Daughters of War – Dinah Jefferies

****

Deep in the river valley of the Dordogne, in an old stone cottage on the edge of a beautiful village, three sisters long for the end of the war. Hélène, the eldest, is trying her hardest to steer her family to safety, even as the Nazi occupation becomes more threatening. Elise, the rebel, is determined to help the Resistance, whatever the cost. And Florence, the dreamer, just yearns for a world where France is free. Then, one dark night, the Allies come knocking for help. And Hélène knows that she cannot sit on the sidelines any longer. But secrets from their own mysterious past threaten to unravel everything they hold most dear.

I was eager to get started with this read and was very excited by the prospect of this being a series from Jefferies. For the most part, I was not disappointed. I will say early on I am really looking forward to the series continuing so that is good. My negative point is this read is way too long. Not just a little bit too long, but vastly. This was really disappointing and meant the plot lost oomph along the way and became lacklustre and quite dull. Do not get me wrong, there is a lot going on throughout the read but it gets lost amongst all of the detail. If some of this had been removed, then it would have been a much stronger read.

On the positive side, I loved the setting of the Dordogne, it provided a beautiful backdrop to set war against. I always enjoy historical fiction reads and getting transported back to the time and events. This was no different and Jefferies really evokes the sense of war torn France.

The main positive for this read and for the series going forward, are the characters. Jefferies has created a strong and likeable main cast of female characters. All of them have very different personalities and bring something to the plot. It was a complete joy getting to know all of them and seeing how they slot into the plot. Jefferies definitely uses this book to set up the future reads and I am really excited about the possibilities of what is to come.

‘Daughters of War’ is a sweeping historical read with fantastic central characters whom I came to love and cannot wait to be reunited with. If only this had been shorter then it would have been a truly terrific read.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for an advance copy.

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