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Resistance Women

A Novel
Written by: Jennifer Chiaverini
Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 19 hrs and 48 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (72 ratings)

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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.

©2019 Jennifer Chiaverini (P)2019 HarperCollins Publishers
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Resistance women

a very interesting, informative read about the strength and courageous work of women whose husbands were in the resistance, and their inevitable sacrifice to save lives .

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A must read

If anyone thinks that the horrible things that man does in the guise of honour doesn’t happen, read this account of four brave women who were part of the resistance in Germany during the 2nd world war.

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Excellent Narration

The story spans over approximately 20 years.
Hitler being in power for 12 of those.
This story is about the people who tried to let the world know what was really going on. It’s so crazy that it took such a long time for the rest of the world to assist.

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I cried so many times

I loved the perspective this novel has that many other WW2 novels lack, more detail on the Nazi rise to power. This novel is beautifully written and brought me to tears many times.

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long but worthwhile

If I had tried to read I probably would not have finished but audio was great. vbit long but very interesting story about mostly real people struggling against NAZI oppresion in their own country

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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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!

14 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.

12 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.

3 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!

9 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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • stephanie L razzano
  • 2019-06-29

An historical fiction about a little known group of German resistance fighters

An interesting and well composed story about an heroic group of German resistance fighters, interwoven with the activities of the daughter of the last American Ambassador to the Third Reich.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Vimala McClure
  • 2019-10-23

Great story!

I followed the story addictively. The voices of the male characters were terrible— harsh and grating; I almost stopped because of that.

1 person 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!!

1 person 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.

7 people found this helpful