Cover Image: Daughters of War

Daughters of War

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Member Reviews

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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Sister’s Helene, Elise and Florence Baudin live in the river valley of Dordogne in France, near the village of Sainte-Cecile and they have lived here for seven years. When their father Charles passed away, their mother Claudette took the girls to the family’s cottage in France and returned alone to England. Being the eldest Helene is responsible for looking after her younger sisters, she puts her own hopes and dreams on hold. Due to the war the sisters are unable to return to England and they hope no one in the village will tell the Germans they are only half French. Like everyone in France, they resent the Germans presence, and can’t wait for the allies to arrive and the war to end. 

Helene's caring, she helps everyone and works for the local doctor Hugo Marchant, Elise owns a small cafe in town, and Florence looks after the cottage garden, she's a wonderful cook and homemaker. All three of the sisters become involved in the fight to free France, they all face hardship, danger, loss and the challenges of living in an occupied country. Daughter of War story is full of wonderful descriptions about the beautiful French countryside, the forest near the Baudin sister’s house, and life in the village of Sainte-Cecile and how the locals all support, help each other during the terrible war years and German reprisals. 

Dinah Jefferies has done it again, the book is well written and I'm so excited that it’s part of a series, and I can’t wait until the next book is published and discover what else happens to Helene, Elise and Florence and especially after France has been liberated by the American's. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley and HarperCollins UK, in exchange for an honest review, if you like WW II Historical Fiction, I highly recommend reading Daughters of War and five stars from me.
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Three sisters' bravery during World War II. What makes this book so powerful is the way the drama unfolds against the natural beauty of the tranquil Dordogne area of France. Each sister has different problems due to the German occupation, from food shortages to rebellion, romantic ties and rape. Dinah Jefferies is a great storyteller and this is one of her best.
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I really enjoyed this book and which is set in France towards the end of World War 2. This is the first in a trilogy and I look forward to the next book.
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Three sisters - Hélène, Elise and Florence - live in a beautiful little house away from Sainte Cécile, a village in Dordogne, not too far from Sarlat. They moved when their father passed away and have remained there because of the Second World War. We are now in 1944 and the three sisters are longing for the end of the war. But the months prior to the liberation are very difficult in occupied France. The resistance is very active and many actions take place against the occupying forces in preparation for the landing of the Allied forces. The three sisters all suffer through the events, loose loved ones, experience horrific times, throw themselves into their activities and find their own way to cope with these awful times. 
The book is full of interesting and strong characters: the three sisters of course, their friends Violette and Lucille, Hugo the doctor and his wife Marie, resistance fighters Jack, Victor and many others, Captain Meyer, Thomas and Anton. Through her research and empathy, Dinah Jefferies succeeded to recreate in her book the atmosphere in the village during these troubled times. Living in an occupied country was immensely complex and relationships between people that used to be friends or simply inhabitants of the same village also became complex. Not only the French were divided between those supporting Vichy, those fighting the occupant with any means they had and those just trying to get one with their lives. But also the German occupants were torn, many of them drawn to sympathise with the villagers, while some such as the division Das Reich perpetrated some of cruelest massacres during their retreat, such as the one in Tulle mentioned in the book. This complexity of situation, politics, relationships and emotions during these times in France is very seldom well addressed in British novels, but here it is done with deep sensitivity and empathy.
In the background, I enjoyed the descriptions of the location in Dordogne, walking in the woods, sitting in the sun, listening to the birds. In spite of the tension of those days, the sisters's house always feels like a cosy and peaceful place, where sister Florence even manages to continue to maintain the culinary traditions, although with very different ingredients.
I really enjoyed this book and I am glad this is a trilogy, as I cannot wait to read the rest of the story.
