Cover Image: All That We Have Lost

All That We Have Lost

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Member Reviews

My rating:

Plot: 4 out of 5 stars
Writing: 4 out of 5 stars
Character development: 4 out of 5 stars
Overall: 4 out of 5 stars

Recommended for readers of:

Historical Fiction


A beautifully story told over a dual time line, the first time line is set in 1944 tells the story of Simone a young girl trying to survive the horrors of German occupation in a small village in Brittany. In doing so she has to make some difficult and dangerous choices. The second timeline tells the story of Imogen, a young woman who has lost her husband tragically four years ago, at an impasse in her life, she takes the courageous step to move to France to make a fresh start which was something she and her husband always talked about doing.


The book is well written and the story flows well. This made it very captivating. Once I started I found it hard to put the book down so it only took me a few days to finish. The stories told over the two timelines are nicely interwoven and tied up at the end. The main characters are strong women who are forced to make difficult choices in order to do the right thing and protect the people they love. They showed real emotions such as fear, despair, love and courage, this made the characters appear realistic. A great book I really enjoyed it.

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Thankyou NetGalley,  the publishers and the author,  Suzanne Fortune, for the opportunity to read an advanced readers copy of All That We Have exchange for an honest and unbiased opinion. 
Such a beautiful read. 
The imagery was captivating and realistic.  The dual timelines were woven beautifully together.
 I was hooked from the first pages and was swept away.  
Well worth a read.
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Simone’s life is hard during the German occupation of Brittany, France. One of the German officers wants to abuse her, but another protects her. She wants to hate him, but his kindness wears her down. The villagers assume the worst about her.
In the present day, Imogen moves to France from her English home and buys a rundown chateau. Laurent, a Paris architect, wants to help restore the chateau. He has a connection to the old place through his grandmother. Something awful happened there, and a fire burned one wing.
Laurent’s family has always been ostracized. No one will talk about what happened at the chateau. Finally, they discover his grandmother’s secret.
Because secrecy was so important for resisters during the war, people didn’t know of the courageous deeds of some of their neighbors and acted as bad as the Nazis.
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Told from a dual narrative, 1944 a village in Brittany is occupied by German troops, they have taken over a local chateau, I love this historical part of the book with the descriptions of the struggles and resitance of the locals.  Fast forward to 2019 when a young English widow buys the chateau but will her idilic plan to renovate it work out when most of the village are hostile to her ideas and think the building would be best left as it is, a virtual ruin. I rushed from chapter to chapter and enjoyed both stories and the link from past to present.
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Thanks Netgalley for a arc copy of this book for a honest review..  

I haven't read a lot of historical fiction All That We Have Lost was a enjoyable read. It was hard to put down as I wanted to go on this adventure 5 star read 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Happy Reading Lisa 📚
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I loved the dual storyline of Imogen and Simone, The history of the town and the chateau which Imogen buys in 2019 and the history of what happen in World War 2 with Simone. I love books all about World War 2, its so interesting and it makes you think what women went through to keep their families alive and how victimised they were afterwards.
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I have PTSD and I have written the publisher to explain I will be unable to finish reading this book.    The WWII part is too difficult for me.    I DID NOT FINISH THIS BOOK
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Set in occupied Brittany, France in both 2019 and 1944, this dual timeline book is gorgeously written and captured my heart and mind from the first page.  Actually, from the lovely cover.  This author is gifted at realistic storytelling, including gritty barbaric WWII details as well as incomprehensible strength and glimpses of beautiful hope.  She is obviously a student of human nature and her characters are wonderfully introspective.  I like to get into the minds of characters.  Fortin also writes about her inspiration and research for this book in the acknowledgements.  

Imogen Wren's young husband has died of a heart attack, shattering her life and dreams.  She and James had hoped to live in France one day.  Four years later in 2019 she is still a young woman and decides to get her life back and bought a ruinous chateau in Brittany to restore.  Chateaux are full of mystique and secrets and hers is no exception.  There are fascinating links to WWII which unravel as the story goes on.  As she explores and becomes a part of village life, Simone rebuilds, physically and mentally.

