BY ANDIE NEWTON
Publication Date: August 13, 2020
Genre: Historical Fiction
1942, occupied France.
As the war in Europe rages on, Adèle Ambeh dreams of a France that is free from the clutches of the new regime. The date of her marriage to a ruthless man is drawing closer, and she only has one choice – she must run.
With the help of her mother, Adèle flees to Lyon, seeking refuge at the Sisters of Notre Dame de la Compassion. From the outside this is a simple nunnery, but the sisters are secretly aiding the French Resistance, hiding and supplying the fighters with weapons.
While it is not quite the escape Adèle imagined, she is drawn to the nuns and quickly finds herself part of the resistance. But her new role means she must return to Vichy, and those she left behind, no matter the cost.
Each day is filled with a different danger and as she begins to fall for another man, Adèle’s entire world could come crashing down around her.
Adèle must fight for her family, her own destiny, as well as her country.
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Adèle Ambeh desperately flees her home the night before her wedding. She has been betrothed to Gerard, a collaborator and ruthless member of the Vichy police in 1942, France. Adele is given a letter by her mother and sent to the Sisters of Notre Dame de la Compassion. On her way, Adele meets Marguerite, a postulant also heading to the convent. The two get off to a rocky start, but once at the convent, Adele finds her place leading the delinquent girls that have been placed with the sisters. However, something seems off at the convent and when Adele is brought into their confidence she becomes a member of the Resistance. Earning the name Catchfly, Adele dives into danger and puts herself right back into the situation she ran from in order to help her country.
Passionate and engaging, The Girl from Vichy tells a riveting story of the very real Alliance nicknamed Noah's Ark in France during WWII. Adèle's character is vivid, strong and thoughtful. The writing kept me intrigued through all of Adèle's journey from her narrow escape to her imprisonment, I felt like I was part of the action and clearly able to see everything through Adèle's eyes. I was intrigued about this part of France's history as I did not know much about France at this time, the Free Zone and it's leadership under Petain. The Resistance activities kept up the suspense as it divided Adèle's family and put her in grave danger with Gerard. I was constantly amazed by Adèle's creativity and bravery when standing up to the Regime. I loved the themes of friendship and family and loyalty that run throughout the story. The romantic aspects of the story were done just right, not taking over the story line but adding another layer of daring to Adele's activity during with the Resistance. In addition, though Adèle's character was fictional, the historical aspects of the story were well researched and fit into Adèle's story line. With amazing female protagonists and an exciting plot, The Girl from Vichy is a breathtaking historical fiction read about France during World War II.
This book was received for free in exchange for an honest review.
Andie is an American writer living in Washington State with her husband and two boys. She is the author of The Girl I Left Behind (Aria 2019) and The Girl from Vichy (Aria 2020). She has a Bachelor’s degree in History from Washington State University and a Master in Teaching. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, trail running, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.
Andie would love to be a guest at your next book club! You can find discussion questions for her novels on her website www.andienewton.com.
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