Good Morning! Today, I’m joining TLC Book Tours and author Jennifer Chiaverini on the blog tour for the paperback release of Resistance Women. Thank you to the publisher for the complimentary review copy.
Genre: historical fiction
Published: Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 4, 2020)
Source: William Morrow publisher
Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini begins in 1929 and takes us through 1946. This is a book that is extremely detailed and well researched. The women heroines begin the story on very different paths as their world begins to change, starting with the stock market crash.
I have read a lot of historical fiction, but this group of women who were part of a resistance cell in Nazi Germany was a first for me. These women were educated, aware of their political community and had a strong desire to do the right thing. American Mildred Harnack was a real figure in history who helped in the escape of German Jews and gave economic and military intelligence to Washington and Moscow.
“In the West, she was depicted as a Soviet spy, in the East as a Marxist saint. But she was neither, and only after the Berlin Wall came down and secret files were declassified was Mildred’s humanity restored…” (quote is taken from NY Times op-ed piece here)
The experiences of these women kept me enthralled as we really get to know the characters over a long period of time. We see the fall of democracy and the beauty Germany once had to the fascist, totalitarian rule started by Adolf Hitler. The women worked diligently and risked their lives to avoid war, end the increasing violence and defend fellow citizens who were suffering. Such a heartbreaking, yet inspirational read.
“Of the fourth-five members of the Rote Kapelle who were sentenced to die, nineteen were women – courageous women from all walks of life, not trained spies or armed soldiers, but ordinary and extraordinary women who committed all that they had and all that they were in the struggle against fascism so that evil would not triumph over the earth.”
Be sure to check out the author’s note where she shares her inspiration for the book. If you want to read further, I would recommend “Resisting Hitler: Mildred Harnack and the Red Orchestra” by Shareen Blair Brysac. Lastly, since 1986, Mildred‘s birthday, September 16, has been designated Mildred Harnack day in Wisconsin public schools, and she is honored for her bravery, persistence, and willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice in the fight against totalitarianism.
Add to: Goodreads
• Paperback: 640 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (February 4, 2020)
One of BookBub’s best historical novels of the year and Oprah magazine’s buzziest books of the month.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, an enthralling historical saga that recreates the danger, romance, and sacrifice of an era and brings to life one courageous, passionate American—Mildred Fish Harnack—and her circle of women friends who waged a clandestine battle against Hitler in Nazi Berlin.
After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work—but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate.
As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the US ambassador. Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckoff and literature student Sara Weitz, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime.
For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences.
Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.
About the Author
Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed historical novels and the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin.
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