In this massive undertaking, Kate Mosse has written a beautiful love story in the midst of World War II in France. Kate Mosse researched for four years on the war and the women of the French Resistance,and then sat down to write this novel in two years. Such a big commitment and motivation…such passion. And it comes through in this novel.
She writes of Sandrine and her older sister Marianne both who are part of the French Resistance along with a group of amazingly varied and strong women. The story involves another group of brave men who also fighting against the Nazi Regime as well as to protect a secret that was buried in the mountains in 344 AD….
Sandrine is the heroine who finds herself thrown into the cause by rescuing a man she finds tied and floating in a river. This puts her life in danger, and at the same time, bring Raoul Pelletier into her life. Their passion for each other and their cause bring them closer together and yet in danger. Sandrine becomes part of this underground organization that provides food, shelter, and a new identity to those who must hide from the Nazis. She become fearless and cunning, and she will do what ever is necessary to right the wrongs of the war.
The characters are so well-written….I could see them in their homes, drinking their tea and plotting. I could feel their fear…their worry….and yet their bravery rose to the top and pushed them to do unbelievable feats. The love story between Sandrine and Raoul was believable and enduring…not contrite. It was perfect.
It always fascinates me that after reading historical fiction, I do more research to uncover the nonfiction within. It is a beautiful thing that people like these characters in realty. This story was inspired by two unknown women who executed while fleeing from Nazi forces. Brave souls.
Side note: the novel is long 679 pages long. I read it in under a week, but it was not light reading. If I was tired and my mind started to drift, I would find I would have to go back and reread passages so I could understand. Well-worth it. The last 100 pages flew by.