Cover Image: Daughters of War

Daughters of War

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Member Reviews

The first book in this historical fiction trilogy set in WW2 is an emotional and sensory delight. Cleverly created characters draw the reader into their tumultuous lives in occupied France. The story focuses on three sisters living in an idyllic setting in Dordogne, France, which is blighted by enemy occupation and the ravages of war. Hélène, the eldest, a nurse and surrogate mother to the younger women. Elise, the rebel whose courage leads to impulsive acts that may have far-reaching repercussions and Florence, the youngest, a dichotomy of practicality and dreamer.

The beautifully described setting is evocative of the place and time. Intricate world-building and historical details bring the characters and setting to authentic and vibrant life. The plot reflects the dangers and deprivations of war in an immersive way. Empathy is the reader's paramount emotion, as the sisters and the community try to maintain hope and humanity in dire circumstances. Emotive and thought-provoking, it resonates.

I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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As a fan of Jeffries’ stunningly evocative Far Eastern colonial novels, I lapped up this new setting of occupied, rural France, which she presents just as convincingly. And, as always, I was quickly immersed in the lives of her protagonists; in this case, sisters Hélène, Elise and Florence. 
I must confess that I was expecting a plot arc along the lines of The Nightingale — also about sisters and the Resistance — but it is here that the comparison ends. And not in a bad way. Daughters of War is just very different. 
Jeffries’ writing style is languid and atmospheric, the story only gradually unfolding. There is tension in the plot, but this ebbs and flows, rather than building to a frantic denouement. What the narrative lacks in tempo and suspense though, it more than makes up for in its sense of time and place and in its bold, brave heroines. 
The three sisters are hugely relatable and likeable, each her own person, each with her designated place in the trio. I love that Jeffries gives each one a separate voice in this tale, giving us access to their innermost thoughts and fears. And I love that despite their very different natures, they are always there for each other and united make a formidable unit. 
Jeffries has set the scene well for the next book in this trilogy, revealing family secrets that will change the course of the sisters’ lives after the war. I look forward to continuing the saga.
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Occupied France in early 1944.

Three women, sisters, Helene, Elise and Florence living together at the edge of a village in the Dordogne.

Helene is a nurse for the local doctor and wants to keep everyone close to her safe.

Elise runs a little café which is at the centre of resistance work and she is determined to be defiant and help defeat the Germans.

Florence the youngest, tends to the home, the garden and dreams of the day that everything is okay again in the world.

As the book progresses, events occur which change the course of all these three women’s lives. A knock at the door brings the resistance far closer than Helene would like to their life. Sheltering someone on the run from the wrong side could lead to problems. Florence’s innocence is shattered and the behaviour of the girls’ mother has a lasting affect on them all, despite her being in England.

The book moves between the three sisters, as we see their perspective, their take on what is happening around them. There are some upsetting scenes, which the author doesn’t shy away from and the impact they had whilst I was reading made me recoil, but also knew that this went on and to have it brought to life off the page was quite disturbing but necessary to understand the impact of the actions of the few.

I have read and enjoyed many books set during the Second World War and this will be one that will stay with me for a while. It was interesting to take another aspect of the war; Occupied France and the French Resistance, and not use some of the well written about areas, to create a powerful and evocative storyline.

The skill Jefferies brings is the details into which she goes. From the descriptions, I knew the cottage that the three sisters lived in, the garden that Florence tended in all of it’s glory; the flowers, the food, the necessities that were needed to survive were rich in detail. Which when the horrors that were witnessed made them all that more impactful.

I am glad that there is more to learn about these three sisters, as there are many unanswered questions that I have and I cannot wait until I can be swept away again with such an impactful setting and story.

It is authors and books like this that remind me why I love historical fiction so much.
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We meet three sisters, Hélène, Elsie, and Florence, in France, 1944. War is raging and their once peaceful community is suffering under Nazi occupation. The sisters’ already upturned lives are further rocked when the Allies arrive, seeking their help and setting each on a very different path. 

This is a beautiful story of strength, loyalty and resilience under the most difficult of circumstances. It is both heartbreaking in parts and uplifting in others, and wonderfully conveys the delicate balance of despair and hope in the midst of war. The author gives a real sense of the time and place, and all of the characters feel very real. The mix of action and delving into the sister’s family history makes for an excellent plot, and the pacing is just right.

