Title: The Darkest Hour Anthology: WWII Tales of Resistance
Authors: Roberta Kagan, Jean Grainger, Marion Kummerow, Ellie Millwood, Alexa Kang, Mary D. Brooks, Deborah Swift, Kathryn Gauci, John R. McKay, Ryan Armstrong
Publication Date: 22nd January 2019
Thank you to the authors for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I was so pleased to be offered the opportunity to review some of the stories in this wonderful anthology. If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that I am fascinated by WWII historical fiction – and this anthology is extra special in that all proceeds will be donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC.
There are 10 novellas featured in this anthology, and I’m reviewing two of them here on Sepia Tinted Window.
The Occupation by Deborah Swift
The Occupation tells the story of Céline Huber, who lives through the occupation of Jersey during the war. With a German husband and a Jewish best friend, she finds herself pulled in two directions with dramatic consequences.
Although I’ve never visited Jersey, I felt as though I was there with Céline as I read the beautiful descriptions of the island’s lush landscape. It was heartbreaking to think of such a lovely tourist location being run into the ground by the Nazi forces. On such a small island there would have been no hope of avoiding the soldiers, and Deborah Swift captured the claustrophobic atmosphere so well.
What I really loved about this story was the look at the complexity of war. Céline’s husband decides to fight for Germany, and throughout the story we see her struggle to come to terms with the fact that he is fighting for the same side as the men occupying her island and placing her Jewish friend Rachel in grave danger.
The plot is action-packed, with very high stakes and difficult decisions to be made, and as a result I simply couldn’t put this story down until I reached the end!
Catriona’s War by Jean Grainger
From the very first page of this story I fell in love with Catriona, a spunky young woman with an Irish father and French mother who has just graduated from a convent school in Belgium when war breaks out.
Catriona’s father, a well-known Irish journalist, is often required to travel with work – but when he goes missing in France, Catriona begins to realise that there might be more danger to his job than she could possibly imagine, and soon embarks on a dangerous quest of her own.
Throughout this story I never knew who to trust. I found myself guessing all the characters’ motives along with Catriona, and was terrified in case she made a wrong move. Jean Grainger made me care deeply for her protagonist in a very short space of time, and that ending literally had my heart in my mouth!
This was an engrossing story exploring the lengths a brave young woman will go to in her fight for what she believes in.
I hope those reviews have given you a bit of an overview of the moving and inspiring stories featured in The Darkest Hour Anthology, which is available to purchase from today!
Anthology website: https://thedarkesthouranthology.com/