Resistance

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Overview

As she has done in her novels Eden Close, Strange Fits of Passion, and Where or When, Anita Shreve once again leads readers into a harrowing world where lives are catastrophically overturned by emotion. Set in a Belgian village amid the wreckage of World War II, Resistance is a powerful exploration of passion, self-discovery, and sacrifice from one of our most accomplished storytellers. Just as the Nazi occupation forces have drained her village of coffee, meat, and chocolate, the war has also depleted whatever ...
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Resistance: A Novel

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Overview

As she has done in her novels Eden Close, Strange Fits of Passion, and Where or When, Anita Shreve once again leads readers into a harrowing world where lives are catastrophically overturned by emotion. Set in a Belgian village amid the wreckage of World War II, Resistance is a powerful exploration of passion, self-discovery, and sacrifice from one of our most accomplished storytellers. Just as the Nazi occupation forces have drained her village of coffee, meat, and chocolate, the war has also depleted whatever joy there may have been in Claire Daussois's marriage. On their small farm in the south of Belgium, Claire and her husband, Henri, shelter refugees - Jews, Allied pilots, and fleeing Belgian soldiers - before passing them along toward France and freedom. Claire nurses the wounded, acts as interpreter, and waits for the war to end - and, in a way she finds difficult to admit even to herself, for her own life to change. And it does, when an American B-17 bomber is downed near their village. The pilot, badly injured, is found by a young boy who turns to Claire for help in saving him. Henri is away on Resistance work. As the pilot heals and recovers in her attic hiding place, Claire begins to awaken to the possibility of love. Over the course of a mere twenty days, closed off from the world and the war in her farmhouse, Claire and Lieutenant Ted Brice experience a life-changing passion that neither has felt before. That their love is also haunted and impossible only makes it more precious. The war recedes in the face of their joy - before imposing itself once more with shocking suddenness and inconceivable horror. Resistance is the story of a young Belgian woman, an American pilot, and the small war-torn village that shelters them. Richly peopled and fearlessly, gorgeously passionate, it is a powerful exploration of emotion at odds with commitment. No reader who has loved - or resisted love - will forget this lucid and moving tale.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
As in her earlier novels, Shreve Eden Close affectingly explores themes of love and loss with piercing clarity, once again capturing the fragile emotions of those in pain. Here, however, she moves from her customary domestic, contemporary milieu to WWII Europe-to the Belgian village of Delahaut, where young Claire Daussois and her husband, Henri, are members of an underground resistance movement. When a British plane goes down outside the town in December 1943, the plucky 10-year-old Jean Benoit finds a survivor, Ted Brice, hides him in his father's barn and then summons the aid of Mme. Daussois. As she has done with other refugees, Claire shelters the 22-year-old captain in her attic. When it becomes necessary for Henri to go into hiding, Claire and Ted embark on a brief affair, a passionate liaison made more poignant by its simultaneous inevitability and futility. With deceptive simplicity and superb control, Shreve evokes the impersonal horrors of wartime and its heartbreaking personal tragedies-often combining those elements to almost overwhelming effect, as when Jean witnesses the execution of several townspeople as reprisal for their resistance activities.
School Library Journal
YA-In December 1943, an American fighter plane is downed near a small village in Belgium. The pilot, Lt. Ted Brice, is rescued by a member of the local resistance movement. As he is hidden in the small attic at the home of Claire Daussois, he becomes acutely aware of the danger to himself as well as his hostess and her husband. A bond develops between Claire and Ted during his 20-day stay that changes both of their lives forever. Through this fast-paced novel, YAs will gain insight into the unthinkable horrors of World War II-German retribution, village collaborators, and local resistance workers. Shreve describes the landscape and the local residents in such detail that readers will quickly become involved in the lives of the characters.-Roberta Lisker, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780316166584
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Publication date: 4/1/2006
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 0.87 (d)

Meet the Author

Anita Shreve
Anita Shreve
A novelist who combines sweepingly romantic plots with a keen understanding of the emotional complexities inherent in any relationship, Anita Shreve is a writer who understands the subtleties of the human mind, and heart.

Biography

For many readers, the appeal of Anita Shreve’s novels is their ability to combine all of the escapist elements of a good beach read with the kind of thoughtful complexity not generally associated with romantic fiction. Shreve’s books are loaded with enough adultery, eroticism, and passion to make anyone keep flipping the pages, but the writer whom People magazine once dubbed a “master storyteller” is also concerned with the complexities of her characters’ motivations, relationships, and lives.

Shreve’s novels draw on her diverse experiences as a teacher and journalist: she began writing fiction while teaching high school, and was awarded an O. Henry Prize in 1975 for her story, “Past the Island, Drifting.” She then spent several years working as a journalist in Africa, and later returned to the States to raise her children. In the 1980s, she wrote about women’s issues, which resulted in two nonfiction books -- Remaking Motherhood and Women Together, Women Alone -- before breaking into mainstream fiction with Eden Close in 1989.

