal times in which they find themselves. Admittedly and thankfully, I've never lived through anything even remotely close to Nazi-occupied Belgium, but I feel my response to such a psychotic idea would be something along the lines of, "You know what, honey, now's not the best time." Instead, Claire takes the truck (which they aren't supposed to have) uses gasoline (very rare) to go to a neighboring town so they can have coffee in a local cafe. Hello, worst-idea-since-the-conception-of-eugenics. At that point, it was clear that romance rather than reality was key to the story. After such a strong and chilling start, this was a big disappointment.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Bobbi Woods

    It was OK...as my rating suggests. Disclaimer: I think I may have gone into this book with an attitude--it was picked during a Book Club that I was not able to attend. When I found out that it was picked, I said, "Anita Shreve?? Really?" That said, it wasn't so bad except the theme has been so overdone and I feel like we read WAY too much about Nazis in my Book Club for some reason. At the next meeting, I plan to veto all Nazi books for 2013. :-) A Belgian couple, Henri and Claire are part of the It was OK...as my rating suggests. Disclaimer: I think I may have gone into this book with an attitude--it was picked during a Book Club that I was not able to attend. When I found out that it was picked, I said, "Anita Shreve?? Really?" That said, it wasn't so bad except the theme has been so overdone and I feel like we read WAY too much about Nazis in my Book Club for some reason. At the next meeting, I plan to veto all Nazi books for 2013. :-) A Belgian couple, Henri and Claire are part of the "Resistance"--an underground network that hides people who are wanted by the Nazis during World War II. An American plane is shot down and "crashes" in a Belgian field and the pilot is found by a young boy and brought to Claire and Henri. They hide the pilot and the husband must leave to go into hiding and an affair between Claire and the pilot takes place. What follows is dangerous and suspenseful. The book is written well enough but I just wasn't excited about the story line. Today starts my new reads for 2013! Happy New Year to all my Goodreads friends!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Set in a Belgian village during World War II, Claire Daussois is struggling to keep her marriage alive amidst severe depletions in her Nazi-occupied village. All the happiness and joy seems to have bled out of her marriage. She and her husband have been sheltering refugees from the war - Allied pilots, fleeing Belgian soldiers and Jews are among some of the people they help. Claire nurses the wounded, acts as interpreter and waits anxiously for the war to end. One day, when Henri, her husband is Set in a Belgian village during World War II, Claire Daussois is struggling to keep her marriage alive amidst severe depletions in her Nazi-occupied village. All the happiness and joy seems to have bled out of her marriage. She and her husband have been sheltering refugees from the war - Allied pilots, fleeing Belgian soldiers and Jews are among some of the people they help. Claire nurses the wounded, acts as interpreter and waits anxiously for the war to end. One day, when Henri, her husband is doing Resistance work, Claire discovers a downed American B-17 Bomber and a young boy turns to her for help in nursing the injured pilot. As the pilot Ted Brice recovers in Claire's attic, she awakens to the possibility of love. For twenty days, Claire and Ted are sheltered until the war returns with shocking suddenness leaving them with haunting memories of their time together. I really enjoyed this book, even though it was extremely sad. I give this book an A+!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jacqui Mccann

    Having read several of Anita Shreves novels previously I ordered Resistance online. If I had looked at this book in a store I probably wouldnt have purchased it. Its a short book but I felt that Shreve has tried a differemt writing style which just didnt work for me. Whilst the concept of the book is good the story didnt really flow and was a little staccato. I struggled to relate to the characters and one of the ressons for this may be the way she refers at times to characters in the third pers Having read several of Anita Shreves novels previously I ordered Resistance online. If I had looked at this book in a store I probably wouldnt have purchased it. Its a short book but I felt that Shreve has tried a differemt writing style which just didnt work for me. Whilst the concept of the book is good the story didnt really flow and was a little staccato. I struggled to relate to the characters and one of the ressons for this may be the way she refers at times to characters in the third person rather than name. The story jumps at times leaving the feeling you have missed out somehow on details whilst some parts seemed irrelevamt. This could have been an emotional story but the narrative and the way it was told let it down. if this had been the first book I had read from this author I wouldnt have read any more which would be a shame given the standard of the other novels. Not her best work but readable.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Florence

