SISTERS OF THE RESISTANCE - Christine Wells
Paris, France - 1944 and 1947
Yvette Foucher has returned to Paris from New York where she fled in the closing months of the war. Famed actress Louise Dulac has summoned Yvette to testify at her trial, hoping that the court will not convict her of treason. Yvette's former job in Paris working for a fashion designer helped her get some minor mannequin work in New York. Now she is back in Paris, and one of the designers she knew during the war is having his first fashion show tomorrow. Would Christian Dior remember the scrawny Yvette? And what about his sister, Catherine? How will she welcome Yvette after her harrowing time with the Nazis? The other thing gnawing at Yvette's heart is seeing her sister, Gabby, and their mother for the first time since she fled France. Yvette has never responded to any of Gabby's letters, but now she must put the war behind her and face reality.
Gabrielle Foucher has been invited by Catherine Dior to attend her brother, Christian's, first fashion show. Life is hectic for Gabby as she shares the concierge duties of her apartment building with her mother, so this time away is very valuable to her. As she settles in to watch the amazing fashions, Gabby is stunned to see her sister modeling several of the dresses! She had no idea Yvette had returned to Paris. The years since the war haven't been easy for Gabby or their mother. And memories of what she did during the waning years of the war weigh heavily on Gabby.
Some of Gabby's duties assisting her mother as concierge for their building include checking on some of the residents, cleaning the public areas, and seeing to deliveries. While the Dior apartment has a maid, most of the other residents are on their own, including elderly Madame LaRoq, who is bedridden, so Gabby made sure the woman had at least one decent meal a day. This day, Madame LaRoq asks Gabby to make sure that when Catherine returns from the countryside, that she visits her. Curious, Gabby let Catherine know. What could they possibly have in common? However, Gabby has more worrisome thoughts, especially about her sister who constantly shows her hatred for the Nazis and is friends with a group that works behind the scenes against the Germans.
Yvette's job working for the House of LeLong includes making deliveries or picking up supplies all over Paris. She bicycles through the streets, avoiding the German occupiers as much as she can. One day, she is sent to the Ritz Hotel to deliver a design made by Dior for famous actress Louise Dulac. It is an uncomfortable delivery, however, when Yvette finds a German colonel with Dulac. It is obvious that they are, well, close. She assists the actress with the garment and flees. But when she leaves the hotel, she discovers that her bicycle has been stolen. Yvette is approached by a man who rode the elevator down with her. He claims to be a Swedish diplomat and he gets her another bicycle, although Yvette isn't sure how. She later has several run-ins with this same man.
Both Gabby and Yvette know that the Allies have landed at Normandy, and that the war will soon be over, but the Nazis are not going to leave Paris willingly, nor will they stop punishing her citizens for fighting them. Yvette is determined to resist the Germans in any way that she can. She is certain that she can talk herself out of any dangerous incident. But Gabby wants nothing to do with endangering her life or her mother's, and yet, she, too, will find herself drawn into a perilous situation.
SISTERS OF THE RESISTANCE is a page-turning emotional foray into the last few months of the German occupation and the war itself. The author has done impeccable research into this era, and it shows in the tightness of the writing. While this is fiction, the incredible true story of Catherine Dior's involvement in the Resistance brings out the reality of what the French accomplished behind the scenes. Don't miss this incredible novel.