Cover Image: The Resistance Girl

The Resistance Girl

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This story is told from two different time lines.  We have Sylvie Martine, a free spirited 16 year old raised in a convent that has a dream to become a famous actress and loves to sneak into the movies.  One day Sylvie is discovered by a famous director who she goes off to Paris with and gets her wish.  But Sylvie is photographed with the Nazis and is branded a Nazi supporter.  

Julianna Chastain, a costume designer,  in present time loses her mother Madeline and is taking care of her belongings when she finds a photo of a glamorous woman with the  Nazis.  She wonders who this woman is? With the help of her stuntman friend Ridge she discovers Sylvie is her grandmother and starts a personal journey to clear her grandmother's name while discovering Sylvie's real story and finding herself in the process.  Excellent story!  I
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An interesting, somewhat informative read told from the perspectives of Sylvie and granddaughter, Julianna. She is desperate to prove her grandmother wasn’t a Nazi sympathiser after discovering a photograph.

I enjoyed seeing Sylvies journey unfold – leaving a convent to become a star in French films. The book describes the highs and lows of this lifestyle and all that came with it. Using her power and influence Sylvie finds she can help the resistance even if this may cost her more than she realises.  

The storytelling was well written and I really liked the characters, I didn’t feel as much emotional impact from the descriptions of the war or what was happening as I have read in other books. I didn’t feel the true horrors of the situation were as hard hitting as they could be – maybe this is just personal preference as it didn’t take anything away from my overall enjoyment of the book.

The book is intriguing and is a great story. I love that the characters go through ups and downs, we go on an emotional rollercoaster with them and I was kept interested throughout. I enjoyed each chapter and read this is a few sittings. I would definitely recommend for fans of this genre.
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I really enjoyed this book. I loved following the Main characters story. How far they would go.to save their country. I loved the female.main character, her beauty and her strength. I would recommend this book. Thank you to netgalley for letting me read this e arc in exchange for an honest opinion
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Goodness, what a story! I did wonder how I hadn’t heard of Sylvie Martone before, even did a bit of a search on Google about her and her films (and her fall from grace), but this is a work of fiction – and hats off to the author for making her feel so very real.

I’m always a pushover for a dual time story, and I particularly liked the way this story was constructed. Juliana finds her grandmother’s photo among her mother’s possessions after her death, and through her cinema world connections uncovers the bare bones of Sylvie’s story – and understands why her mother was always so secretive about her, universally condemned as a Nazi collaborator and now hidden from history. She pursues the truth, convinced that the real story hasn’t been uncovered – and then sets about finding the evidence to restore her actress grandmother’s reputation.

And then there’s Sylvie’s own story, told in the first person – from her convent orphanage childhood when she discovers her dream and love of performing, her rise to film stardom as France’s sweetheart, the difficult times when her life and career goes off the rails, and her choices following the French wartime invasion when she finds that her career provides opportunities to make a real difference. There’s a rather lovely romance in there too – with an English duke, their very different lives seeming to make future happiness quite impossible.

I’ll admit that I did find the story’s pace slowed a little during Sylvie’s difficult middle years – it’s all a bit sad and seedy, and I was quite relieved when it cut away to Juliana’s continuing investigations, and the tentative romance in her own life (phoar, Ridge – he was rather gorgeous!). There were also a few rather far-fetched coincidences that led to the uncovering of some of the evidence along the way – thank goodness for the convent basement, the helpful nun and an errant roller-skate.

But I entirely forgave all that when I raced through the last third of the book, with my heart in my mouth – a compelling story of bravery and courage with a constant edge of danger and threat of discovery. I might have had just a few minor reservations, but it’s a superb story on a cinematic scale, told exceptionally well, with such well-drawn characters and a vivid backdrop both in the pre-war cinema world and through the dark days of the occupation. Nicely done – I enjoyed this one.

