Cover Image: Daughters of War

Daughters of War

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

This first title from a new series by Dinah Jefferies was disappointing for me. The main issues were the heavily descriptive narrative (which took the edge off the action) and the storylines and twists were somewhat predictable. That said, it is an evocative tale about three sisters and their individual struggles during the time of German occupation of France, and most readers appear to love it. It just wasn't the page-turner I had hoped it would be.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for my advance copy of this novel. This is my unbiased opinion.
Was this review helpful?
Wow!! What a emotional read. I loved this books about Helene, Elsie and Florence and their story. So bits were quite hard to read. I look forward to reading the second book next year!
Was this review helpful?
This is the first book in a trilogy about three sisters, Elise, Helene and Florence. It is set in France towards the end of WWII.  I love a historical fiction book and this was a captivating read. Not an easy period to write about but I am a firm fan of Jefferies work and this did not disappoint. It brought the situation to life as we see the sisters face several challenges as the war draws towards its end.
Was this review helpful?
I like this new direction of Dinah Jefferies writing.  It’s more character-driven and less figurative language; more action and less descriptive.  Her characters are still wonderfully flawed but there’s also a new depth. I found myself totally absorbed in the sister’s lives.

Helene, Elise and Florence. Left in the family home in France to fend on their own by a cold and distant mother who stays in England, I was invested in them all. 

The sisters have very different personalities who by the end of this first story in the trilogy have been through experiences that have taken them to the darkest of emotions, stripping them of all they knew, and yet they take the knocks and find strength to face the world anew. 

Secrets are uncovered that impacted on their lives in small ways as they were growing up and has an even bigger impact during the war.  There are betrayals and sacrifices but also support from the unexpected. Their bonds are tested but they don’t shatter.  They grow stronger.  And find a way through, no matter the cost to them as individuals.

I was on tenterhooks for most of the story, wondering what was coming next.  And in Nazi occupied Sainte Cecile, I can tell you it’s a lot.  Dinah Jefferies packs an emotional punch and at times, left me feeling bereft.  Daughters of War is brutal.  And I loved it.  It’s one of those stories that will stay with me for a long time.

Three kick-ass heroines who are an inspiration and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Was this review helpful?
This was the first book I’ve read from this author and I really enjoyed this engaging and deftly plotted novel. This is a wonderfully descriptive tale of three sisters caught up in the events of WWII in the Dordogne, France.  Jeffferies rich descriptions of location and events makes for a compelling, intense and at times, dark and heartrending read.  I especially loved the individual characters of the three sisters, and how their relationship with each other altered and developed over the course of the narrative.  I’m happy to know this is the first in a series and I will most definitely read the others.
I would like to thank the publisher, Harper Collins and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Set in France at the end of the Second World War this book tells the story of the lives of three sisters living in a small village in France. Without making it too harrowing the author describes what it was like living under the German occupation and how ordinary French residents tried to offer resistance and the horrors of the retaliations that could come from the Germans. I would recommend this book as I enjoyed reading it and will look out for new books by this author.
Was this review helpful?
my rating: 3.75/5 

I will admit, I haven't read historical fiction in a while - but this book was so refreshing and interesting and rekindled my interest in modern history. I felt that the characters were so lovable despite their various complexities and faults, and the author manages to create such a vivid setting, with beautiful imagery. 

That being said, it did take me a long time to finish this book. The plot was slow at times and I repeatedly left it and came back to it. I actually really liked the book, but my attention span really said no.

I enjoyed the snippet of the second book and look forward to the release of both it and the next!
Was this review helpful?
Dinah Jefferies is a guaranteed good read. 

Set in France in 1944, we follow three sisters, Helene, Elise and Florence as they live through German occupation. 

The sisters are three strong, likeable women, all with individual stories. They deal with the heartbreak of war, tensions, bravery, love and family secrets. 

This book is the first in a trilogy and I am already looking forward to continuing the story in the next book. 
Great read 4 ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Was this review helpful?
Set during 1944 in German occupied France this is the story of three sisters and their lives under this repression. They are three very different characters and handle the challenges in their individual ways. 

Set against the beautifully described French countryside the story highlights the brutality of war and its impact on ordinary people. The writing is lovely and this is a completely immersive read. It is the start of a trilogy and I'm looking forward to the next novel.

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I think I’ve read most of Dinah Jefferies’ books now, so it’s great to make the move with her to a new publisher and the beginning of a brand new historical fiction series.

As with Dinah’s previous books, Daughters of War is ambitious and covers an incredible amount of historical and personal ground, but at the heart of it, it’s the relationship between the three main characters that comes to the fore.

The three, young Baudin sisters having seemingly been left to fend for themselves in occupied France, by a mother with whom they have a somewhat fraught relationship. Based on what is revealed about that in the book, I would love to see that further explored in the two books that are due to follow this one.

During their time in France, Hélène has dropped into the role of mother figure, often at the expense of her own life and experiences, but when the war comes to their doorstep, she has to acknowledge that she is not in control of everything.

As always with Dinah Jefferies’ work, there is an immense amount of detail about the period and location, but it fits in seemlessly with what we want to know about the story – there is never description for description’s sake, and everything adds to the story and never detracts.

There are a few threads that clearly lead on to the second book, but most of what we would want resolved is resolved, making this book an incredibly rewarding read.
Was this review helpful?
A beautifully written story of three sisters living in a small French village during WW2 occupation by the Nazis. The plot consists of both happy and harrowing moments and is presented in such a way that it feels real. Each character was well-developed and a lot of them were very easy to get attached to. I will gladly read the next book in the trilogy once it's published in 2022.
Was this review helpful?
Really good story, i felt i was there with the characters, you got the emotion, the adventures, the journey of the 3 sisters, a great page turner book that kept me reading to the end, and looking forward to finding out how it ended for the sisters. Loved Florence positive nature.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
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.
Was this review helpful?
Three sisters in France during WW2, their mother in England. The girls are helping the resistance in the area. What could go wrong!
Was this review helpful?