In 1944 Germany occupies Brittany and most soldiers are cruel, doing their utmost to humiliate, terrify and bully Jews.  Simone Varon is a flautist but her life is rife with horror on a daily basis.  She lives with her sick brother and mother, barely surviving.  She must endure extreme food rationing, propaganda and dire treatment as a Jew.  However, in the midst of pure evil one German soldier shows acts of kindness to Simone and her family.  His caring nature provides slivers of hope which are crucial in an otherwise bleak and despairing environment.

Historical Fiction readers, please do read this tremendously fascinating and heartbreaking book.  It will crush you then revive you.  The timelines and stories of the main characters intertwine in a wondrous way, written seamlessly.  The historical details made me feel as though I was privy to the characters' experiences.

My sincere thank you to Aria & Aries and NetGalley for the privilege of reading this absolutely stunner of a book!  I hope we will be blessed with many more books by this author.
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An excellent read! I really enjoyed the double time eras and the stories of both modern and WWII kept me enthralled. Such brilliant research and warm characters that brought the French countryside to life.
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This novel, All That We Have Lost, is a dual time novel.  The author, Suzanne Fortin, did a nice job of shifting between 1944 and 2019.  The characters are interesting and the plot moves along well.  I did find the first few chapters a bit slow, but after the opening chapters, the writing was engaging and the reading easy. The history in 1944 was well done, but narrowly focused. I kept wondering if the nearby villages were similarly impacted.
I did enjoy this novel and appreciate that the author, publisher, and NetGalley provided this ARC for me to read.
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All That We Have Lost is a brilliant dual timeline historical fiction story, the characters of Imogen and Simone are both strong and brave women.  In France, 1944, it tells of one young woman's need to help save the country she loves, no matter what the personal cost to her and her family.  In England, 2019 it follows the life of a woman, desperately trying to find herself following a tragic event.  The story and characters are well done and the story held my interest.  My thanks to NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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A well thought out dual story line which draws the reader in. The characters were very  believable  and interacted well with each other in both the WWII setting and the modern day. 

The descriptions of trying to integrate into French rural life,  together with the descriptions of the opposition faced by the character called Laurent , are very realistic.  The use of elementary French in the text was nice,  just enough to add to the flavour of the setting without becoming overdone. But,  please, please,  could someone actually correct the French! The version I  downloaded was  studded with errors which could so easily have been avoided.

Apart from the bad French I would definitely recommend the book.
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I received All That We Have Lost as part of a NetGalley giveaway.

In the midst of World War II, Simone Varon's Breton village is overrun by German troops. She is repelled by their violence and arrogance, but one young soldier reaches through her misery and in doing so, changes the course of Simone's future. Generations later, Imogen Wren, desperate to escape the grief that has plagued her since her husband's death years earlier, purchases a chateau in the same village. Together with Simone's grandson, she discovers the truth of Simone's wartime involvement and seeks to right a terrible wrong.

This was a nice, quiet read. As far as dual timeline stories go, it wasn't my favorite, but it's a slightly different take  on WWII fiction, which frankly feels a little overdone at the moment, in that it takes away from the front lines, concentration camps, or other sites of mass violence and death, and instead explored "ordinary" indignities of life under occupation.
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A wonderful novel historical fiction at its best.I really enjoyed the dual timeline the book drew me in kept me reading late into the knife.The characters the storyline were so well written it came alive.Highly recommend.#netgalley #aria&arias
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What a wonderful book from beginning until end. I just loved this book. Can’t wait to see more front this author.
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With grateful thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest opinion. 
Can I start  by saying what a  fabulous  read this was from beginning to end held my attention the  whole time.
Amazing  characters  who worked  so well together, it really  was a story off love and loss in during  ww2 the sacrifices  the love and hatred that encapsulated  the village and in particular  the beautiful  chateau I want to give nothing away  only that I highly recommend ❤
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2019: Imogen Wren’s a young widow, her husband passed away for years ago, and she’s still working for the same company as a house designer. In her spare time she visits her mother-in-law Denise, her sister Meg and reads. Imogen’s still morning James, all she lost when he died and how long can she continue doing this for? James and Imogen had plans to move to France, she decides she needs a change of pace, she moves to France and buys an abandoned chateau in Brittany. 

