Thank you to Chrissie at Michael Joseph Books for the invitation to join the blog tour for An Act of Love by Carol Drinkwater, published in the UK on April 29th and a copy of the book to read and review.
It was an idyllic summer. Until they had to escape.
Forced to flee war ravaged Poland, Sara and her parents are offered refuge in a beautiful but dilapidated house in the French Alps. It seems the perfect hideaway, despite haunting traces of the previous occupants who left in haste.
But shadows soon fall over Sara’s blissful summer, and her blossoming romance with local villager Alain. As the Nazis close in, the family is forced to make a harrowing choice that could drive them apart forever, while Sara’s own bid for freedom risks several lives.
Will Sara be reunited with those she loves?
And can she ever find her way back to Alain?
By turns poignant and atmospheric, this is the compelling new novel from Sunday Timesbestselling author Carol Drinkwater about the power of first love and courage in our darkest hours.
This is the first book I’ve read by Carol Drinkwater, and I look forward to reading more in the future. The story starts in 1943, but we quickly find out that Sara and her family have been travelling and hiding since 1939, to escape the Nazis.
Sara spent the summer of 1943 in a French town with other refugees and started to live the life of a young woman, after being hidden away for a few years. This was her opportunity to have a ‘normal life’ for a period of time.
This French Alps town was near the Italian border and the residents and occupying Italian soldiers didn’t have a problem with the Jewish refugees. However, the relationship between Italy and Germany changed, and the refugees had to make desperate plans to escape.
This book is beautifully written, transporting the reader to France in 1943, looking at the problems of being in an occupied area. As the French people came to terms with the Occupation, many looked to support the resistance in any way they could. Sara’s story will stay with me for a long time, a young woman looking forward in her life but wondering on a daily basis whether she would live to see that future.
The book reminds the readers of the horrors of the war but also of the bravery of the French people, who tried to help the refugees despite the risks to their own lives and their families.
I’m a regular reader of historical fiction books and this book has joined my list of highly recommended reads. Please check out the reviews from the other book bloggers too during the blog tour.
Carol Drinkwater is a multi-award-winning actress who is best known for her portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC television series All Creatures Great and Small. Her quartet of memoirs set on her olive farm in the south of France have sold over a million copies worldwide and her solo journey round the Mediterranean in search of the olive tree’s mythical secrets inspired a five-part documentary film series, The Olive Route. She is also the author of novels The Forgotten Summer, The Lost Girl and The House on the Edge of the Cliff. She lives in the south of France.