While we got to know each sister, the story left me wanting to know more about them as well as some of the supporting cast, so I am very pleased to hear that this is the first instalment in a trilogy. I very much look forward to reading the next book. Definitely one for any fans of historical fiction!

My thanks to the author, NetGalley, and the publisher for the arc to review.
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A delightful book as always by Dinah Jefferies. Set in France in 1944, it tells the story of three sisters. Like most siblings the sisters have very different personalities. They desperately want the war to end. I could not have imagined what it would be like to live in France through the German invasion. The three girls are vulnerable, they had little choice. As the time period was so close to the end of the war I so wanted to finish the book and hope it ended the struggles of the three sisters.  Love and grief is a central theme.
I believe this book is the first in a series and I think this must give it a good base to develop things. In many ways this book is unlike Dinah Jefferies other novels, so that adds a dimension to the story. There are secrets and situations that will haunt these girls for many years ahead. 
I cant wait for book 2, I hope I enjoy that just as much. I think I will do.
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I enjoyed this book. It was full of strong female characters and the author did well to create the tension for the reader.

The book was really descriptive about the location and I found it easy to picture what was happening.

The book read well and I found it to be a quick read. I did get slightly confused in parts as there were a lot of characters and found it difficult to differentiate between some of them.
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As a huge fan of this author, I eagerly anticipated getting lost in this latest offering.

Daughters of war is another masterpiece from author Dinah Jefferies. Always able to draw in the reader with her evocative descriptions of the setting and the feelings and emotions of the characters, it is impossible not to find yourself completely immersed in the story from the outset.

Sisters Helene, Florence and Elise live in their beautiful family home in Nazi-occupied Dordogne in France. Their story is told in separate chapters, highlighting not only the close bonds between them, but also how starkly different each one is in personality.

As they all find themselves entangled with the war in some way, Jefferies is able to weave the narrative to accurately depict the fear of the unknown, the constant distrust of others, as well as showing the increased presence of the resistance.

There is an added element of family history which is hinted at throughout and comes to light towards the end of the novel which adds an intriguing dimension.

Whether you’re already a fan of the author or this is your first foray into one of her books, this is one not to be missed!

With thanks to Dinah Jefferies, Anne at Random Things Tours and Harper Collins Publishing for the opportunity to participate in the tour.
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Three sisters in France during WW2, their mother in England. The girls are helping the resistance in the area. What could go wrong!
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The story of three disparate sisters living in occupied France during WWII.  The eldest sister is the mother hen, the middle sister is fighting with the Resistance in the form of the Maquis and the youngest sister is the dreamer, just yearning for peace and for the country to be returned to its former self.  Secrets start to unravel as the road they’re travelling on takes a rocky turn.

What a fabulous read!  I was totally gripped and immersed in this story.  I loved the different characters of the sisters, they are very contrasting but all very likeable.  It’s beautifully written with some fantastic and vivid imagery, it really paints a picture in your mind of the delightful landscape of the Dordoyne.  It’s also a very moving and emotional read.  There are some quite sad and harrowing moments.  It’s a tale about fighting for what you believe in - a tale of love and survival.  And ultimately of courage and hope.  A real page turner!  

This is the first book in a series so I am very much looking forward to the second instalment!
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I absolutely loved this absorbing, gripping read from a favourite author of mine.

I was quickly drawn into the story and into the lives of the three sisters. As I might have mentioned before I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly if it is set in the second world war, so I absolutely loved all the brilliant descriptions of the period. I knew a little about France under the Nazi occupation but always enjoy learning new facts about the time. I was fascinated to learn more about the French resistance and to learn about the brutal Maquis who I hadn’t heard of before.

The three sisters were fantastic creations who I loved following throughout the book. I liked how different each of them were, how they each complemented each other and brought different elements to the story. As an older sister I did sympathize with Helene the most as I think that, if in a similar situation I too would be trying my hardest to keep everyone safe. The reader follows each sister on their own story and I found it very interesting to see where each sister ends up.

Overall I really enjoyed this book and found it hard to put down as I was so absorbed in the story. It’s one of those books that I quickly realised I’d like so I felt I could just relax and enjoy where the story took me. It was fascinating to see where the three sisters stories lead them and I enjoyed discovering all the secrets that are revealed. As you can probably imagine with a book that’s set in wartime, there a few scenes that were difficult to read but I thought the author handled them sensitively so they weren’t overly upsetting.

