Defy the Night: A Novel by Heather Munn, Lydia Munn | | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Defy the Night: A Novel

Defy the Night: A Novel

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by Heather Munn, Lydia Munn

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In the midst of war, one teenager is determined to make a difference. If no one will do anything, she'll have to do it herself. In 1941 France is still "free." But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is


In the midst of war, one teenager is determined to make a difference. If no one will do anything, she'll have to do it herself. In 1941 France is still "free." But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do something, but it seems like no one has the guts—until Paquerette arrives. Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette's job. And she asks Magali to help. Working with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves in danger.

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Kregel Publications
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Meet the Author

Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland and grew up in southern France where her parents were missionaries like their parents before them. She has a BA in literature from Wheaton College and now lives in a Christian intentional community in rural Illinois, where she and her husband, Paul, host free spiritual retreats for the poor, especially those transitioning out of homelessness or addiction. When not writing or hosting, she works on the communal farm. Lydia Munn, daughter of missionary parents, grew up in Brazil. She received a BA in literature from Wheaton College, and an MA in Bible from Columbia Graduate School of Bible and Missions. With her husband, Jim, she has worked in church planting and Bible teaching since 1983, notably in St. Etienne, near the small town in the central mountains of France which forms the background of How Huge the Night. The Munns now live in Grenoble, France.