This interest in women’s lives -- their struggles and success, families and friendships -- informs all of Shreve’s fiction. The combination of her journalist’s eye for detail and her literary ear for the telling turn of phrase mean that Shreve can spin a story that is dense, atmospheric, and believable. Shreve incorporates the pull of the sea -- the inexorable tides, the unpredictable surf -- into her characters’ lives the way Willa Cather worked the beauty and wildness of the Midwestern plains into her fiction. In Fortune’s Rocks and The Weight of Water, the sea becomes a character itself, evocative and ultimately consuming. In Sea Glass, Shreve takes the metaphor as far as she can, where characters are tested again and again, only to emerge stronger by surviving the ravages of life.

A domestic sensualist, Shreve makes use of the emblems of household life to a high degree, letting a home tell its stories just as much as its inhabitants do, and even recycling the same house through different books and periods of time, giving it a sort of palimpsest effect, in which old stories burn through the newer ones, creating a historical montage. "A house with any kind of age will have dozens of stories to tell," she says. "I suppose if a novelist could live long enough, one could base an entire oeuvre on the lives that weave in and out of an antique house."

Shreve’s work is sometimes categorized as “women’s fiction,” because of her focus on women’s sensibilties and plights. But her evocative and precise language and imagery take her beyond category fiction, and moderate the vein of sentimentality which threads through her books. Moreover, her kaleidoscopic view of history, her iron grip on the details and detritus of 19th-century life (which she sometimes intersperses with a 20th-century story), and her uncanny ability to replicate 19th-century dialogue without sounding fusty or fussy, make for novels that that are always absorbing and often riveting. If she has a flaw, it is that her imagery is sometimes too cinematic, but one can hardly fault her for that: after all, the call of Hollywood is surely as strong as the call of the sea for a writer as talented as Shreve.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 51 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(20)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 51 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2000

    One of my all time favorite books

    I absolutely loved this book. I bought it because I enjoyed other books by Shreve. I had not even read the back cover when I started reading this book. It was riveting from the very beginning. I loved the history lessons that were woven between the story of love, determination, survival and sacrifice. I have a heightened sense of patriotism and respect for those who served in the armed forces and also those who were behind the scenes. My heart ached for a love that could not be. I usually don't identify with books that have male main characters. This book transcended gender lines and touches the 'human' in all of us.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2008

    Wait It Out...

    The book was surprising on many levels. That it should start off so slowly was surprising considering an American plane landed perilously close to enemy territory and it's up to the Resistance movement in Belgium to help out the survivors. Having that as the premise of the first third of the book, should, in and of itself, be pretty exciting, but it was rather dull. What was further surprising was that the author revealed her ability for suspense, excitement, and emotion later in the book. The last two thirds of the book were incredibly tender and the interactions between the characters were heartbreaking - as was their courage. The end was full of twists and surprises. Overall, if you can get past the first hundred or so pages - it's worth the read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2006

    Too Much Detail Not Enough Romance

    Reading the back of this book I was totally drawn into what I thought would be a great romance. Well all the details in the beginnig about the planes etc. really killed the romance. When the romance actually happened it lacked depth and passion. The ending was terrible and nothing was really wrapped up well. I am disappointed in Resistance as all the other books I have read by Anita Shreve have been amazing. I hope her new book is better.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2008

    Unbareably Depressing!!!

    The beginning dragged an awful lot. The middle picked up and became juicy finally after reading every painstaking detail of the crash and Ted's background. The storyline seemed caotic and unorganized. I hate books that jump from present to past and to different perspectives. It made me think of the caos of A Tale of Two Cities, but Resistance was not nearly as bad.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2006

    Missing in the end

    I really enjoyed this book. It was given to me as a gift & I'm glad because I never would have picked it for myself. I liked the storyline, but I wish there was less details in the beginning and more towards the end. I loved the book, but felt the ending was lacking. The story wrapped up but too much was left to the reader.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2012

    Shades den

    This is my den. All may enter with permission.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    Highly Recommended

    An amazing story that leaves you wanting more

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  • Posted April 13, 2011

    More of a history lesson than a romance novel.

    I have read a few of Anita Shreve's books and this one is not my favorite. I still really enjoyed it, in fact I finished it in two days. It is very suspenseful and each break leaves you hanging, wanting more. There is a lot of detail given, especially about the war, the planes, the logistics of the resistance groups, but much less about the actual romance between the two characters. I enjoy that I learned a lot reading this piece, but was not impressed with the lack of the love story.
    The ending also did not satisfy me. Suspenseful, yes. And realistic, I suppose too, but still lacking the romance that we were promised.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    WW II assistance to downed allied fliers by the resistance movement

    Resistance refers to the civilians throughout Europe, in particular Belgium, who helped downed fliers disregarding their own safety and discovery by the Germans and others that were German sympathizers. These brave rescuers would hide these men in their homes, usually a hidden room in their homes or barns, get the usually needed medical help, feed and clothe them, and try to keep their "roomers" to themselves and a very few trusted that were part of the resistance network. Many allied pilots and crewmembers stayed alive only because of the actions of these brave souls.

