Female protagonists and WWII is a combination that captured by attention right away. I honestly can never get enough of historical fiction and this was perfect for me.
This book is focused on two sisters that are living in France during WWII and they are being thrown right into the middle of the war by how much their lives are being affected. They are trying to survive this war until they can go back to a sense of “normalcy” but they cope in very different ways. Vianne is married and has a daughter but when her husband goes to war, she tries to ignore what is happening outside her front door until her younger sister, Isabelle shows up and needs a place to live. But Isabelle isn’t happy with just waiting until the war passes, she wants to take action, and she does.
You would think that two sisters would try and come together and help each other in a time like this, but Isabelle and Vianne are as different as hot and cold. Isabelle wants to make a difference, in any way possible, and she soon finds herself joining a revolution against the Nazi’s. Vianne wants to lay low and not cause any trouble until her husband can come back, but Isabelle will not stand by no matter what her sister says. Their differences are explained by delving into their past and you find out the pain that they endured and caused them to be who they are.
This book describes their lives beautifully and I was immersed in the 1940s world immediately. Hannah does a wonderful job describing emotion and it wasn’t hard to keep turning the pages. When I was reading about the first, I could just imagine myself looking down and seeing the the people running away and see and feel their fear. That alone helped me love this book even more because I felt so immersed in the story.
I loved all the characters in this story as well! Vianne was so level headed because she would always be thinking of her family first. And you could see how she battled with the guilt of not being a sister to Isabelle even though they were both just children. And I loved how Isabelle was so headstrong and focused in her beliefs and her overall character (because not going to lie, I wish I could be that confident in some things that I do).
The secondary characters were great as well because they weren’t just flat, filler characters, they also had depth and whenever something happened to them, I felt some real emotion towards them. Overall this book definitely deserves a 5 out of 5 stars because of the wonderful storytelling of perseverance in the bleakest of times. I definitely recommend this to everyone!