Title: Sisters of the Resistance
Author: Christine Wells
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: William Morrow/HarperCollins
Published: 7th July 2021
Synopsis: Two sisters join the Paris Resistance in this page-turning new novel inspired by the real-life bravery of Catherine Dior, sister of the fashion designer and a heroine of World War II France—perfect for fans of Kate Quinn and Jennifer Chiaverini.
“As dazzling as a Dior gown! With a gorgeous blend of fashion, heartbreak, heroism, and love this book will transport you to France…” —Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Secret
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.
Gabby and Yvette Foucher are connected to Catherine Dior and the Resistance, but in different ways. Gabrielle’s role is quieter, whilst Yvette is more active – and neither is aware of each other’s involvement at first – until what they are doing becomes more dangerous, and Yvette soon finds herself in more dangerous situations as Louise Dulac, and Liliane Dietlin give her tasks that see her venture into dangerous territory, culminating in the discovery that both sisters are involved, and a hurried escape for one character, away from the clutches of the Nazis and gestapo as the war hurtles towards the end of its duration. The final days of 1944 are intense, and the novel flicks back and forth between then and three years later in 1947, as Gabby and Yvette try to get their lives – their pre-war lives, their lives before they were part of the Resistance, back on track. But can Yvette and Gabby return to the life they knew, and can they find the courage to be themselves again?
This beautiful book is about bravery, family love, family loyalty and fighting for what is right and the country that one loves in a time when it is ravaged by war and holds the scars of bombings and disappearances, of invasion by the Nazis. It explores the Resistance and the role of Catherine Dior, Christian Dior’s sister in the movement to life. It sits nicely alongside Natasha Lester’s The Paris Secret, and gives more insight, as well as another slice of the entire French Resistance story a life. Whilst many World War Two novels focus on France, there is often a new way of approaching it, usually through the characters and their experiences, and how the author brings this to life. It adds something interesting to the canon of World War Two literature, and shows that women had a large role in the Resistance, and gives light and life to the stories of women and the home front, what happened away from the battlefields.
Novels like this give a human face to the war, and show that it was more than dates, battles, camps and regimes. It allows us to imagine what this world must have been like for the people living there at the time, and how they coped with everything, and is done in beautiful and sensitive ways.
The atrocities of the Holocaust are hinted at, as are the camps – whispered conversations about what can happen if you get caught, what the consequences might and will be. It is at its heart, about spies, family, loyalty and the ever- threatening cloud of betrayal that hangs over those working to undermine the Nazis and drive them from France. It is a wonderful book that focuses on friendship and familial love, and this is what I found to be the most powerful drive – love for family, love for friends and love for one’s home and country, and the ability to do whatever one can to protect this love. A stunning novel of the Resistance.