(Review copied to Amazon UK, but link not yet available)
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The Resistance Girl is an entertaining story about Sylvie, French cinema star turned resistant, after the Reich occupies France. Sylvie grows up at a convent, and spends her life pining to get out! She won’t stop until she gets what she wants, which is fame. However, once she is famous, things aren’t as she thought they’d be. Her manager makes her do terrible stuff, all for marketing and to keep or bolster her image in circles. Then enters the Reich. They are attracted to Sylvie and although the last thing she wants to do is befriend German officers, she realizes she can use her position to do good for the resistance. She spies on them, but at what cost? This story is heartbreaking, and tragic at its core. Sylvie must do the unthinkable at times, for her country, and for those she loves. There is a dual narrative to this story which I found lovely. A great read by Jina Bacarr!
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Historical Romance during the Nazi invasion of France was an exceptional period in our history. Resistance fighters were the core of destroying the Nazis. Sylvie Martone a French Actress was heralded as a German collaborator and her daughter died believing this about her mother. Her granddaughter , Juliana came to Paris to try and figure out if she really was and also to discover things about herself as well.

Overall, this book had a tremendous plot, but I felt that it was choppy at times and it lost sight of Julianas role and by throwing in Ridge, her boyfriend just didn’t add enough punch or excitement for me. The continuity of the book was not truly flowing, but I loved the premise of this storyline.

I received an advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.
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The Resistance Girl by Jina Bacarr is a marvellous dual timeline novel. Present day is linked to Paris from the 1920’s to Nazi occupation during World War II in the form of a dairy and recording.
Following her mother’s death, a daughter wants to know the truth of her heritage. Her mother’s beginnings have always been a closely guarded secret, now it is time to seek the truth about a grandmother she never knew. As she delves deeper, more questions are asked. Rumour points to collaboration, wanting to discover the truth, the granddaughter travels from modern day America to France in search of anyone who may have known her grandmother.
Occupied Paris was a dangerous place to be. Trust was in short supply as people collaborated with the Nazis to improve their lot. Others bravely helped the resistance to sabotage Nazi plans and to help Jewish people escape. It was a time where suspicion lurked. Dering do often went unnoticed except by a few trusted folks. Sometimes what you witnessed with your eyes was merely an illusion, the bravery of ordinary people was cloaked for fear of being reported. Bonds were made that would be unbreakable.
Jina Bacarr has produced a powerful novel showing the horrors and dangers of living under Nazi occupation. The leading ladies are both brave, realistic and admirable. The grandmother went above and beyond as she practiced sacrificial acts, putting her life on the line.
The Resistance Girl consumed my waking hours. I could not put it down. The bravery of ordinary folk who went to extraordinary lengths was immense. May we never forget the heroism of the men and women of the resistance. May we never forget the six million innocents.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
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If you are looking for a story that will touch your heart in many ways, that will awaken your emotions, fill your eyes with tears and make you think deeply, then you should definitely read this book.
When I chose ‘The Resistance Girl’, I knew it would shake me to the core, but I was not prepared for all these emotions. I avoided it for a while, but I read it ... I read it and I still can't find the right words to be able to describe all those emotions and thoughts that flooded me ...
Two exceptional women, brave and proud ... two time periods, perfectly intertwined in a flawless story that masterfully tells about love, sacrifice, loyalty to loved ones, struggle ....
What is the truth behind the photos? What exactly is seen and what is hidden behind the visible? Somewhere out there ... hidden behind the obvious is the story of Sylvie Martone, the story her granddaughter Juliana is looking for ... the story that will prove the truth ...
Alternating between the past and the present, the author delivers this amazing storyline, that portrays some distant times…known but still so strange to us… Times when truths needed to be veiled under different secrets in order to achieve something bigger, more important… Times when liberties were more than luxury… Times of war, where the truth and realities change to suit the need. Roses and happiness are far from reach, when survival clashes with integrity and honor….
With moments of intrigue and great, detailed descriptions, the book will definitely make readers visualize WW2. The alternating 1st POV narrative gives great insight into the main characters that help readers to fully understand the story. 
All in all, this heart-breaking and heart-warming story is more than a perfect choice for every reader who would enjoy a thought-provoking piece of historical fiction that contains more hidden truths than many others.
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Guess what? It’s another book set in WWII. And, you know what else? I really enjoyed it. Quelle surprise! I guess I am a creature of habit.

When Juliana Chastain sorts through her late mother’s possessions, she finds an old photograph of her grandmother, arm in arm with a Nazi officer. Is this why her own mother never told her about her family’s past? Was her grandmother a Nazi collaborator? And who was her grandfather? The man in the photo? All these questions left Juliana with no other option than to find the answers, even if it meant going to France herself.

