#aww2021 · 2021 Reviews · historical fiction · new release · World War II

New Release Book Review: Sisters of the Resistance by Christine Wells

Title: Sisters of the Resistance

Author: Christine Wells

Published: July 7th 2021

Publisher: HarperCollins – US

Pages: 416

Genres:  Fiction, Historical

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4.5 stars

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.

Review:

‘With that, the realization hit her anew. Finally, finally, she was working for the resistance. At last, she would be doing something to make a difference in this war.’

A story that author Christine Wells felt needed to be told widely, Sisters of the Resistance charts the involvement, brave efforts and great sacrifices made by women during the Second World War. Inspired by Catherine Dior, sister of the famous fashion designer and French resistance icon, this exceptional historical fiction tale shines with brilliance.

Crossing the dual time periods of 1944 and 1947, Sisters of the Resistance successfully plants the reader in occupied Paris. We meet two sisters who have dedicated their lives to the French cell of the resistance movement. Yvette is the bold and daring sister who takes on any challenge issued to her. On the other hand, Gabby is the quiet but no less courageous sister. Balancing her resistance work with her role as a concierge, Gabby tries hard to keep out of trouble. However, when the sisters are acquainted with the formidable Catherine Dior, they are swept up in a world of lies, risk, danger and intrigue. Gabby takes a big chance in love and life, through her efforts in concealing a wanted man from the Nazis. Meanwhile, her younger sister is caught up in a game of truth and lies with a diplomat. The sisters must make the right moves, or they will find themselves in extreme peril, bringing everyone down around them. Moving forward in time to post war France, Sisters of the Resistance sees the two sisters in a very different light, as they prepare to take on the New York fashion world. Can the sisters successfully take on their new post war challenges?

Christine Wells is an author who is well versed in the historical fiction industry. With her keen interest in history, which was established at a young age through her father’s tales, Christine Wells presents another riveting novel about a group of fascinating women from the Second World War period. Enthralling, educative, inspiring and empowering, I have a great deal of admiration for Sisters of the Resistance.

Combining two close time periods, 1944 and 1947 respectively, Sisters of the Resistance moves deftly between both time pockets. Wells carefully presents the closing moments of the war in France, alongside the tumultuous aftermath of this dark time in history. We receive a strong and sharp account of both moments in time, thanks to the generous wartime descriptions offered up by Christine Wells. With plenty of danger, peril, intrigue, information, spies, underhanded deeds and bravery ruling this narrative, there is plenty of excitement to be had in this historical fiction presentation. For me personally, the post war time period focus seemed to have a greater impact in this novel and I was completely drawn in to the events set in the 1947 storyline.  Thanks to the expressive writing of Christine Wells, I was able to fully immerse myself in this time of great upheaval, uncertainty, adversity and restoration. Sisters of the Resistance works hard to illuminate the key movements of two different but interlinked time periods. I appreciated how Wells presented her latest historical fiction tale to her readers.

Christine Wells devotes plenty of air time to lead characters Gabby and Yvette in her new novel. Through alternating viewpoints, we are easily able to step into the lives of these inspiring figures. I had plenty of admiration for both sisters, but I think Gabby occupied a greater place in my heart. Along the way the reader follows the colourful lives of Yevette and Gabby as they negotiate a series of trials, that directly places their lives in great danger. Wells gifts her readers with a powerful story with excellent characters to match. While Yvette and Gabby are fictional protagonists, influential figure Catherine Dior is a real-life insertion. Catherine is a secondary character in this novel, but she makes her mark on this novel. I really enjoyed learning more about this fascinating historical icon. Wells has excelled in her ability to blend a real-life figure within a fictional format presentation. It is never easy to combine factual elements with fiction, but Wells has succeeded in Sisters of the Resistance.

With glamour, fashion, beauty, modelling, sophistication, recreation, restitution, acceptance, matters of the heart, decision making, risk, truth, secrets, empowerment and courage leading the way in Sisters of the Resistance, Christine Wells has composed a rousing story. Turn to Sisters of the Resistance if you love an engrossing and high-quality historical fiction tale.

Sisters of the Resistance by Christine Wells was published on 7th July 2021 by HarperCollins – US. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of Sisters of the Resistance, Christine Wells visit here.

*Thanks extended to HarperCollins Books Australia for providing a free copy of this book for review purposes.

Sisters of the Resistance is book #88 of the 2021 Australian Women Writers Challenge

4 thoughts on “New Release Book Review: Sisters of the Resistance by Christine Wells

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