‘Daughters Of War’ by Dinah Jefferies is a historical fiction novel set in Dordogne in the second World War. The first book in a trilogy which focuses on three half-French sisters who are determined to wait for the War ending with their friends in the village where they live.
The eldest of the three sisters is Hélène, the one who looks after her sisters, trying to ensure they stay safe. This is increasingly difficult as the Nazi occupation is becoming more dangerous by the day. Elise is the rebel, she runs a cafe and also helps the Resistance at the same time. She is determined to keep helping whatever it costs. Florence is the one with her head in the clouds. She spends her time cooking and is the gardener of the family and just wishes for France to be free again. One night the Allies knock on their door for help and Hélène knows she has to take aside. But secrets from their past threaten to tear down everything they cherish.
Dinah Jefferies is such a great storyteller. She can weave a story that’s so immersive and emotional that if you don’t shed a few tears when reading you are made of sterner stuff than I am. The fact that I am highly aware that this story and the situation the sisters found themselves in was almost an everyday thing during the war in France. The uncertainty that people lived with during this time must have been horrific for them. This is a book that was so thought-provoking, if I wasn’t reading the book I was thinking about it, wondering what was next for these sisters.
The descriptions of the surroundings, the village, houses and the people shows how expertly Dinah Jefferies can weave a story that is so vividly real that I could have been watching a programme it was that good.
I must say, I am really looking forward to the next books as I am so invested in these three women and their lives. I am happy to think I can follow their personal journeys for two more books.
A story that could be real with the amount of research I would say that Dinah Jefferies has undertaken to create this story. I highly recommend this historical saga story that can tug on your heartstrings and evoke such emotion.
Thanks to Anne Cater of Random Things Tours and Harper Collins for the copy of the book.