Told through the eyes of Sylvie Martone (grandmother) and Juliana (granddaughter) the story spans the generations and secrets hidden for decades finally come to the surface.

Sylvie always wanted to be an actress; it was her childhood dream. So when the chance came, so left the convent where she was raised and headed for the bright lights of silent movies. Her talents were recognised, and the “talkies” brought her even more success, making her the sweetheart of the French film industry with fans throughout the country.

When war broke out, Sylvie was noticed by the invading Nazis who loved how she was idolised by the nation. Having her on their arm, they believed, would give them a certain gravitas with the French citizens. Instead, it drove her fans away and left her labelled as a collaborator.

Yet, Sylvie was anything but. She used her position to help her fellow neighbours and colleagues, enabling them to escape the Nazi regime. Yet none of this was ever declared, for reasons Juliana has to discover for herself as she attempts to clear her grandmother’s name and restore her reputation as a much-loved filmstar.

The story plunged deep into Sylvie’s life, her necessary dalliances with the Nazi officer, as well as her one true chance for love. As Juliana learnt more about her grandmother, she became ever more determined to bring the truth to the fore. Following her grandmother’s films, notes, and recordings she was able to connect with her in so many ways, even as far as understanding who was important in her own life.

It was a captivating read, highlighting the realities of war with sensitivity and understanding. While Sylvie and Juliana got to tell their stories, and Juliana discovered the truth about her grandmother, it became ever more tragic that her own mother never took the chance to know that truth. Secrets certainly led to the three women having different takes on history.

I’d recommend this to fans of WWII historical fiction who enjoy the deep dive into believable and heart-wrenching stories.

My thanks go to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this book. This review is given voluntarily.
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Paris, 1943: Silvie Martone is the star of French cinema, adored by her fans and on the good side of the Nazi officers who swarm the streets of Paris. Chosen as one of Goebbets' select few, she is torn between her duty to her country and a desire to survive. As she walks arm in arm with an SS Officer, her fellow Parisians turn against her.

Paris, 2020: Julianna Chaistain doesn't know anything about her family history. Her mother had been secretive about her pas5. Julianna discovers a photograph of a glamorous French actress from WWII amongst her mothers possessions. She's shocked to see her grandmother arm in arm with a Nazi officer. She's determined to find out the truth and traces her grandmothers journey.

5hisnstory is told fr9m Silvie and Julianna's perspectives. Julianna wants to prove her grandmother was not a Nazi sympathiser. The storyline is intriguing and I felt there was something mysterious about it. It's also quite an informative read

I would like to thank #NetGalley, #BoldworldBooks and the author #JinaBacarr for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A brilliant hear warming novel which will entrap you from the very first page until the very last page leaving you in tears.
The  two characters Juliana and Sylvie are woven together by the events which took place in Paris during the Nazi occupation during the Second World War which gave way to incorrect conclusions of people’s actions and labelled brave people collaborators 
The brilliance and undying love of Juliana to cleat the name of her beloved grandmother Sylvie and uncover the truth which had tainted her name tight up until present day.
Just could not put it down 
Five stars all the way
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The book starts off well and I got drawn into Sylvie's early life in the monastery and her rise as an actress. But I felt myself flagging a little in the middle of the book as I found Sylvie's chapters seemed to take precedence and were over long. There was also a coincidence that was just a bit too good to be true!
 I really liked Juliana and Sister Rose-Celine and would liked to have had more chapters with them. In the last quarter or so of the book the pace picks up again but it wasn't too difficult to guess how things were going to end.
This is a page turner for the most part and would be great as a beach/rainy day read.
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To begin with, overall Goodreads star rating on this book is misleading because the reviews that have given this book only one star come from people who have judged the book by its cover and title, both of which were changed. Something in the title (originally the German Officer's Girl) and cover (the sight of swastikas) offended then and they want to make sure others don't read it even though they have no idea what the book is genuinely about. The offensive items have been removed and the book should be given a second chance to receive a genuine rating, not one swayed by people who didn't even read it.