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I have read and loved most of Dinah Jeffries’ books so I was delighted when she published a new one. This one was a change from her other books set in Asia.  Daughters of War is set in the Dordogne, France in 1944, during the Nazi occupation.  Three sisters, Hélène, Elise and Florence Baudin,  are the main characters of the story.  Dinah tells how the occupation changed their lives, the tangible fear of the Nazis and  their cruelty to the local village people, as well as the Resistance and its daring efforts to defeat the enemy. Hélène was the eldest and looked after the two younger sisters, as well as working as a Nurse for the local doctor,  after their mother Claudette returned to England. Elise was the daring one who played her part in the Resistance and Florence, the youngest, cooked for them and grew vegetables and herbs in the garden. .The description of the Dordogne countryside is beautiful, it is almost as if you are walking in the woods and enjoying the sunshine and chatting with the girls. A touch of romance adds the effect. My thanks go to NetGalley for an arc copy of this fabulous story, also to Harper Collins Uk. I am looking forward to the next book in the exciting trilogy.
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I loved this book.   Dinah Jefferies is one of my favourite authors and was delighted Netgalley offered me the opportunity to read and review this book.
Based on wartime and three sisters in Dordogne France during the German occupation. They find themselves in real danger and during the course of time find out family secrets which affect them in so many ways.
Can’t wait for the next two in the trilogy.
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This is an atmospheric and fascinating story set in 1944 in the Dordogne valley, France. The Baudin sisters live in a little stone cottage during the German occupation. Their father is dead and their mother fled to England, leaving the sisters to fend for themselves while the Nazi’s come closer and the Allies ask for their help. 
The first book of a trilogy, it is rich in history and humanity and highlights the devastating effects of war on family and friendship. Each of the sisters and their situations are complex and will leave your heart breaking at times.
A highly recommended and memorable read.
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I loved this book it was so interesting.  At times it made me gasp and other times it made me sad. This is the 2nd book by Dinah Jeffreies' that I've read and enjoyed.  I plan to read all of hers . My thanks to netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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This is the first in a trilogy. It starts just as the second world war is ending and follows three sisters living in France.
Hélène, the eldest, is holding the family together. She works as a nurse to the village Doctor.
Elise, is involved with the Resistance and is a bit of a rebel.
Florence, just wants life to go back to what it was.
Then they find themselves caught up in helping the Allies. This puts them in danger especially when secrets from the pasts surface.
Looking forward to the next one to find out what happens to them.
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A Second World War novel that immerses itself in the overriding fears and horrors of that period whilst also focussing very much on the three sisters at the centre of the story.
Jefferies successfully portrays many of the emotions and dreams of the young women but punctuates it with the historical atrocities of their situation.
Definitely a thrilling balance of historical war-time action with direct and personal emotional involvement.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers for this free copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Unfortunately this was a DNF for me, I got to 40% of it, but I was simply not drawn in. I am a sucker for historical fictions, but Daughters of War was nothing new, there was nothing that made me want carry on reading.
Said so, the writing is easy to follow and well structured; it was just the story that didn't draw me in.
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I have read all of Dinah Jefferies books and loved them all ,so I was delighted to be given this new book, the first in a trilogy, how exciting .Set in 1944 in occupied France ,it tells the story of the repercussions of German Occupation  and the French Resistance .To live in those times must have been so difficult and frightening and this book is so atmospheric and the characters brilliant ,I almost felt I was there with them frightened and scared .Three sisters live in the Dordogne village of Sainte Cecile ,their Father is dead and their Mother has gone to England so they are very supportive of one another and close .The story is full of secrets ,love and loss and bravery .The horrors of war are hard to forget and some incidents change the lives of the sisters forever .I loved the ending and look forward to reading the next book in the trilogy. Many thanks to the Publisher ,he Author and NetGalley for my copy in return for an honest review .
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Following the lives of 3 sisters in war torn France. It was a nice storyline and well researched but the writing style really wasn’t for me I’m afraid.
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What a fantastic read this book was.
The story follows three sisters Helene, Florence and Elise during the Second World War in France.
The imagery was so vivid I felt I was living through the war with them.  This book had me enthralled throughout and found myself thinking about the sisters even when I wasn’t reading! A sign of a truly great story.
This is a real page turner with so many things happening you just need to find the outcomes and cheering the girls on.
I’m so looking forward to the next book in the series.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me read an advanced copy. It was an absolute pleasure.
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