A Rose for the Resistance is a historical novel, set during WWII in France. The main character, Rosalie, or Rosa, lives with her mother and younger brother in Sainte-Mère-Église, Normandy. The family grows flowers as well as vegetables, and Rosa takes great care of the roses whilst waiting for her father’s return from the front.
As time passes, and her father doesn’t return, the family has to find a way to live under the Nazi regime. Marcel, Rosa’s younger brother, is soon involved with the Resistance, something Rosa doesn’t agree with. What is the point? They won’t make a difference, and they will never win.
Angela Couch, the author, has done a wonderful job in setting the scene, the misery and oppression that lies over everything. Keeping the roses going feels hopeless, but Rosa doesn’t want to give up hope that her father will one day return. Until a German officer enters their life, despite their aversion.
When the German officer delivers a wounded British pilot to their door, will Rosalie be able to stay away from the Resistance, let alone keep her brother away from the illegal activities? Rosa is indebted to the German soldier and she struggles to make sense of who he is as a person. He seems almost human.
Franz Kafka, the German officer, struggles as well. A Rose for the Resistance shows the difficulty many German soldiers found themselves in when they had time to stop and think about what they were doing. Franz had been wounded and had time to think. The slight distance from the war effort made him re-evaluate what he believed in and what he stood for. Will helping Rosalie and Marcel make him choose again?
A Rose for the Resistance shows the daily struggle under Nazi occupation, the dangers of being in the Resistance, the threat of betrayal and the mental and spiritual battle going on in people’s hearts. Rosalie finds peace before VE-Day through reading a damaged Bible she finds near the beginning of the war. She learns to depend on God for safety, security and for lasting peace. Her faith is woven into the story beautifully, and I loved how the British pilot helped her with this.
As the war goes on, everything becomes more desperate, the risks greater and Rosalie’s determination great. Angela has brought in many facts as well as fiction and A Rose for the Resistance shows the true face of war, as well as people’s courage. When the Americans finally land at D-Day, Rosalie wonders if there will be anything left of France by the time the Germans surrender.
Angela hasn’t majored too much on what happened around D-Day, and A Rose for the Resistance only touches on some of the details of the fighting around Sainte-Mère-Église, but these are easily looked up if you’re not familiar with the invasion. Being Dutch, our liberation depended on the invasion, and like Angela, I have a great interest in WWII accounts. I enjoyed reading the book for that reason, as I’m more familiar with Dutch resistance stories.
A Rose for the Resistance makes for a solemn read, reminding us of the cost of freedom and the price so many people had to pay. It is also a story of trust. Trusting in others, but ultimately trusting God with the outcome, knowing that He is the Giver of life. At one point, Rosa shares with Franz her sudden understanding of a verse she read in the Bible. “And it doesn’t matter if we live or die, does it? We are asked to give our lives for others, our friends…our neighbours.”
A Rose for the Resistance isn’t fast-paced, but a lot happens in the book. There are unexpected twists and turns, and some hints of questions answered. Some wonderful characters that I would love to read more about, like Marcel and their friend Yvonne…
I received a review copy via Celebrate Lit but was under no pressure or obligation to write a favourable review. As always, there is a giveaway (US only, sorry!).
To celebrate her tour, Angela is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon gift card and copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.
There are plenty of blog stops for you to choose from, so I hope you enjoy touring around!
Babbling Becky L’s Book Impressions, April 29
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, April 29
Books, Books, and More Books, April 29
The Write Escape, April 30
Remembrancy, April 30
Southern Gal Loves to Read, May 1
Rachael’s Inkwell, May 1
Texas Book-aholic, May 1
Genesis 5020, May 2
Inklings and notions, May 2
She Lives To Read, May 3
lakesidelivingsite, May 3
Betti Mace, May 4
For Him and My Family, May 4
Sodbuster Living, May 5
deb’s Book Review, May 5
Book Butterfly in Dreamland, May 5
Locks, Hooks and Books, May 6
Jeanette’s Thoughts, May 6
Older & Smarter?, May 7
Ashley’s Clean Book Reviews, May 7
Sylvan Musings, May 7
Connie’s History Classroom, May 8
Blossoms and Blessings, May 8
Mary Hake, May 8
Splashes of Joy, May 9
Through the Fire Blogs, May 9
Bizwings Blog, May 10
Pause for Tales, May 10
Labor Not in Vain, May 10
Bigreadersite, May 11
Where Faith and Books Meet, May 11
A Good Book and Cup of Tea, May 11
CarpeDiem, May 12
Lights in a Dark World, May 12