This is the first book in a new series and I can’t wait to read more in the future.

Huge thanks to Anne Cater for inviting me onto the blog tour and to Harper for my copy of this book.
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An enjoyable read.  Set towards the end of WW2, it is the story of 3 Anglo-French sisters living in the Dordogne. It was a bit slow to get going with a lot of description of flowers and the landscape.  The story of Nazi occupation is intertwined with background snippets about their mother and childhood. As the first in the series, it does set up subsequent story lines, although it is a complete book in itself.
This is an honest review of a complementary ARC.
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This is the first book I have read by Dinah Jeffries and I'm already looking forward to the next two in the trilogy. This was a great read. Vivid descriptions of horrific scenes, and real human feeling portrayed so realistically. I felt as if I was in the village with the sisters. Three sisters, sent to live in France before the outbreak of war while their mother remains in England. Three very different sisters - Hélène, the oldest, a nurse who takes on the role of parent, Élise, the brave, resistance member and baby of the family Florence who is the homemaker. Their mother clearly had some secrets in her past and when these are unveiled they could cause tragedy to the family. Through all though is a story of survival in the hardest of times, and of ordinary life continuing as much as possible. A riveting read. #netgalley #daughtersofwar
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The first in a new historical fiction series. We follow three sisters living in a French town during German occupation of France in the early 1940s.

We follow the stories of each of the three sisters who are so different yet strongly connected and totally intertwined. I loved getting to read from the perspective of each sister. Helene is the eldest and acts as mother to her younger sisters, she is a nurse, practical and reasonable, she feels deeply and is filled with both love and fear. Then we have Elise, the most headstrong sister who is an active part of the resistance. Finally, there is Florence, the youngest. Innocent but brave and doing her best to make the difficult times feel normal. Each sister suffers atrocities and heartbreak and goes on a journey in this first book. This is undoubtedly a book focused on the characters, my favourite kind of historical fiction! 

The characters are so well developed and the setting and plots felt real and believable. I got completely lost in their stories. The length and pacing was great and kept me fully engaged. Some of the descriptive language used was beautiful. I’m definitely going to go and read some of Jefferies’ previous novels. 

The end of the book included an extract from the second in the series coming next year and I really can’t wait to read more. 

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Engrossing historical facts intertwined with the fictional lives of three courageous sisters. Picturesque writing which transported me to Nazi occupied Dordogne and into the cottage sharing the dreams and burdens of the girls’  lives. My overriding thoughts are how stoic people from that era were. I was very disappointed with the ending…..until I found out there is a sequel, ‘ The Hidden Palace’, so it’s definitely going on my reading list!
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After six novels set in Asia, all of which I’ve read and enjoyed, Dinah Jefferies has recently switched her focus to Europe during World War II. Last year’s The Tuscan Contessa was set in 1940s Italy; her new book, Daughters of War, is the first in a new trilogy set in wartime France.

It’s 1944 and France is occupied by the Nazis. In a cottage in the Dordogne live three sisters, all in their twenties, who are each doing their best to protect themselves and their friends and neighbours and to ensure that they all survive the war. Hélène, the eldest, took on the responsibility of caring for the other two after their father died and their mother departed for England, and as well as trying to look after her little family, she also works as a nurse alongside the village doctor. Élise is the rebellious and daring sister, the one who is determined to do whatever she can to help the Resistance, whether that is hiding weapons in the cottage grounds or intercepting and passing on messages. Finally there’s Florence, the innocent and kind-hearted dreamer, who is always happiest when she is at home, spending time in the kitchen or the garden.

As the Occupation continues and liberation still seems like a distant dream, the sisters are faced with a series of important decisions to make. Should they give shelter to Tomas, a deserter from the German army? Can they trust Jack, a British SOE soldier who arrives injured at the cottage one night, asking for help? All they can do is follow their instincts and try to find a balance between keeping themselves safe and working to regain France’s freedom. Along the way, each of the sisters has her own set of personal challenges to overcome, family secrets are exposed and the bonds between the three of them are tested. As the first in a trilogy, not everything is resolved in this book, but the foundations are laid for the characters and ideas to be developed further in the second and third novels.

