Welcome to today’s stop on the blog tour for Liberty by Eilidh McGinness, the first book in the Resistance trilogy. My thanks to Anne at Random Things Tours for inviting me to take part in the tour and to the author for my digital review copy.
About the Book
Bravery, courage, fear, treachery and love in a time of war.
A chance meeting draws Sabine Faure into the shadowy world of the French Resistance where she meets the charismatic Hérisson and his intriguing comrade Loup.
Set in Dordogne in South-west France during World War II, the friends’ relationships and strengths are tested to the very limits as life changes in unbelievably horrific ways, The friends find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.
Vivid and exquisite in its illumination of a time and place that was filled with atrocities but also humanity and extraordinary bravery, Eilidh McGinness’s novel will evoke readers to ask – What would I have done?
Format: Paperback (272 pages) Publisher:
Publication date: 7th June 2021 Genre: Historical Fiction
Find Liberty (Resistance #1) on Goodreads
Liberty is the first book in the author’s Resistance trilogy set in south-west France during World War 2. The second book, Equality, was published in November 2021 and the final book, Fraternity, will be published in May 2022.
The book alternates between Hérisson’s experiences at the sharp end of the Resistance movement, taking part in acts of sabotage against the Germans from a camp in the vast forest close to the demarcation line between the occupied zone of France and the ‘free’ zone, and Sabine’s role delivering messages and leaflets using her cheese deliveries as cover. Sabine’s involvement with the Resistance highlights the contribution women made to the fight against the Nazi regime. I could see how it gave Sabine a feeling of pride that she was doing something for the war effort and also gave a her a taste of independence. ‘She was no longer a young girl, trapped in the countryside with no destiny other than to repeat the tedious life of her mother. Now she was a girl who would form her own future. She was a rebel, with a purpose and a future of her own choosing.’
What the book does particularly well is to convey the realities of life under German occupation: the constant fear of reprisals for acts of sabotage by the Resistance, the shortage of food and fuel, the threat of betrayal or denunciation. It’s a time of distrust and divided loyalties, evident in Sabine’s own family. Her father believes anything is better than war, even submission to the German occupiers; he also shares some of their vile prejudices against minority groups.
Given no-one knew what tomorrow might bring, who can forgive people for snatching brief moments of happiness when they present themselves, as is the case with Hérisson and Sabine. But their relationship is not without consequences.
The sabotage missions carried out by Hérisson’s Resistance group, either alone or in conjunction with other groups and British special forces, are vividly described. There are some shocking scenes towards the end of the book – closely based on real-life events – that demonstrate just how ruthless the Nazis were in responding to attacks by the Resistance.
Clearly a lot of research has gone into the book in order to give a vivid picture of what it was like to live under German occupation and highlight the dangers faced every day by those who bravely joined the Resistance movement. As might be expected from the first instalment in a trilogy, the book ends on a dramatic note leaving a number of storylines to be resolved in later books.
Bringing to life a turbulent period in history, Liberty (and the Resistance trilogy of which it forms part) will appeal to those who love to immerse themselves in a different time and place.
In three words: Dramatic, authentic, absorbing
Try something similar: Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies
About the Author
Eilidh was born and brought up in the Highlands of Scotland. She studied law at Aberdeen University. She practiced as a lawyer for twelve years, latterly specializing in criminal defence. Eilidh then moved to South West France with her then husband and four children. She established an independent estate agency business which she ran for twelve years before concentrating on writing- a long held dream. Eilidh has always been fascinated by history and ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.