    A monument is being dedicated in Belgium to the crew of an Allied plane that was downed during World War II. This event is a connection to a brutal past. A small village endured the Nazi occupation. Extreme conditions brought out the best and the worst in the local population. Danger and desperation worked as an aphrodesiac for one ill-fated couple. A poignant and painful tale.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lesley

    I am being generous!!!! I like so many other reviewers think this is so cliche and predictable! I usually like Anita Shreve but this one, not so much. I read this for a 50 countries book challenge (belguim) otherwise I would've given up. It took forever, almost half way before the romance took place but once that happened, I knew what was going to happen before I read it. I am being generous!!!! I like so many other reviewers think this is so cliche and predictable! I usually like Anita Shreve but this one, not so much. I read this for a 50 countries book challenge (belguim) otherwise I would've given up. It took forever, almost half way before the romance took place but once that happened, I knew what was going to happen before I read it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Viana

    3 1/2 stars. This book has been sitting on my shelf for years because I couldn't get past the first chapter or so. Both a war story and a love story, it made me think about choosing sides in WWII and what must have gone into those decisions for those who lived through it. Protect a stranger? Betray a friend? 3 1/2 stars. This book has been sitting on my shelf for years because I couldn't get past the first chapter or so. Both a war story and a love story, it made me think about choosing sides in WWII and what must have gone into those decisions for those who lived through it. Protect a stranger? Betray a friend?

  20. 4 out of 5

    LoLo Paige

    I enjoyed this book because it’s a journey into the past. The setting of World War II in a Belgian village piqued my curiosity and interest right away. The love story is well done and I cared about each character. People took great risks to help one another. This aspect pulled me in right away, thankful that there were those that helped American soldiers during this brutal war. In this case, a young American pilot whose plane was shot down in a field near the village. The scenes before the plane I enjoyed this book because it’s a journey into the past. The setting of World War II in a Belgian village piqued my curiosity and interest right away. The love story is well done and I cared about each character. People took great risks to help one another. This aspect pulled me in right away, thankful that there were those that helped American soldiers during this brutal war. In this case, a young American pilot whose plane was shot down in a field near the village. The scenes before the plane crashed were beautifully written and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. The author transported me in the middle of the chaotic action of war and what it was like back then. The romance is a sweet development of two people from opposite sides of the world who found common ground with each other. This story is vivid, taking readers through fear, joy, love, sadness, loss, and survival. I thought this was well worth the read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    When a war plane crashes near a German-occupied Belgian village, a young village boy finds the injured American pilot hidden in a nearby wood. He enlists the help of Claire and her husband Henri to hide the pilot, knowing that Henri is part of the Belgian Resistance. While Henri is away, Claire hides the pilot, Ted, in a secret attic room on their small farm, nursing him back to health until he is able to be transported out of Belgium and to safety. There is a romance that develops between Clair When a war plane crashes near a German-occupied Belgian village, a young village boy finds the injured American pilot hidden in a nearby wood. He enlists the help of Claire and her husband Henri to hide the pilot, knowing that Henri is part of the Belgian Resistance. While Henri is away, Claire hides the pilot, Ted, in a secret attic room on their small farm, nursing him back to health until he is able to be transported out of Belgium and to safety. There is a romance that develops between Clair and Ted that is rather cliched and predictable (think WWII Belgium meets Bridges of Madison County). But the author does a good job of depicting the dangers to everyday people in the Belgian Resistance both from their German occupiers and sometimes from their own Partisan neighbors.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    I have never read Anita Shreve before, but I will again. The story is set during WWII, in Belgium, during the German occupation. Her story is vivid. I could picture pretty much everything that happened. There is joy, sadness and fear throughout the story. Worth the read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Susan Gabbard

    I loved this book. This is a story of an American pilot that crash lands his plane in southern Belgium during World War II while fighting the Germans. Wounded he is found and thus begins the story of the brave Resistance fighters who work to save lives from Nazi Germany. Based on a real event and some letters from a woman who was there.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kris

    I like Anita Shreve's books. I enjoy her writing style. This book was sad, no happy endings for anyone. I like Anita Shreve's books. I enjoy her writing style. This book was sad, no happy endings for anyone.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tanja

    A story about love towards the end of World War II - with an unexpected ending, happy and sad at the same time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Caroline Crossland

    I loved this novel and although relatively short (222 pages) it is non the less powerful and memorable. Set in occupied Belgium during World War Two and focusing on the Resistance movement, detailed yet focused writing creates a real feeling of time and place. Characterisation is excellent and we, as readers, feel the torments, fear and passions the characters experience. It is a clever, thoughtful and intriguing plot with a unpredictable, strong ending. Well worth a read !

