Daughters of War

Written by Dinah Jefferies
Review by Linda Harris Sittig

It is France, 1944, and three sisters are living together in a small provincial village, trying to survive the war. Their father has died, and their mother has decided to stay in London for the duration of the occupation. This leaves Hélène, the oldest sister, to assume the role of protector for her two younger sisters. Élise, the middle sister, has always been a rebel and becomes involved with the French Resistance. Florence, the youngest sister, is the baker and cook in the family. She is quiet compared to her two older sisters and believes in the good of mankind, at least until the day Nazi soldiers invade their house and nothing will ever be the same again.

In the midst of the sisters trying to avoid further scrutiny, two fugitives come asking for asylum. One is a German deserter, just a boy, and the other is an Allied soldier trying to escape beyond enemy lines.

The situation jeopardizes the safety of all three sisters, and together they agree to be courageous and fight for what is right. But courage often takes a high cost, and the three girls will learn just how devastating that can be as family secrets long buried suddenly come to light.

This is a thoroughly engrossing read with a well-paced plot and characters who are finely drawn as to be quite distinct from one another. As in all WWII stories, there are uncomfortable parts, but these details provide a firm foundation to the atrocities of war. I appreciated the unexpected ending to the story and highly recommend the book.