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The Girl From Provence, by Helen Fripp

The Girl From Provence book cover
TRIGGER WARNING: Nazi brutality, anti semitism
France 1942, Lilou’s life remains largely unaffected by war until the Germans arrive in her village. Her Jewish friend Joseph and his mother are seized and deported then her brother is sent to be a labourer in Germany. Incensed, Lilou decides to join the resistance and fight for freedom for all…
The Girl From Provence is an historical novel set in France during WW2.
Lilou is a young woman holding her family together. Her mother has never recovered from the death of Lilou’s father, and her younger brother is immature. Life changes forever when the Nazis arrive in the village and Freddie is sent to Germany and her mum declines further. Lilou has to make difficult choices as she has to choose between her family and her country.
The book is written from multiple thrid person perspectives to show the experiences of different characters. Lilou is brave but impulsive, often putting herself in danger. Kristian is a German conscript, horrified by the atrocities he witnesses. Marie-Madeleine is a resistance leader, pregnant by a lover but determined to continue fighting for freedom. Eliot is a young boy whose parents are being interrogated by the Gestapo but he may hold the key to victory.
I thought the geographical and historical setting were well researched and explored. The inclusion of a real life character (French writer and pilot Antoine) added an authenticity to the book. There is plenty of emotion, in particular related to Eliot’s experience. Love, grief and hope are important themes in the book, and Kristian’s concern about his countrymen highlights that being a German didn’t mean being a Nazi.
The Girl From Provence is an enjoyable historical novel.
The Girl From Provence blog tour banner
The Girl from Provence: Absolutely gripping and heartbreaking WW2 historical fiction by Helen Fripp
South of France, 1942. Twenty-one-year-old Lilou is selling lavender honey in the village square when the Nazis arrive in her beloved Provence. And when her best friend is dragged away simply for being Jewish, Lilou is horrified. As the village begins to take sides, Lilou secretly swears through angry sobs that she’ll sacrifice everything to fight for what’s right.
Drawn in to the French Resistance, soon Lilou is smuggling hidden messages in fresh-baked loaves of bread and meeting Allied pilots in remote moonlit fields. She lives in fear that Kristian, a blue-eyed German soldier, knows about her work – but does he keep her secrets because he is undercover, too?
Everything changes when Lilou is given her most important task: to keep a frightened little boy, Eliot, hidden safe in her farmhouse. All alone in the world, Eliot refuses to speak as he clutches his treasured children’s book close to his chest. Inside is a beautiful story of stars, planets and the night sky. But why is this innocent child the one, among thousands, who Lilou must save?
When she is told Eliot’s book will help her decipher coded messages, Lilou knows he must have knowledge that could change the course of the war. But the day Kristian arrives at her farm searching for hidden Jewish families, Lilou is terrified that Eliot is in more danger than ever…
Can Lilou trust the one person who could tear her world apart? And will she ever help Eliot find his way home?
A totally stunning and heartbreaking read about the incredible sacrifices ordinary people are forced to make each day in wartime. Perfect for fans of Fiona Valpyand Rhys Bowen.
Buy link: https://geni.us/B0CPM64GPNsocial
About the author:
I love delving into the past and uncovering new stories, and in my writing, the tiniest historical detail can spark an idea for a whole chapter. My female characters rail against the social constraints to which they are subject and often achieve great success, but they are of course flawed and human, like the rest of us. It’s the motivations, flaws, loves and every-day lives of my characters that I love to bring life, against sweeping historical backdrops – and I will find any excuse to take off and research a captivating location or person for my next story.
My first novel is set in the Champagne region in France, and I’m currently working on my next one, set in late eighteenth century Paris. I spent a lot of time in France as a child, have lived in Paris and spent a year with my family in a fishing village in South West France, so that’s where my books have ended up being set so far. Who knows where next!
Author social media
Twitter: https://twitter.com/helenfripp
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helen.frippauthor.3
Author newsletter sign up: https://www.bookouture.com/helen-fripp

1 comment

  1. Pingback: Children's book: The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery - loopyloulaura

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