  27. 5 out of 5

    Alejandra Belaunzarán Sanz

    I absolutely loved it!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Oh my God. Just... Oh my God. Words can't even express how incredible this book was. You all need to go out and read it. Like now. Full review to come. OH. MY. GOSH. I knew, going into this book, that it would be emotional. Most books set during world wars are, and as someone who’s experienced Anita Shreve’s work before, I knew how capable she is of ripping your heart out and stomping on it. But I didn’t expect this. This was most definitely a character-driven story, and the characters were so well de Oh my God. Just... Oh my God. Words can't even express how incredible this book was. You all need to go out and read it. Like now. Full review to come. OH. MY. GOSH. I knew, going into this book, that it would be emotional. Most books set during world wars are, and as someone who’s experienced Anita Shreve’s work before, I knew how capable she is of ripping your heart out and stomping on it. But I didn’t expect this. This was most definitely a character-driven story, and the characters were so well developed that they genuinely felt like real people. Even with a small cast of characters, I fell in love with each of them and became completely engrossed in their stories. Claire was a brilliant main characters; very realistic and very relatable. Nothing felt forced with her, and I could totally believe that her thoughts and actions were ones that a woman living in Nazi-occupied Belgium would think and feel. I really admired her bravery; It was always apparent that the resistance work being done by her and Henry was being done primarily because it was what she wanted to do, and because she was brave enough to fight against the Germans from within. To everyone ragging on her because she had an affair: get over yourselves. She and Henri did not have a happy marriage, that is very obvious, and if she wasn’t happy then she didn’t have an obligation to stay with him. Claire loved Ted, he loved her, and nothing else should matter. Speaking of Ted, I really liked him as well. He provided a bit of lightness to a very dark story and had a cheerful, lighthearted personality that I could definitely appreciate. I loved getting to know his backstory and learning about his life in America and the early stages of the war, and I really feel like that allowed us to see what life must have been like for American soldiers: one minute living a perfectly normal life, the next thrown into war. Jean! He was adorable; I completely loved him and would have loved to know more. He was so young but he managed to be just as brave as some of the Resistance soldiers, sometimes even more so because he was also facing his father. I think he represents a lot about children during WWII; children who lost their innocence very young and were forced to grow up too quickly. I could read an entire separate book about Emilie, Leon, Anthoine, Madame Dinant and the other Resistance soldiers. There was so much bravery there and so much character that was unexplored, and I would have loved to know each of their stories: how they got involved in the Resistance, backstories and points of view, their fates in the end… The way that the war itself was handled was phenomenal. It was very eerie to see plane crashes, torture, reparations and imprisonment being handled so normally, as if they happened every day, but in this world, they probably did. The townspeople handled these events very believably- with horror and fear, yes, but also with the expectation because they knew that these things happened. And the ending… I had expected tragic and for gods’ sake, that’s what we got. I hadn’t expected (view spoiler)[ Henri to betray Ted; that lying scumbag; and I’m actually kind of glad that he died because I was just so angry. I had expected Claire, Ted or both of them to die, but the ending that we got was just as sad- they never saw each other again. And what happened with Claire’s daughter was just so, so sad. But I feel like both of them did get their (relatively) happy endings, and for that, I’m grateful. The ending scene was beautifully done, even if it did break my heart.) Overall, a wonderful book about World War II with brilliant characters and a gorgeous setting. Highly recommend! (hide spoiler)]

  29. 5 out of 5

    Avi Gold

    I lost my glasses about a quarter of the way through this.I didn't care. I lost my glasses about a quarter of the way through this.I didn't care.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Elin

    Probably closer to 3 stars, but I read it after having read several other WWII books, and it pales in comparison to The Nightingale, etc

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