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Resistanceby Owen Sheers
Synopses & Reviews
1944. After the fall of Russia and the failed D-Day landings, a German counterattack lands on British soil. Within a month, half of Britain is occupied. The seat of British government has fled to Worcester, Churchill to Canada. A network of British resistance cells is all that is left to defy the German army.
Against this backdrop, Resistance opens with Sarah Lewis, a twenty-six-year-old farmer's wife, waking to find her husband, Tom, has disappeared. She is not alone, as all the other women in the Welsh border valley of Olchon wake to find their husbands gone. With this sudden and unexplained absence, the women regroup as an isolated, all-female community and wait, hoping for news.
Later, a German patrol arrives in the valley, the purpose of their mission a mystery. When a severe winter forces the two groups together, a fragile mutual dependency develops. Sarah begins a faltering acquaintance with the patrol's commanding officer, Albrecht Wolfram, and it is to her that he reveals the purpose of the patrol. But as the pressure of the war beyond presses in on this isolated community, this fragile state of harmony is increasingly threatened.
Imbued with immense imaginative breadth and confidence, Owen Sheers's debut novel unfolds with the pace and intensity of a thriller. A hymn to the glorious landscape of the Welsh border territories and a portrait of a community under siege, Resistance is a first novel of grace and power.
Within a month of the failed D-Day landings, half of Britain is occupied. The women in the Welsh border valley of Olchon wake to find their husbands gone. With this sudden and unexplained absence, the women regroup as an isolated, all-female community.
Resistance is a beautifully written and powerful story set during an imagined occupation of Britain by Nazi Germany in World War II.
In a remote and rugged Welsh valley in 1944, in the wake of a German invasion, all the men have disappeared overnight, apparently to join the underground resistance. Their abandoned wives, a tiny group of farm women, are soon trapped in the valley by an unusually harsh winter—along with a handful of war-weary German soldiers on a secret mission. The need to survive drives the soldiers and the women into uneasy relationships that test both their personal and national loyalties. But when the snow finally melts, bringing them back into contact with the war that has been raging beyond their mountains, they must face the dramatic consequences of their choices.
About the Author
Owen Sheers, born in Fiji in 1974 and brought up in Abergavenny, South Wales, was the 1999 winner of both an Eric Gregory Award and the Vogue Young Writers Award. His first collection of poetry, The Blue Book, was short-listed for the Wales Book of the Year and the 2001 Forward Poetry Prize. His debut prose, The Dust Diaries, a nonfiction narrative set in Zimbabwe, was short-listed for the Royal Society of Literatures Ondaatje Prize and won the 2005 Wales Book of the Year. In 2004 he was writer in residence at the Wordsworth Trust and was selected as one of the Poetry Book Societys 20 Next Generation Poets. His second collection, Skirrid Hill, won a Society of Authors Somerset Maugham Award. Sheers is currently a Fellow of the New York Public Librarys Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers. Resistance is his first novel, and he is working on a second. His website is www.owensheers.co.uk
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