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Defy the Night 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Heather Munn and Lydia Munn in their new book, “Defy The Night” Book Two in The Night series published by Kregel Publications takes us into the life of Magali:  In the midst of war, one teenager is determined to make a difference. From the back cover:  If no one will do anything, she’ll have to do it herself. In 1941 France is still “free.” But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do something, but it seems like no one has the guts—until Paquerette arrives. Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette’s job. And she asks Magali to help. Working with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves in danger. Word association-what do you think of when I say “France”?  Some might answer wine, grapes, cheese, Paris I am not so sure that many would answer heroism.  German troops marched into France and occupied it until it could, finally, be Liberated, until then The Night had fallen.  During that dark night there are many acts of heroism, some from The French Resistance, others from pockets of individuals who wanted to take a stand against the brutality.  “Defy The Night” is based on actual events, Tanieux is based on the real town of Le Chambob-sur-Lignon  and the Munns show us what God can do with people who will stand up and fight against the darkness that comes to overwhelm them.  “How Huge The Night” is an absorbing book that will keep you up late at night as you quickly read to see what is going to happen next. Real history, real personal sacrifice and real suspense.  I am so glad that the Munns are telling these kinds of stories as I for one was not aware of them and I am glad to know about these acts of true heroism.  I recommend this book highly and look forward to their next book. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Kregel Publications.   I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
ChatWithVera More than 1 year ago
 In Defy the Night the reader experiences World War II though the lens of a 15-year-old girl living in France. It is 1941 and Germany is pursuing its goal of becoming the master conquerer.  Magali is a young 15 year old that experiences inner anger, turmoil, rebellion, and down-right contrariness. Most of these feelings she manages to keep inside herself, but it is known by all the adults around her that Magali needs to grow up or mature. There is a movement afoot where an organization is managing to enter the internment camps in which the Germans have placed “refugees” (gypsies, Jews, etc.) to remove the “orphans.” This is very dangerous work, but for some reason it is being allowed by the Germans. Magali wants to be part of this heroic effort and thinks she is mature enough to do so. She gets her opportunity. She enters the camp unprepared for the stark reality of fences, barbed wire, mean looking guards with guns, animalistic behavior of children over scraps of food, sick and destitute people, dirt, stink and more horror that she ever imagined. Then to travel with a group of near death babies and young children nearly broke her spirit. The darkness of the night that World War II brought to Europe is raw, hard to bear, unbelievably stark. But the efforts of the heroes that saved the children from this darkness is brilliant defiance that truly defied the night. It brought light to those in darkness. It brought escape. It brought hope. This is a coming of age novel and it is not an easy read. The reader will be transported mentally to the character’s despair and courage. To their hope and hopelessness. To the joy of seeing deathly ill babies experience life renewal. The story is fiction but is based on records and true accounts from agencies from France, Switzerland, and the United States that were involved in the rescue of children during this time of night and evil. The true nature of the Holocaust was not yet fully recognized at this point in history. It was yet to come. But conditions were still atrocious and inhumane. DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy of Defy the Night from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. Opinions expressed are solely my own and I received no compensation for this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of DEFY THE NIGHT by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn. This book had a lot that I truly enjoyed. For one thing, I’d read their previous novel HOW HUGE THE NIGHT and loved it. I’ve recommended it to many people, and now I can recommend this novel as well. For another thing, I love history. I read a great deal of historical fiction, especially stories centered on the Holocaust. The year is 1941 and Magali, a fifteen-year-old girl, helps to smuggle refugee children. I’m glad that this story is written for teenagers. They read about World War II in school, but books like DEFY THE NIGHT help to bring home the horrors. The story helps make the experiences real. It will especially mean something since it is a child helping other children. On television and in movies, usually the children must turn to adult figures. It showed the strength that one girl can have when faced with evil. This is the type of book that haunts you. I read it quickly so I could pass it on to a friend who was moving away, but I can still remember many of the scenes and I often find myself thinking about the characters.
S-Scales More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing and heart-wrenching story and yet totally beautiful! It is based on an historical town in France and the sacrificial efforts given toDefy the Night book cover save others – children being the focus of this novel. The characters are complex, most with back stories of pain and yet figuring out how to truly live during this war. Magali is only 15 years old, but she has a burning desire to help. She is finally able to join Paquerette, her hero, in smuggling refugee children from internment camps. She finds the trips more difficult, exhausting, and dangerous than she could have imagined, but she longs to always be the one chosen to go. Her quick mind and determination are helpful, but she must learn that she can not save everyone. She must also let go of her pride and realize “that this is not a hero’s business.” However the lessons don’t sink in until she puts Paquerette in danger. “There’s only one thing you can do, Magali. And that’s go on. No one turns back time. No even God. You’re not alone. You’re only young. But I tell you true, when you get to my age, there’s no one, not a one, who doesn’t have one thing they’d cut off their hand not to have done. You lie awake at night and think about it. But it’s done. The past doesn’t change. You can pray that God makes good out of it. I believe he can. But even that…even that you may never know.” [Magali’s grandfather, pg. 297] I highly recommend Defy the Night! Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Theophilusfamily More than 1 year ago
Defy the Night is a heart-rending story. It's terrible and wonderful and the characters become strong presences in your mind as you read.  Historical fiction can often seem fluffy, with modern people and poor plots forced back into a different era.  Not so Defy The Night.  This book is written in a serious, steady way, with a tone that captures the tedium and the danger and intensity of life in 1941 Tanieux France.  Magali is a fifteen year old girl living in a country where the government capitulates with the Nazi's and her neighbors have largely ceased to resist. It all spells "weakness" to her, and she loathes it.  Magali wants to be strong. She has courage, but it's raw and untested. It's courage without wisdom and prudence. Paquerette can teach Magali how to be brave and smart, and she can give Magali a reason to live.  Paquerette is young in years and old in spirit, with eyes like firelight on steel.  Standing tall and straight, Paquerette walks into the lion's den week after week and steals away his prey. The lions are the internment camps, the prey is the sick and dying children who manage to get medical releases. Paquerette is their escort to safety, their lifeline. She becomes Magali's Joan of Arc. This story is excellent historical fiction, and a great choice for a teenage girl who wants her life to make the world better, who wants to break out of the narrow box that every woman she knows seems to live in.  If someone asked me what stood out to me most about this novel, I'd say it is a story about a girl who finds out what strength really is, and learn what it means to be strong.  Paquerette who poured out all her reserves, to the last drop, to save lives.  Magali, who desperately wanted her life to matter in the fight against evil.  Magali's mother, who wanted to shelter her girl and needed to let her go. Rosa, the refugee girl who never stood out yet had abilities that Paquerette needed in her work.  Nina, the girl who had experiences behind her eyes that she never could explain, who was grateful for every drop of kindness, and whose brokenness became proven strength.  Tank you Kregel for my review copy! I'll certainly be looking for How Huge The Night.
