Reader reviews and comments on Resistance, plus links to write your own review.

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Resistance

by Owen Sheers

Resistance by Owen Sheers
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2008, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2009, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

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There are currently 19 reader reviews for Resistance
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Power Reviewer Kim

Great first novel
I was reluctant to start this one because I usually don’t like alternative histories. I’m awfully glad I read it, though. This was one excellent book, one of my favorites this year. There’s little action in this novel; it’s more about relationships. It’s thought-provoking and moving. It reminded me a lot of “Bel Canto,” and I would highly recommend it to reader who enjoyed that book. “Resistance” has the same type of complex interplay between characters as that novel did. I can’t believe this was the author’s first book. Can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!
Melissa

What if?
Resistance is the first book I've read that deals with an alternative to the history we have come to know. With my father-in-law having fought on the beaches of Normandy, and receiving a Purple Heart for his heroism, it was hard to imagine that the Allies failed in their mission. But once I got into the characters' stories I couldn't put the book down. I especially enjoyed hearing the story from several characters' voices. You begin to like these characters, even the ones you normally would categorize as the "bad guys". Without giving anything away, the story draws you in and is at times both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. I highly recommend this book for all book clubs and feel women and men co-ed book clubs would have wonderful conversations about the different points of view.
Dorothy

Resistance is an exceptional book
Using the resistance plans the British put in place during WWII, author Owen Sheers has imagined a world in which they were necessary, telling the story of a tiny farming community in Wales. The writing is wonderful, places and people drawn in such honesty and beauty that you sense they are with you. The story of people coping with a world they did not create and cannot control, reminded me of The House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III. Don't miss this one.
Julie

Thoughtful and provocative
This beautifully written story focuses on a town of women deserted by the men in their lives who have joined the British Resistance during WWII. The women's fragile relationship with the occupying Germans, and their growing mutual dependency is both sensitive and thoughtfully developed. The language is wonderful, the story flows smoothly, and the characters are real.
Judy

Imagining what-if and a poet's eye
This book will stay with me for a long time. It's beautifully written and emotionally powerful. Set in a remote and mystically beautiful landscape removed from the immediate physical horrors of war, Sheers reveals the inevitable human pain, loss, and moral lose/lose dilemmas that descend even on the most isolated people.

This alternative history story is based on the author's fascination with what he learned from a real-life participant in the British resistance organization about the secret plans for fighting against a German invasion. The story takes place from Fall of 1944, when Germany has invaded the south of England, to mid-1945, when London and most of the country have been overtaken, though there is no official British surrender.

Six women living on the only farms in a remote valley in Wales are suffering from the desertion of their men who have all secretly and silently disappeared in the night to participate, the women decide, in the British resistance organization planned in 1940. When six German Wehrmacht soldiers on a mysterious mission arrive and take up residence in the valley, a tense, anxious dance begins between the soldiers and the women, who draw together and shrink apart, until the reality of the war invades the valley and shatters the uneasy dance in surprising and heartbreaking ways.

The landscape of this human drama is echoed in the universal, elemental balance between the land and the people it sustains. Owen Sheers' poet's eye gives a striking view of this landscape. For a small example, who can resist this word picture describing two of the characters walking together "... disturb[ing] skylarks from their nests and ... watch[ing] as the startled birds ascended above them, disappearing up the threads of their song."

For me, this book matches the power and depth of Pat Barker's World War I trilogy--Regeneration, The Eye in the Door, and The Ghost Road--though it's very different.
Catherine

Great Book!
Resistance is one of the best books I have read in the past year. Its premise is, what if Germany had won World War II and occupied Great Britain. At first, I thought, interesting but I'm not really into books about war. I read the first few pages, a little slow, hoped I would be able to finish it. Next thing I knew, I was on page 75! Then I had a hard time putting it down. The story is told from many points of view, so you truly are left wondering, who is the bad guy and who is the good guy. Would definitely recommend it for book clubs, men, and women.
Joyce

A thriller when you don't expect it
I loved this book, absolutely couldn't put it down. I'm a big fan of non-fiction history in fact just finished several books on World War II in both Pacific and European theaters, and didn't really expect to like this fictionalized version of events. But it is such a good book, great character development, a great story line and a surprise finish. You will be in great turmoil, not sure who to root for and your feelings and loyalty change from one chapter to the next. Do yourself a favor and read this book.
Jessica

Resistance
This book is as close to perfect as any I have read in a very long time. Sheers takes a subject matter that has been reconstructed and analyzed unto infinity and imbues it with a startling and new life. In addition to the surrounding story of WWII, the stories that Sheers places within this context are fresh and psychologically raw. Plot, character and story are rendered lucid with prose that is as beautiful and precise as it is accessible. A wonderful read.
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