Imogen discovers the locals don’t want to have anything to do with the chateau, none of the contractors she calls will even consider working for her and the chateau needs major structural repairs. During the Second World War, the chateau was taken over by the German’s, used as accommodation for officers and they think it's cursed. Like most towns in France, the Germans treated the residents terribly, punished anyone who was involved in the resistance and helped them.

1944: Simone Varon lives in the village of Tredion with her mother Marianne and her younger brother Pierre. Her mother runs a grocery shop, food is strictly rationed by the Germans and one officer in particular makes Simone feel very uncomfortable. Pierre’s a sickly child, he has asthma, his health is getting worse and medicine is in short supply. Not much gets past the Germans, they know Pierre’s very ill, they have medicine and can use this to force Simone do what they want. Simone plays the flute, a German officer demands she plays at the chateau, she tries to keep her distance from him and it gives her a chance to pass on information to the resistance. 

Not all Germans are the same, Simone meets Max Becker, he’s kind and Simone has to be very careful that no one in the village sees her talking to a German soldier and they hate people who collaborate with the Germans. Simone has no idea, the event's she's caught up in during the war, will have devastating consequences, and the descendants of people living in the village will continue to carry a grudge against her family decades later. 

As Imogen restores the fire damaged chateau, she’s determined to uncover the truth of what happened in Tredion during the war, she has no idea a vital clue has been left behind in a section of the chateau, and it will prove that Simone Varon wasn’t a collaborator. All That We Have Lost is a brilliant dual timeline historical fiction story, the characters of Imogen and Simone are both strong and brave women and I admired their resilience and courage. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, it's well written, hard to put down and five stars from me. I highly recommend reading both All That We Have Lost and Suzanne Fortin's previous book The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger.
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What a wonderful dual time line story Suzanne Fortin has written in All That We Have Lost! Imogene Wren lost her husband, James, to a heart attack when he was 29 years old. The last four years she has merely existed until one day she overheard a coworker call her "The Android." She decided to move across the channel to France as she and James had talked about doing and buys a run down chateau in Tredion. 

Simone is a teenager who lives in Tredion, France and plays the flute. The Germans have occupied her town, and she is anxious to help the resistance any way she can. She discovers not all German soldiers agree with Hitler. She begins to play the flute to entertain the German soldiers in the chateau at their parties to obtain information for the Allies, but some in town see here as a collaborator. 

Laurent, Simone's grandson, wants to help Imogene restore the chateau. As their relationship develops, Imogene begins to have feelings for Laurent, but she feels as though he is hiding something. Simone's story and Imogene's story intertwine as the book progresses. This is a story of love, sacrifice, forgiveness, and getting through grief. It's a great read. I highly recommend it. I was allowed to read it on #NetGalley.
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All That We Have Lost by Suzanne Fortin is a dual timeline book that tells the current-day story of Imogen Wren, a Brit widow, who decides to start living her life again and purchases a fixer-upper chateau in a small town in France, while also telling the story of Simone Varon, an 18-year-old living in the same small town in 1944, when it was occupied by the Nazis. No spoilers - but the two stories do intertwine and the two strong women overcome all the struggles they are faced with. I loved it and couldn't put it down. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
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A great book. The story and characters are well done and the story will hold your interest. I particularly enjoyed the author’s use of present time and then went back into the past to really blend the plot into a great story.

Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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