'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 28 August 2020

Review: War and Resistance

Set in 1939, it’s the lives of the characters that make this book exceptional. They are outstanding; powerful and interesting. The history of WW2 seems to fit around them and vice versa

Stories and sub-stories of heroic people, flavour the melting pot of seen and unseen heroes that fought in whatever way they could with patriotic diligence.

Hitler, having risen from obscure beer-hall heckler, to supreme ruler of Germany, enforces his plan to annihilate the Untermenschen - under-people. 

While Germany has been proactive preparing for this war, Hitler’s clever strategies expose how unprepared and defenceless France and other countries nearby are, against what eventuates. 

But the French Resistance and the decisive actions initiated by common people are critical in sabotaging enemy plans.

Told in two points of view, by Sasha in Australia and Dieter in Berlin, we access opposing situations and sympathise with both. We watch the collapse of lives and countries while hope burns fiercely in both the victors and the vanquished.

Sacha is an ordinary girl. But her father, Louis Jullian is a famous French-Australian public speaker, journalist and author. His talks on the futility of war take him all around the world. Her mother is a successful business woman of Paris.

Deiter in Berlin is on the cusp of manhood. He is preoccupied with time passing so he can join the Hitler Youth.  His birth father has been released from jail and wants to see him. His stepfather is livid and won’t allow it. The tension between the two, equals the secrets that Mother hides from her son.

Detailed historical information propels the story forward, with startling statistics relating to men and women, planes and tanks used in this war. Descriptive paragraphs concentrate on showcasing how people lived, suffered and survived during the war years, and their attitudes to their invaders.

This is Book #1 in the fantastic series, Australia’s Second World War. Sophie Masson’s excellent prose breathes life into the stories. The excerpts from newspapers included as part of the text, contribute enormously to the reader’s interest.

These novels can be read in any order. I found them extremely educational. They define an important era in the history of the world and contain significant material for younger readers to reach for, to learn about the War years.

Title: War and Resistance
Author: Sophie Masson
Publisher: Scholastic, $16.99
Publication Date: March 2020
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781742769219
For ages: 9+
Type: Historical Fiction