I received this book through Netgalley for a genuine review and in a sea of WWII resistance novels largely set in Paris, this one gets lost. The novel is about Juliana trying to prove that her grandmother - Sylvie Martone - is not a Nazi sympathizers, despite what the photographs show. The majority of the story is from Sylvie's point of view as she tells her story, starting with how she left life at a convent when she was 16 to become a French film star. It details her ups and downs of stardom and having a forbidden love affair, all of which is turned on its head when Hitler invades Paris. Then, when the Nazi set their sights on her and her fame, Sylvie discovers that she can use her position to help the resistance, even at the expense of her own reputation. 

While I found the storyline interesting, especially from the point of view of a French actress and what she risked for the war effort, something in the story was lacking. I think some of it comes in the storytelling. It felt like Sylvie was telling you the story of her life in the sense that it sometimes came off like an overview of what happened. Scenes didn't feel well developed or repetitive. The emotions felt surface level, where I didn't really feel the horror of the war or the devastation. At the same time, the Juliana side of the novel, of her uncovering the truth about her grandmother, was interesting, especially as she worked with the Sisters to discover things, but it again just felt lacking. The author tried to make it seem impossible but then a quick phone call or another search miraculously uncovered exactly what she needed. Momentous occasions didn't have the emotions or attention needed. The author also tried to throw in some romance for Juliana but it felt unnecessarily added because it came off like a teenager obsessing about her crush rather than a blossoming romance. 

What it all boils down to is that something in the storytelling was lacking. The novel has a great storyline and moments of intrigue, but the writing all felt basic and on the surface rather than delving into the depth of emotions this story could reach. The field is already overwhelmed with WWII novels and this one just doesn't do enough to stand out.
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I throughly enjoyed this book with it’s dual time line. Set during WW2 and present day it had me intrigued from page one. A family member recommended this to me and said that I would enjoy this one and she was right!!! I found it interesting and exciting picturing France during the invasion of the Germans and what happened to the residents in and around Paris. 
My thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest review.
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Inspirational and hopeful, this alternating dual-timeline book is a fascinating account of unraveling a family's deep secrets from the past.  Though fictional, it is very believable.  It is told through the eyes of Sylvie and Juliana.

Sylvie Martone, French actress extraordinaire, has many secrets hidden in her heart.  She is faced with difficult choices, especially when war breaks out.  Her story is filled with desperation, betrayal, heartache and love, written so convincingly I felt a range of emotions.

After her mother dies, Juliana Chastain sorts through her belongings and finds far more than she expected, something meaningful yet disconcerting, a photograph of her grandmother linking arms with a Nazi officer.  Juliana's mother had remained tight-lipped about her family so this discovery ignited a spark to go on a quest to discover the truth, regardless of what she would find.  Her determination takes her places she would never have thought.

This moving book captures the realities of war as well as the lives of the characters and the secrets they keep.  I like that the story isn't all roses and happiness which isn't realistic.  Sylvie's life has many fascinating twists and turns, ups and downs.  Though about war, the story is not heavy or cumbersome.

The chapter titles are brilliant and at the end of each I wanted to get to the next as they left me on tenterhooks at times.  I made a note to read more by Jina Bacarr.

Readers who enjoy thought-provoking Historical Fiction which is deeper than some should read this.  

My sincere thank you to Boldwood Books and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC of this enthralling book in exchange for an honest review.  Much appreciated.
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This is a beautiful and poignant historic fiction that left me in tears. I read this book as an ARC under the title "The Resistance Girl" and I would like to clarify up front that there is no glorifying of Nazis or romance with a Nazi in this book, the book consistently condemns such things. I am aware that the cover art and title on Goodreads seem to be misleading in that aspect. 

What would you do if your mother died and you discovered that your mother was a famous French movie star who had been constantly photographed with a Nazi officer during the occupation of Paris? Then your grandmother disappeared immediately after liberation? How would you react if you realized that your mother was conceived around the time of your grandmother's well documented appearances with that Nazi officer and you might be the grandchild of a prominent Nazi? Was your grandmother willingly accompanying that Nazi or was she just another pawn in the Nazi game? That is the situation the main character finds herself in, alone and confused, after her mother's death. She decides that if that is true or not, she needs to try to find out for certain, and packs a bag for France. Assisted by an elderly but spunky nun on a motorized scooter and a very hot stuntman turned film archivist that she absolutely does not have feelings for, or maybe she does, the main character delves in to her Grandmother's past. A past that was publicly smeared in the media, a past that perhaps wasn't quite what it appeared.

