“Like the devil, the Nazis know that to divide is to control and conquer.”
― Erika Robuck, Sisters of Night and Fog.
Told in alternating chapters, Sisters of Night and Fog follows two very different women as they risk it all for the French Resistance. American Virginia d’Albert-Lake lives in France during the German occupation. She, her French husband, Philippe, and others work to save Allied pilots. Meanwhile, nineteen-year-old Englishwoman Violette Bushell marries French Legionnaire Étienne Szabo. When he leaves to fight the Germans in Egypt, she joins Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive and goes undercover in France. The two women meet when they are arrested and taken to Fresnes Prison near Paris and later to Ravensbrück concentration camp.
Robuck’s novel is moving, richly detailed, and the characters are well-drawn. The depth of research shines through, painting a vivid and immersive backdrop of wartime Europe. It is based on the lives of two actual women who risked everything for a noble cause. Their heroism, and that of others, will encourage you to conduct research as you read.
While the plot is fabulous, the writing wasn’t terrific. The printed book reveals some repetitions and sentence choppiness that went unnoticed in the audiobook version.
It’s a sad read, but if you enjoyed The Last Checkmate, the Woman at the Front, The Nightingale, or The Golden Doves, this will be a treat. Sisters of Night and Fog was my first book by Erika Robuck, and I’m looking forward to reading her next. 4 stars.
** Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions are my own.