Thursday, June 10, 2021

Review: The Edelweiss Sisters by Kate Hewitt

The Edelweiss Sisters
by Kate Hewitt

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 437
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  1938, Salzburg. A powerful story of hope, forbidden love, and incredible courage, about three sisters who will risk everything—even their own lives—as part of the resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Austria.

Johanna, Birgit and Lotte Eder have always lived quiet lives, working in their father’s clockmaking shop and helping their mother in the house. But like many other Austrians, they find it impossible to ignore the changes in the world around them.

At first Johanna finds it hard to believe the Nazis pose a real threat. But then her father hires Franz to help in his shop. He’s kind and soulful, with dark eyes that twinkle with intelligence. But he’s Jewish, and as Johanna falls for him, she realizes that loving him puts them all in danger.

Then comes the Anschluss—the reunification of Austria and Germany under Nazi rule. The three sisters’ lives have become ever more separate with Lotte joining the convent at Nonnberg Abbey and Birgit’s secret involvement with the Resistance. But as Johanna realizes how mistaken she was about the level of danger, she begins to see that it may be down to her to protect the man she loves.

She knows that she can’t do it alone though. She will have to turn to the people she trusts the most: her sisters.

The three of them work together to try to get Franz to the safety of Switzerland, and they soon prove invaluable to the Resistance. But they’re risking everything. Can three women who would die for each other, also be prepared to die for what is right?

The sisters’ subsequent journey from Nazi-occupied Salzburg to the devastating concentration camps of Ravensbruck and Mauthausen will show the strength of human spirit like never before. As, out of the darkness, a tiny seed of hope flowers…

Kritters Thoughts:  Another book about World War II and another time where I felt as though the story was so unique that even though it took place in a moment in time where I have read quite a plethora of books, the characters and setting made the story feel different from all the ones in this historical fiction sub genre.

Three sisters who are all very different from each other are trying to find their passions and direction in life as World War II is entering Austria where they live.  The oldest Johanna has spent a lot of time in their family's kitchen and would rather stay there and disregard what is going on outside their home.  Birgit the middle has apprenticed under their father the clockmaker, but has dreams to become a part of the resistance and fighting the German invasion of their country.  The youngest Lotte is known for her singing voice, but goes a completely different route in entering the abby as a nun and her perspective on the war is so interesting.

I appreciated that the author included three sisters who while at the heart of things believes the same values, but they each go about it in completely different ways.  This epic story really shows how the war impacted a family and how each responded differently.  I loved how each sister was given the opportunity to share their perspective and while reading I often wondered how accurate this book depicted families as war invade their countries and their homes.

I have read a few of Kate Hewitt's contemporary stories and loved that she brought the same character development and plot movement to a historical fiction book and made these characters come to life.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 68 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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