    Many times other civilians were also hidden if they were Jewish or were hunted by the Germans for some other reason. This hiding was just as dangerous. If any of these anti-German residents were discovered, they usually faced immediate execution or a trip to a German prison or concentration camp. If the Germans knew of a hidden person and no one would turn them in, there would be retribution to those in the nearest town, usually killing ten citizens for every person known and still not discovered.

    Other times some of those, as in Resistance, fell in love with their saviors, many times not knowing if it was true love of just the fact that someone was there. Some of the husbands would have to leave their wife and home and disappear to do some more rescuing or move some along the line back to their own nation when that path seemed safe. In Resistance, Ted, an injured pilot rescued from the woods by a young boy, was taken eventually to Clair and Henri's home and hidden in an attic room. Ted needed medical help and received it from another resistance woman who snuck into their house to offer the aid. When Henri left, Ted and Clair found an attraction to each other that at first felt wrong but became near normal for them after Henri was gone for a few days. Forbidden love!

    The resistance force, as well as all that lived in German occupied nations such as Belgium, lived in very primitive situations where food was very scarce, animals they had on their farms were being taken by the Germans as they needed them, and any other basic living needs were almost non-existent. They lived a very hard brutal life. But the help they gave the allied soldiers meant so much to all those involved. This book goes into detail and allows the reader to suffer as all those brave resistance friends and the pilots and their crews that survived in various kinds of injured distress.

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    Another great read from Anita Shreve

    She is a dependable writer, always know when you pick up one of her books that you won't be dissapointed. This book is no exception, catches your attention right away and keeps you holding on until the very end.

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  • Posted August 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Very fast-paced book

    Not only is this book short when compared to others, it reads very quickly so is perfect for a rainy day.

    This book had me from the first page and I ended up reading it in a day, but the one thing I was disappointed in was the fact that towards the end it all wrapped up rather quickly. It felt almost as if the author had tired of writing this story and wrote the ending in 5 pages rather than drawing it out a bit more and adding some explanations.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Good read

    I'll admit, I selected this book based on the fact that it was going to be a short read. However, it turned out to be a good read.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 25, 2009

    How it really was.........

    Poignant, moving, sad but true.......nonetheless, a love story

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2009

    A good read!

    Resistance was a good read, my only regret was that there wasn't more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2007

    fantastic

    I couldn't put this book down and finished in two days. I love historical romances / dramas so this was perfect for me. Yes, the flying sequences and crash description were a bit long but I felt that it gave a bit of depth to Ted's character. And since I am taking flying lessons myself I didn't mind one bit. Others reviews have criticized the ending - not explaining whether Ted figured out if it was Claire who had betrayed him. But the way I interpreted the scene where Ted sees Claire in the infirmary and doesn't acknowledged her confirms that Ted realized she hadn't named him because if she had she would have been killed already. It would have been nice to know why neither of them tried to contact the other after the war but one can assume they were both trying to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2006

    A Pretty Great Read...

    Anita Shreve written a beautiful story out of it. I enjoyed the setting. And how this romance between Clair & Ted formed in fierce time of war. Their feelings & tension for eachother was tender. I just wish that there was more info about the ending. So it was a love and lost tale I'd recommend this novel to anyone. I give it 4 stars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2004

    Engaging but something was missing

    I definitely liked the book. I read All He Ever Wanted and really enjoyed that one but this one was different. I know that the circumstances of Ted and Claire's relationship were difficult, to say the least, but found myself wanting to know more about what happened after Ted left Belgium. I know that we find out a bit from his son but who knows how he ever felt about not knowing whether Claire had betrayed him or not. Despite this feeling of not having enough information at the ending, I enjoyed the book. I read it in less than a week and enjoyed the characters but was sometimes put off by the descriptions of the atrocities that were occurring during the war (although, I realize that things like this happen every day in this world).

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2004

    Powerful Book

    I have already read one of Anita Shreve's books and I thought that the book was wonderful. This book is powerful and mind-catching. The interesting this is that it usually takes me about two weeks to read a book, however I was able to read this book in two and a half days. Once I started reading this book, I could not put it down. Everyone must read this book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2004

    Very Powerful read

    When I read a book I enjoy I proceed to read everything the author has written. I started to read All He Ever Wanted about 3 weeks ago and loved it. Resistence is my favorite. The setting is described just so I thought if I closed my eyes I could imagine actually being there. It is powerful emotionally, war is cruel and Shreve captured it perfectly. I can't wait to read more

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2003

    Great Read

    You will not want to put this one down.

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