The book is written from the perspectives of all three sisters; we spend a few chapters with one, then a few chapters with another. I felt the closest to Hélène, although each of the sisters is a strongly drawn character with a distinct personality of her own. Élise has potentially the most exciting storylines, but I would have liked to have read about her activities with the Resistance in more detail – they are skimmed over quite quickly and I thought this was a missed opportunity. I also found it unconvincing that the sisters are so ready to trust and confide in everyone they meet, even when it appears that someone around them might be a traitor; I would have expected them to have shown more caution.

Those are the negatives, but there were also plenty of positives; I particularly loved the descriptions of the beautiful countryside and villages of the Périgord Noir, the region of France where the story is set. I’m sure I’ll be reading the other two books in the trilogy, whenever they are available.
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Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies is the first book in a sweeping historical fiction series. 
In short, it’s 1944 in occupied France and we follow three sisters, Helené, Elise and Florence in their journey of survival and bravery during Nazi occupation. It’s packed with drama with it’s portrayal of the horrors of war, family secrets and loyalty. 
I thoroughly enjoyed it, great characters and plot…it’s just one of those books which immediately draws you in. I look forward to reading the next book in this trilogy. 
Big thanks to Dinah Jefferies, HarperCollins UK and NetGalley for this eARC which I chose to read in return for my honest review.
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Daughters Of War told from three sisters perspectives, Elise, Helene and Florence.  All very different, but ultimately sisters always there to look out for each other.  Going through highs and lows of living during wartime, with revelations along the way.

Overall a good read, historical reads not my genre of choice, this genre very much hit or miss for me.  Definitely worth reading.
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This is a first book in the series, and I wanted to read this one it was okay book. I am not really a fun of WWII books, but this one was good. I enjoyed this one. 
3.5 stars.
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It's 1944 and the Natzis have occupied a little village  in the Dordogne. Three sisters are living by themselves in a cottage since their father died and their mother went home  to live in England.
Only half French the sister are determined to see out the war at the side of their friends in the village.
Helene is a nurse for the local doctor. Elise is working for the resistance and using the cafe she owns as a letterbox for them. 
Florence stays and home and cooks and tends her vegetable and herb garden.
The sisters know that if Elise is caught working for the resistance they are all in trouble.

One day the are all asked to help in the fight against the Natzis and knowing they are putting themselves in even greater danger they still agree..
This leads to a long list of events in order to protect the people they are helping and also the locals who become implicated. No one knows who to trust, but they do know that someone somewhere in the village is collaborating.

Oh my goodness, what a story. This is one of those books that kept me awake at night wondering what was going to happen next. Some parts were hard to read and digest. To think that these atrocities really happened to real people. Real people lived a life of uncertainty the way the sisters did. Real people plotted and fought in villages all over Europe with the sole point of getting rid of the Natzis.

There was such a lot happening in this book as each of the sisters had their high points and low points in their dat to day survival. A great cast was supporting the  story which is one of hardship, fear, bravery and love. Love is an important part of the book. Who do you love in times of war? Can you love the enemy? Or do you have to hate him ? 

Dinah Jefferies is a brilliant storyteller. I always cry reading her books and this one is no exception. It's probably the one I have cried the most over.  There were a few parts in the story I wish I hadn't read as they stayed in my head too long. But that wouldn't have stopped me from finishing the book.
The descriptions of the village, the houses and the surroundings all made me feel like I was watching a film they were so vivid. 
To provoke great emotion through your written word is an exceptional talent and something the author should be proud of.
One thing that makes me happy is that this book is part of a trilogy, so we will see who will survive and what a life without war holds for  those who do. I  can't wait for the next one.
Thanks Dinah for all your research and for writing this book. Maybe I won't cry so much in book two.
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Daughters of War by Dinah Jefferies is an excellent WWII-era historical fiction that has it all: mystery, suspense, history, drama, romance, and a stunning character cast. This is the first in an all-encompassing series that will truly be divine. 

This is a stunning novel. Taking place in France in WWII, we are introduced to a family with three vibrant, unique, passionate, and different sisters. 

Helene, Elise, and Florence are all fascinating in their own right. The push/pull relationships between each sibling is truly fascinating. Reading each of their respective stories, thoughts, and actions and also seeing it all play out amongst one another really carries the book. Then there are pivotal moments of sink or swim that really brings in the action. Seeing how each responds when they are called up to task takes it all to another level. 

I will save the rest of the plot for the reader so as not to spoil the wonderful journey. I look forward to reading more. 

5/5 stars 

Thank you NG and Harper Collins UK/HarperFiction for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, Waterstones, and B&N accounts upon publication.
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