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Publisher's Summary

From the New York Times best-selling author of Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, an enthralling historical saga that recreates the danger, romance, and sacrifice of an era and brings to life one courageous, passionate American - Mildred Fish Harnack - and her circle of women friends who waged a clandestine battle against Hitler in Nazi Berlin.

After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish marries brilliant German economist Arvid Harnack, she accompanies him to his German homeland, where a promising future awaits. In the thriving intellectual culture of 1930s Berlin, the newlyweds create a rich new life filled with love, friendships, and rewarding work - but the rise of a malevolent new political faction inexorably changes their fate. 

As Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party wield violence and lies to seize power, Mildred, Arvid, and their friends resolve to resist. Mildred gathers intelligence for her American contacts, including Martha Dodd, the vivacious and very modern daughter of the US ambassador. Her German friends, aspiring author Greta Kuckoff and literature student Sara Weiss, risk their lives to collect information from journalists, military officers, and officials within the highest levels of the Nazi regime. 

For years, Mildred’s network stealthily fights to bring down the Third Reich from within. But when Nazi radio operatives detect an errant Russian signal, the Harnack resistance cell is exposed, with fatal consequences. 

Inspired by actual events, Resistance Women is an enthralling, unforgettable story of ordinary people determined to resist the rise of evil, sacrificing their own lives and liberty to fight injustice and defend the oppressed.

This audiobook includes an episode of the Book Club Girl Podcast, featuring an interview with Jennifer Chiaverini about Resistance Women.

©2019 Jennifer Chiaverini (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Resistance Women

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Valuable historical fiction…

I, like so many people, have often wondered about the rise of Hitler. The author chronicles the rise so well, and from 1929 to 1946. Sara, Mildred, Greta and their husbands resistance efforts were so well orchestrated and so intelligent.and probably had the potential to stop WW11 from happening had the world paid attention. Such courage and heartbreak is to be known and appreciated. Thank you, Jennifer.

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An informative read.

I appreciate the wealth of information this book enlightens upon the reader. Giving us a taste of how the gradual accent of Hitler took place. Knowledge that, for me, makes this book worth its weight in gold. That said, covering so many lives made it more challenging to keep up or get completely engrossed in the story.

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Heart wrenching

Although you know who wins the war. It wraps you around it’s finger. I felt sad being reminded what all those who were not Hitlers chosen went through. Proud of those who tried to help and angry for those who turned a blind eye. Again knowing it is fiction doesn’t change the fact that there were people who were real who fought these fights and helped give us the freedoms we enjoy today.
Thank you for a reminder to be grateful for those who went before.

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Outstanding!

I love the narration of this important book showcasing the strength and will of the resistance before and during WW2.
I learned so much about the history of Hitler’s rise to power that had never been taught in school. In a world that has just seen Putin invading Ukraine, this book was enlightening as to the power of individuals standing up for their beliefs.

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Quite the Perspective

An illuminating story on Hitlers slow but methodical rise to power and the horrors that came with it.

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Long but good

Great audiobook and narration. Is a long listen but a very good one. Was sometimes difficult to remember which characters were which as each chapter focuses on a different character and different time frame.

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Outstanding performance

This book will break your heart but not before you fall in love with these characters. Zara! Youll be searching up WW2 facts at 3am looking for clues of the fate of the characters. 10/10 would recommend. I chose the book based on the narrator, she only preforms great works. Saskia Maarleveld, you made this book come alive!

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Powerful

Every part was absolutely excellent! I couldn't put it down till it was done. Easily one of the most interesting and most powerful books I've ever read!

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Amazing!!!

This is one of the best historical fiction books I’ve read in recent years. If you want to understand the slow insidious rise of Hitler into power, as well as understand the importance of women in the resistance, this is your book!

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Devastating

Devastating and compelling. Reading about the insidious rise of the Nazis in Germany, the refusal of the world to intervene, and the bravery of these women was profoundly moving.

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  • JeanAnn Trombley
  • 2019-06-04

One of THE best historical fiction WW2 books!

No words. 95% of this book is true and Saskia Maarleveld, my absolute favorite narrator, does a beautiful job. This book is heart stopping, and brings you right to the horror of the Nazis and the love and selflessness of the resistance. Cannot go wrong with this book. So sad it’s over. I learned so much about this infamous resistance cell. Wow!

34 people found this helpful

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  • Bob L.
  • 2020-07-02

Excellently researched and written!!!

I am a very critical reviewer, especially of books in the World War II genre, because I have read so many. This was an incredible book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Although mostly true, it reads like the most compelling mystery novel. An amazing and uplifting story about the courage of remarkable and selfless women. I would unequivocally recommend this book!

27 people found this helpful

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  • Ms. Lucy
  • 2019-09-14

Beautifully written and exceptionality motivating!

Not only did the author clearly tell of the insidious way "normal" life changed in Germany in the 1930ties, she made virtually all major characters experience their own disbelief in what they saw their government doing; each went through various levels of questioning before they committed to resisting.
Among the marks of a great author is their ability to cause readers to really feel what the characters feel. This was done in spades.
Definitely planning to listen again and again!!

24 people found this helpful

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  • Rebecca Crockett
  • 2019-06-11

What a Book!

The book, Resistance Women is one of the best books I've read in awhile. Although the story is sad, the book is a page turner and I find myself not wanting to quit reading. Five star in all cases.

19 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-07-02

Informative, but oddly empty

This is an important book. Well researched, articulate, overall worth the read. But, by the end, I realized that I had not developed an emotional connection to the characters. They seemed like sketches of people rather than fully-articulated three-dimensional humans. After reading several other historical fiction books about this same era (I'm looking at you Kate Quinn, Olivia Hawker, Kate Atkinson), this one was the least engaging.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Lee Ann M
  • 2019-06-07

Amazing story! So heartwrenching

The perspective of an American and her circle of Resistance Women during the rise of Hitler and the Nazi's. Jennifer once again gets you connected with the characters in such a way that you feel like part of the story. I cried, I gasped, I shook my head in disbelief as to how the evilness of the Nazi's stole so many brave women, men and children from us. Thank you for bringing this perspective to us!

14 people found this helpful

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  • S. Stein
  • 2019-06-03

A nice tribute to (relatively) unsung war heroes

A bit slow at first but leading to a very suspenseful denouement. I was glad to know about these non-fictional women and all they did to foil the Nazis.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Sobrina M. Stahnke
  • 2019-05-22

Historical Novel in the Finest Sense

One of the best true stories you are likely to ever read. Excellent work. Most excellent.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Michelle
  • 2021-01-08

Thought provoking

considering the current times and the push for socialism mentality in the US, this book gives the perspective of the ease of which a small group can take over a nation without much resistance when everyone turns a blind eye.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Andrea Pro
  • 2019-08-18

Informative but not so Riveting

I found my interest lagging because I wanted more depth in the characters. This was more like an overview of a particular (important) time in German history through the eyes of people who lived it. I learned a lot about what led up to the Nazi's gaining control. I just could not stay with it.

10 people found this helpful