Sisters of Night and Fog
Virginia d’Albert-Lake is an American who married a Frenchman. When the chance comes for her to escape France before the Nazis fully take over, she refuses, choosing to stay in her adopted homeland with her beloved husband. Violette Szabo, a girl of French and English ancestry, chooses to flee to England, though her heart burns with hatred and the desire to return someday, to seek vengeance and liberation. Though the two do not meet until nearly the end of the book, at the Ravensbrück concentration camp, their stories are intimately linked through themes of hope, fury, and resistance.
I picked up this book expecting yet another story of women at war in France, a subgenre that could possibly be its own genre by now. I was first delightfully surprised at the power of the storytelling. Robuck has a way of bringing you into the action and showing the harrowing experiences of war (especially World War II) without making them seem overdramatized or like a play for sympathy. When I learned the two women were real people, I was doubly amazed, because never once did the book have the tentative steps sometimes seen in novelizations of real lives. I highly recommend this.
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