About the Book:
Paris, 1944: The war is nearly over, but for members of the Resistance in occupied France, it is more dangerous than ever before. Twenty-five-year-old Gabby Foucher loathes the Nazis, though as the concierge of 10 rue Royale, she does her best to avoid conflict—unlike her bolder sister Yvette, who finds trouble at every turn.
Then they are both recruited into the Resistance by Catherine Dior and swept into a treacherous world of spies, fugitives, and intrigue. While Gabby risks everything for the man she is hiding from the Nazis, Yvette must decide whether to trust an enigmatic diplomat who seems to have guessed her secret. As the threat of betrayal draws ever-closer, one slip could mean the deaths of many, and both sisters must make choices they might regret.
Paris, 1947: Yvette returns from New York to reunite with Gabby and begin life anew as a mannequin for Dior, who is revolutionizing fashion with the New Look. But first she must discover the truth behind Catherine’s terrible fate, while Gabby finds that there are many kinds of courage, and that love is always worth fighting for.
Published by HarperCollins Publishers Australia
Released July 2021
Thanks is extended to the publisher for the review copy.
A powerful story of resistance and patriotism set in Paris during the final months of and post WWII. Ordinary women performing extraordinarily brave acts of resistance. Inspired by Catherine Dior’s real life spy network, Sisters of the Resistance is an enthralling novel of heartbreak and hope, truth and deception, love and loss.
Christine Wells has long established herself as an evocative storyteller. Her focus within this latest novel shifts between the final months of WWII in occupied Paris and the immediate years after, when Paris was still feeling the effects of occupation, collaboration, and reprisals. I enjoy novels that include the immediate years after the war, it’s so much more interesting to me than only reading about the war years. The recovery of countries occupied and razed was long and complicated; life did not just magically go back to normal once peace was declared. I enjoyed the way Christine shifted between her two timelines, unfolding the story in pieces.
The two sisters in this novel were motivated to contribute to the resistance by vastly different forces, but both of them demonstrated that all acts, from small-scale to large-scale, made a difference, and were not without risk, the threat of torture and death an ever-present reality. While this novel was inspired by Catherine Dior’s spy network, Catherine herself was a secondary character, with the two fictional sisters at the lead, allowing the author to incorporate the history of Dior without fictitiously tampering with the life of a real woman from history – always a tricky minefield.
Novels about the heroic actions of women during WWII are becoming abundant, but I do think they are far from becoming stale. The heroism of men has been written about for decades without pause. I welcome more novels like this, ones that demonstrate that bravery and heroism was not limited to men, but that both men and women worked alongside each other and together to bring about peace. I am quite certain that there are many more women who are yet to have their stories told. Sisters of the Resistance is a fine addition to this growing historical fiction niche. Highly recommended.