Daughters of War is the start of a new series (also called Daughters of War). This novel is set in a small village in France during the last year of World War II. Three sisters live alone in a little cottage after their mother left them to move back to England years ago. There is Helene, an artist turned nurse, who takes care of everyone, Elise, who is involved in the Resistance movement, and Florence, the youngest, an innocent dreamer.
I wanted to read this novel because I love historical fiction and the 1940's is my favorite time period to read about. I also love books set in France, so this novel was particularly appealing to me.
This book is such a big, sprawling, old fashioned family saga. Although it is a long read, I finished quickly because I had a hard time putting the book down!
This is a fascinating story about three sisters who are so different from each other, but who have a powerful bond after growing up largely on their own.
The story of German occupation was heartbreaking and some of the violence the sisters witnessed - and experienced - was brutal. Through it all they had an admirable resilience and strength.
This is my first read by Dinah Jeffries and I absolutely love her writing. She has a painterly eye for descriptions, like:
"Hélène was pensive as she threw open her bedroom window the next morning to listen to the church bells. Thank goodness it was Sunday and she didn’t have to go to work. She loved gazing at the magical view over their part of the Dordogne or, as their mother always called it, the Périgord Noir. It was a land of oak and pine trees, rocky gorges and clifftop castles and the prettiest villages you’d ever see, their limestone buildings soft and buttery. She watched as the sun broke through the early-morning mist to reveal the silvery shine on the river and golden sunlight bathing the rooftops of the village. Spring was well and truly here, and the air was as fresh and clear as crystal" (eBook location 149).
Of the three sisters I found Helene's story the most interesting and nuanced, as she is creative but also the family caregiver. I also enjoyed her slow moving romance with Resistance fighter Jack.
I found Daughters of War fascinating and absorbing, and look forward to reading the next books in the series as well. Highly recommended for fans of historical fiction, and especially for anyone interested in France during World War II.
The first in an epic new series from the #1 international bestselling author, Daughters of War is a stunning tale of sisters, secrets and bravery in the darkness of war-torn France…
A new sweeping historical novel of World War II from the international bestselling author of The Tea Planter’s Wife. Available to pre-order now!
In an old stone cottage, on the edge of a beautiful French village, three sisters long for the end of the war.
Hélène, the eldest, is trying her hardest to steer her family to safety, even as the Nazi occupation becomes more threatening.
Elise, the rebel, is determined to help the Resistance, whatever the cost.
And Florence, the dreamer, just yearns for a world where France is free.
Then, one dark night, the Allies come knocking for help. And Hélène knows that she cannot sit on the sidelines any longer. But secrets from their own mysterious past threaten to unravel everything they hold most dear…
Dinah was born in Malaya in 1948 and moved to England at the age of nine. In 1985, the sudden death of her fourteen year old son changed the course of her life, and deeply influenced her writing. Dinah drew on that experience, and on her own childhood spent in Malaya during the 1950s to write her debut novel, The Separation.
Now living in Gloucestershire with her husband and slightly overweight Norfolk terrier, she spends her days writing, with time off to make tiaras and dinosaurs with her grandchildren.