Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies
Updated: Oct 21, 2021
The first book in a brand-new sweeping historical series from the No.1 Sunday Times bestselling author.
France, 1944. Deep in the river valley of the Dordogne, in an old stone cottage on the edge of a beautiful village, three sisters long for the end of the war.
Hélène, the eldest, is trying her hardest to steer her family to safety, even as the Nazi occupation becomes more threatening.
Elise, the rebel, is determined to help the Resistance, whatever the cost.
And Florence, the dreamer, just yearns for a world where France is free.
Then, one dark night, the Allies come knocking for help. And Hélène knows that she cannot sit on the sidelines any longer. But bravery comes at a cost, and soon the sisters’ lives become even more perilous as they fight for what is right. And secrets from their own mysterious past threaten to unravel everything they hold most dear…
The first in an epic new series from the No.1 Sunday Times bestseller, Daughters of War is a stunning tale of sisters, secrets and bravery in the darkness of war-torn France…
Daughters of War is the first book in a new trilogy by Dinah Jefferies. Three sisters: Hélène , Elise and Florence are living together in war torn France near the end of WW2. Under German occupation life in France is full of uncertainty, terror and danger. Hélène, the eldest, has taken on the full responsibility of looking after her sisters, having lived in France for seven years on their own. After their father passed away and their mother decided to stay in England the sisters have learned to survive and thrive in France. Hélène, working as a nurse, Elise, setting up her own cafe where she helps the Resistance and Florence, growing their own produce to feed their family.
Jefferies writes with such beauty and passion. Her characters are realistic and very likeable making it easy to become fully involved in their lives. I was captured by the sister's differing personalities and found I could relate to each one of them. Their fight for survival and for one another is heartwarming but added to this is their maternal, humanistic nature that offers care for those around them, including that of strangers, which puts them at great risk. Jefferies' portrays the brutality of war very skilfully, outlining the impact it has on communities and individuals, as well as the courage and determination people endured.
Daughters of War is an emotive family drama which sends you on a roller-coaster of emotions. There are graphic scenes of rape and murder which sit alongside the beauty of friendship and the power of love. A multi-layered plot which was hard to predict and Jefferies' brilliant storytelling makes this not only a compelling read but one that is completely captivating. A fantastic start to the series. I'm very intrigued to see what happens in book number two.
Many thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me join the blog tour and to Harper Collins for my gifted copy of Daughters of War.
Dinah Jefferies began her career with The Separation, followed by the number 1 Sunday Times and Richard and Judy bestseller, The Tea-Planter’s Wife. Born in Malaysia, she moved to England at the age of nine. As a teenager she missed the heat of Malaysia, which left her with a kind of restlessness that led to quite an unusual life. She studied fashion design, went to live in Tuscany where she worked as an au-pair for an Italian countess, and there was even a time when Dinah lived with a rock band in a 'hippie' commune in Suffolk. In 1985, the death of her fourteen-year-old son changed everything and she now draws on the experience of loss in her writing. She started writing novels in her sixties and sets her books abroad, aiming to infuse love, loss and danger with the extremely seductive beauty of her locations.