4 out of 4 stars
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As Hitler’s Nazi regime devastates Europe, Great Britain and her allies prepare for a large-scale invasion to free France and push back the German forces. Sandra Eden is part of a special team and is assigned to disrupt German support systems in northern France in advance of the invasion near Normandy. With the help of the French resistance forces, she must maneuver through the fortified French countryside to complete her missions. Sandra Eden’s War, by Mike Low, is the story of one of Britain’s finest, serving her country and risking her life to do her part in the war against tyranny.
Author Mike Low has a clear and crisp writing style that is both engaging and informative. There are quite a few characters who make appearances and each one adds depth to the story. As countries fall like dominoes to the Nazis, the effort to resist German occupation is nothing short of an international operation. While thorough character development might be appreciated in other stories, it is limited here. I found this appropriate for the book’s topic and plot; too much dialogue or focus on the characters would have distracted from the overall conflict and point of the story. The urgent and austere atmosphere in occupied France is reflected in the writing; most of the dialogue was concise and to the point, and an energetic tempo was maintained throughout the book.
Did large countries like France just wave a white flag? Didn’t they do anything to help themselves? The best part of this book was the historical context and tone. Most people know about the Allied invasion in 1944, but not many know of the intricate resistance networks that provided critical support for the foot soldiers who stormed the beaches. The themes of patriotism, camaraderie, and survival are seen here in the descriptions of the perils of war. Lost agents are readily replaced. Decisions are made that sacrifice some for the good of the whole. In this way, history is brought to life; not just the heroic endings but also the sacrifices of many along the treacherous road to victory.
There is nothing I did not like about this book. It is professionally edited, and I did not see any errors, even in the two other languages that were used in the text. Because of the story’s immersion in history, its flawless editing, and the author’s voice, I give this book 4 out of 4 stars. Storytelling is a wonderful, intriguing way to learn about the past, and stories such as these give a unique perspective to one of the many behind-the-scenes operations during World War II.
I highly recommend this book for all readers who enjoy history, historical fiction, or mystery. This would be an excellent choice for middle and high school students. Given there is very mild profanity, I could easily see this on a reading list for history or psychology students. American students, in particular, would benefit from learning about different perspectives, as many of the stories given to them are those from the perspective of American soldiers. Overall, this is a satisfying book that will leave readers more informed about the scope of the resistance to German occupation and the sacrifices made by civilians to free Europe from oppression.
Sandra Eden's War
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