This book switches points of view from the modern main character, to Sylvie, the grandmother, and all the vagaries of life that brought her from orphan in a convent to famous film star to the point of being photographed on the arm of a Nazi Officer, to leaving her own child in a convent after the war. Sylvie is a fantastic and multifaceted character who is entirely believable and you find yourself hoping that history might have been misrepresented.  The writing pulls you in, the poe shifts are well done, the characters are deep and well rounded, and the book is exciting.
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This is a fascinating piece of historical fiction about one woman’s search for truth. When Juliana discovers intriguing objects, including a mysterious photo among her mother’s possessions, she is immediately intrigued. Is the beautiful and glamourous woman on the arm of a Nazi officer her grandmother? Could this be part of the reason that Juliana doesn’t know much about her family’s secretive past? Determined to uncover the truth, Juliana decides to travel to France to learn more about her Maman’s life.

Alternating between the past and the present, Juliana and Sylvie’s stories slowly unfold. A young girl who dreams of fame, Sylvie travels to Paris and seeks fame as an actress. She leads a successful career in film before the war. Juliana, a successful costume designer, finds alarming pictures of Sylvie with Nazis and determines to learn more about her Maman. What does Juliana really know about her Maman? Was she a Nazi sympathizer, or was she working for the resistance? The more Juliana digs into the mystery, the more she must reevaluate all she knows about her family’s past.

An intricately woven story with an interesting plot, the novel is both heart-breaking and heart-warming. I enjoyed learning more about Sylvie’s past and the complexities of war. This is a woman who grew up in a convent and became a famous film star. She lived a glamorous life in the spot-light until war hit. Sylvie is faced with many obstacles and moral decisions, and her journey is fascinating. Hated by many and seen as a traitor, Sylvie is so much more than she seems, and she is quite underestimated.

I also enjoyed Juliana’s story. She has to reevaluate everything she knows about her family and, as she learns more about Sylvie’s past, Juliana also learns more about herself. The dual narratives highlight this growth and character development.

A story of love, secrets, and family, this is a moving piece of WWII historical fiction with dual narratives and fascinating characters. Thanks so much to the author, Boldwood Books, and Rachel’s Random Resources for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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A beautiful historical wartime drama! The characters were well drawn and sympathetic, and the storyline flowed seamlessly. Highly recommended!
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I’m struggling to even find the words for my review of this book. But I have just finished reading it and I’m in tears. It’s beautiful. A really heart wrenching, beautiful story. 

I have read the ‘bad’ reviews of this but they haven’t read the book as this story does NOT romanticise nazi‘s! In fact it’s quite the opposite. 

It’s a story of love, family, history, pain, strength and determination! 

Throughout I was rooting for Sylvie! What an amazing character she was. 

I loved the book, it was such a nice change from my usual thrillers. Thank you NetGalley and boldwood books!
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LA based costume designer Juliana Chastain is going through boxes her mother left behind when she died and finds a lace veil, a diamond pin and a photo of a beautiful woman that looks like a movie star.  This begins a journey of discovery for Juliana as she learns about the woman in the photo, French actress, and suspected Nazi collaborator Sylvie Martone.  

Alternating between the present and past this book weaves a story of a young girl, raised in a rural convent with dreams of being an actress.  She's discovered and goes to Paris and has a successful career in both silent film and talkies.  Then the Germans invade and France falls.  

Returning to the present, Juliana discovers family secrets and travels to France to learn about her mother and why she never told her about her family or past, and what is the significance of the lace veil, the pin and the photo.  While in France she learns more about Sylvie Martone, film star, and finds photos of her with Nazis.  Was she a collaborator, or was she playing a dangerous game and really working for the Resistance?  What Juliana finds out changes everything she thought she knew about her family and makes her realize what she wants for her future.  

The dual timeline of this book works really well as the story of Sylvie unfolds and her motivations and character are revealed.  The choices that were forced on the general population of Paris during the Nazi occupation and the cleverness of the Resistance were heartbreaking and fascinating.    Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
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