Sunday 31 May 2009

An Interesting Premise

Finished May 25
Resistance by Owen Sheers
This book is a fiction of an alternative history. Here the situation is that D-day was a bust and the Germans are winning World War II and have now invaded Britain.
The action takes place in a very small farming village in Wales. As the novel begins, the women in the village wake up one morning to discover that all the men are gone. There are no notes left for them, and very few clues as to where and why they have disappeared. Getting together, they decide it is in their best interest to keep things quiet and just as they have decided that and began to deal with the way their lives have changed a small detachment of Germans arrives in the village. As the Germans stay into the winter, they develop relationships of a sort with the village women and this changes everything for both sets of inhabitants.
On the women's side we see most of the story from the view of Sarah Lewis, a 26-year-old wife with no children. The German view is given from the view of their commanding officer, Albrecht Wolfram.
The characters are what really bring this book alive and we watch through their eyes as the reality of their situation sinks in and see how they deal with it. The what-if nature of alternative history brings an added element to the plot and a feeling of uncertainty about the future we don't normally get with historical fiction. I found the book fascinating and had a hard time putting it down.


  1. This sounds like a really interesting book, Shonna. I haven't read too many alternate history novels, I admit. Thanks for the great review!

  2. I haven't read many alternate history books myself, but I like the early to mid-20th century for a time setting, so that attracted me first.