Wednesday, July 2, 2014

How Angels Die by David-Michael Harding

In the darkest days of World War II, when France found itself at the mercy of a brutal dictator, the front-lines of resistance may just have been in the grasp of a few good women.

How Angels Die, the epic work of historical fiction by author David-Michael Harding, delivers a highly inventive and uncommon take on the French Resistance that is certain to appeal to anyone who relishes a blood-pumping drama, which also sheds searing new light on the astounding bravery, profound passion, and razor-sharp cunning of the fairer sex during the most trying times. In four fateful days, two remarkable sisters, Monique and Claire McCleash, battle the German occupation of their coastal French town in the early days of June 1944. While their mission is the same, their methods of upending the occupation are irreconcilably at odds. The strikingly beautiful Monique puts her body and wit to work for the Resistance by dating and sleeping with German officers; her younger sister Claire elects instead to serve as an active combat guerrilla fighter for the cause.

Brimming with high drama that is punctuated by family humor, How Angels Die lifts the veil on a lesser-known side of the French Resistance. Through the prism of two intrepid women, the novel illuminates how these women employ their formidable assets and fierce love of country to face down a vicious enemy. With page-turning action, unstoppable passion, and historical accuracy, this heart-racing novel is a must-read for sisters, history buffs, and action enthusiasts alike.

Paperback, 420 pages
Published December 20th 2011 by Q&CY BOOKS 
(my copy provided by author for an honest review)

 After reading the synopsis above it is hard to add much about the book without giving too much information away.  Again I was back in France during World War II, this book takes place over a 4 day period and what an intense 4 days that was. 

This was an emotional book!  Two sisters, each part of the French Resistance, but with very different roles.  Sean & Estelle are the parents, this is a family divided by the distinct roles they each play.  This book isn't just about the war, it's also about trust, commitment, feelings, loyalty, revenge, family dynamics, romance and so much more. But it also isn't just about Claire and Monique, there is Paul and Valerie, Sophie and even Claudine each dealing with their own private pain.

There is a large cast of characters here, each showing the effects that this war had on them.  Yea it is violent at times, but it was a violent war.  I don't really know my French history that well and can't say if there was actually a French Resistance Group, but the author has written a very original story that was not just emotional but a believable and vivd look at German occupied France.  He painted pictures with his words that were authentic and shows his knowledge of the time period.

It started out a little slow for me, but at the 20% mark (on my kindle) it became 'unputdownable'.  I have no finger nails left and even resorted to drinking strong coffee at 9pm just so I would be able to stay up late.

A big thank you to the author for connecting with me and providing a copy of this book.  Most definitely will be reading more by David-Michael Harding.

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