a-nonny-mouse More than 1 year ago
A coming of age story set in France, early 1941. There were so many things I loved about this story. I'm not a history buff by any stretch of the term, but there are a few historical periods I can't learn enough about. World War 2 is one of those times. Magali is a young fifteen year old French girl who wants to fight back against the Nazis and Germans and scorns anyone whom she deems weak. Like her mother, her friend, and another young girl she doesn't know very well and doesn't care to. She's a strong lead with a stubborn heart and I loved her spirit. Not her pride, but her tenacity, grit, and determination to help others. Yes, she liked herself more than she should have, didn't quite see her own faults as clearly as she saw fault in others, yet I still loved her and could only hope that if a day ever comes in which I have to choose to help others or turn a blind eye to what's going on, I help without hesitation like she did. I don't think the authors could have written more true to life characters than Magali, Paquerette, Rosa, and Nina. This was a strong book that always went forward in plot, tone, and setting. I didn't tire of reading it at all. What reading time I have is precious, but I will be reading this one again and will recommend it to my reading friends. I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. I was not required they be positive.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Whenever I read anything connected to the Holocaust, I am deeply moved. I can't imagine the horrors that happened to an entire race of people simply based on what other people thought of them, that they were less than worthy of living. It is hard not to be impacted in a deep sense that these things really happened and they are not the works of fiction. In the novel, Defy The Night by authors Heather and Lydia Munn, the story chronicles the lives of women who were moved to save the children that found themselves in refugee camps and later became detention camps. This happened before these camps would later be turned into concentration camps by the middle of 1945 and would involve the mass murder of men, women and children in the Holocaust. While many people still died in these camps, due to lack of food and water and health care, this story is about the time when people running these camps still had compassion on children and would allow them to be released into the care of women who would care for them and find suitable homes for them. Most of these children would remain orphans and would carry with them the memories of these camps for the rest of their lives. This novel centers around a young girl Magali who knows she must do something more with her life than simply find a husband and begin a family. On the whispers of a pending war, France still remains free while Hilter and his army slowly begin to absorb taking over country's one by one. Food rationing is a must and Magali grows frustrated with her life. She can't stand the fact that they have to do without while Hilter takes everything that doesn't belong to him and makes her and her family have to struggle just to find ways to survive. She hopes that some day things will be different. She grows frustrated that even her closest friends are refugees from other countries and they remain shell shocked by the horrors that they have brought to their town, always on the watch for German soldiers. Magali gets an idea to find a way to help those hurt most by the war when a young woman named Paquerette arrives on the train with orphans from a detention camp. Malnourished and in desperate need of medical care, she helps her arrange to have the children cared for by the town's mission homes. She learns that Paquerette is legally moving these children away from those camps and giving them a second chance at life, even if their parents never leave. It is a offer of hope that Magali finds too hard to pass up. She learns that Paquerette could use her help if only she convince her parents to let her. But after seeing what Hilter can do, her parents are hard to convince. They do offer to let Magali go once her studies have been completed just so she can see the horrors of what is really going on outside their small town in hopes, she will never want to return. But that will not be the case! I received Defy the Night by Heather and Lydia Munn compliments of Kregel Publications for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review and the opinions expressed are strictly my own. I love how elegantly these women did their research into what was happening to Jewish families just prior to WWII, how they were at first moved to these camps as refugees, then were detained as a way of cleansing the country of their presence and moved into detention camps where families were forced to endure deplorable conditions and serve in labor camps. Most people died just based on the conditions of the camps, the lack of food and water being given just bread and water most times to survive on. The French did it as a way of appeasing Hitler so that the French Jews would hopefully be left alone. It shows the basis for what would later be deporting this people to Germany as a way of meeting Hitler's quota for Jews to be exterminated in concentration/death camps later as the war progressed. I applaud their efforts to share this novel and the basis for creating an awareness that most never knew about or even considered. It makes us all wonder just what we would do should something like this occur again. I easily give this a 5 out of 5 stars in my opinion and hope that everyone picks this one up!
J4Life5 More than 1 year ago
Magali is a fifteen-year-old growing up in the “free” part of France. She is frustrated with the government pacifying/helping the Nazis. She sees refugees traveling through her town, some staying and some passing through. She is angry at the adults around her that refuse to take a stand and fight the injustices and decides to help Paquerette rescue children from a concentration camp. Although Magali is scared and horrified by what she sees, she keeps doing what she is called to do. Will she continue her mission even after those she loves are in danger from her actions? This is an atypical WWII story, one unlike any other I have read. I enjoyed it very much. This is a great story of a girl whose childhood was shortened by war and was forced to grow up too fast. We are reminded from her story to count the cost of our actions. My favorite part of this book is how realistic it is. There are scenes that are painful to read, but it makes the story come alive. Readers never know what will happen next. This book is a quick read with a wide variety of characters that are each endearing in their own way. Munn and Munn did an excellent job with keeping the numerous characters separate and describing them so that readers can really imagine them. The descriptions throughout the book make it easy for readers to visualize the sights. Many different readers would enjoy this book. I think it would be a great read for teens, both to give them insight into life during WWII in France, but also because they could really identify with the struggles of Magali. I would recommend this book to any fan of historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.