Resistance Women

Resistance Women

A Novel

Large Print - 2019
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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.

Publisher: New York, NY : HarperLuxe, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2019.
Edition: Large print edition.
ISBN: 9780062912282
Characteristics: 981 pages ;,23 cm.


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Martha C Benner
Oct 23, 2019

Loved this book. Had trouble putting it down once I got started. Fiction that seems so true from what I have read about history and the Nazis.

Oct 12, 2019

I found this book a bit slow to begin but it certainly outlined the historical details well. I have not read another book that provides such a true historical representation of this horrific period in history.

Oct 11, 2019

2019; William Morrow/HarperCollins Canada

I love books set in 1930s and 40s, especially with WWII as a backdrop. I am a huge history buff so I love absorbing as much as I can about that era. (Let's be real, I enjoy many eras). I am also interested in women, and women of colour, during those time periods. Recently, there seems to be an explosion of books set in WWII with the same kind of plot -women, spies, Europe. I sometimes get into a genre kick, and read several books in that genre. I am looking for something unique that makes that book special, or standout. I have kind of started to burnout on WWII novels. I know, isn't Resistance Women set in WWII, with women and spies in Europe??? And, wait I gave it 4.5 stars?

I have read most of Chiaverini's standalone novels, so I had to request this book despite the synopsis. I went with the audiobook to give it a better chance. Aaaaaand, yay, I loved this book. Many of the characters are real historical people. I love that you can do further research, yet get the full story. Chiaverini is a rock star for research and really taking the reader there in that time and place. I have had hit or misses with her novels as her descriptions can drag the story/plot. In this novel, I felt like her pacing was a bit tighter so that the plot and characters could shine. It is a slow burn but I still felt the suspense with the resistance group. I would recommend this novel, but totally understand if you are feeling burnout with WWII novels.

***I received an eARC from EDELWEISS***

Sep 20, 2019

Chiaverini is one of my favorite authors from her Elm Creek Quilts series, but since it ended she has written many interesting works of historical fiction. This examination of women in Nazi Germany before and during WWII does not disappoint.

Sep 15, 2019

I have read many books this year with the WWI theme, many focusing round the resistance. I wanted to like this book but less than a quarter of the way through I was thoroughly bored and basically skimmed the rest of the book, hoping it would get more interesting but never did. It read like a list of facts and I found it quite disjointed and much more like a non-fiction book that could have read as a thesis paper. There was a lot of wonderful history covered in the book but felt it dwelt on facts and very little character development.

Jul 23, 2019

I've read many of Chiaverini's books and this one does not disappoint! As stated by another reviewer the parallels between Germany during the Hitler era and the political climate of isolationism and hatred of anyone of a different race or culture is startling! Such a brave group of people of whom we hear little about. The comment that we don't know much about the resistance movement within Germany is likely a bit unfair-my thoughts is that they were likely silenced before their stories could be told.

Jun 29, 2019

I read many books each year on WWII, both fiction and non-fiction. Unfortunately a lot of fiction about the subject have very poor historical research and contain many glaring errors. This is definitely not the case with Resistance Women. This historical basis is sound. The book is, of course, a novel, but covers a little talked about subject, namely resistance by Germans within the country. We know of several plots to kill Hitler that failed and resulted in the deaths of most the planners. There were, however, cells within Germany that sought to undermine Hitler. This book concerns probably the most famous one. Ms. Chiaverini creates such great characters that the reader becomes completely invested in their fates. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and highly recommend it. Kristi & Abby Tabby

Jun 13, 2019

Wow, I totally agree with the one comment that says this is a fantastic book and totally disagree with the last one that says she is a terrible writer. I read 586 pages in 2 days, it was very compelling reading especially in today's political climate. I have read a lot about resistance movements and Jewish survivors but had not read about resistance in Germany(probably because there wasn't much). It was very interesting to get this point of view. The women and men were very resourceful and courageous, ironic that Russian contacts were their ultimate downfall. I am glad that they are getting their historical due. I love this author and this book.

Jun 06, 2019

A major disappointment. I've enjoyed Chiaverini's other historical fiction, but this one is awful. While it does introduce overlooked historical figures, it superimposes 21st century thinking on them. Women can and have done important things for reasons that are incomprehensible to modern group think, but you'd never know it from this book. Chiaverini is a wonderful storyteller, but her writing is weak: people and events driving actions are dismissed in two sentences, while more attention is given to the food the figures ate. While writing about women with broad views, Chiaverini sticks to a narrow theme: anyone who disagrees with any thought or action of the characters is a Nazi (which is ironic, given the classification of Martha Dodd as a resistance woman. Read Erik Larson's In the Garden of Beasts to learn of a different side of Dodd and her boyfriend, a Gestapo leader. Not to mention her WWII and post-war espionage for the Soviet Union.) This is history written backwards: if only the Germans had held 21st century attitudes, think of all the suffering that could have been avoided! But the implication to the reader is clear: hold any idea to the left- or the right-of any protagonist, and you're a Nazi! The point of this book isn't to tell the story of these brave (and largely forgotten) women, it is to draw a parallel to today's politics. More non-fiction should be available; where the facts are limited, anything can be implied. This book reads like the propaganda the women suffered under.

knitsewrainbow May 28, 2019

Wow! This novel is so on-point for our country and world's current political climate. The parallels -- intended or not - that Chiaverini draws when she tells the story of how the Nazis took power in Germany in the 1930's to the current slow unraveling of law and order in the United States is chilling. The beauty in the story telling, which reflects the historically accurate events, is that fascism gained power slowly. Through small changes that were alarming, but ultimately accepted due to fear of repercussions or the wider fear born of a depressed economy, Hitler took control of Germany and later Europe with no opposition or repercussions from other countries. The characters are fierce women who undertake dangerous roles to undermine Nazi authority and through their eyes we experience what it was like to wait for outside help that took too long to come.

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