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

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Resistance

by Owen Sheers

Resistance
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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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Sally (07/27/08)

Resistance
Don't let the alternate history setting fool you; it is merely a backdrop for a novel about timeless human issues concerning war and finding the humanity in others who are unlike ourselves. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, especially of the setting, and I recommend this book. Book clubs would find many areas of discussion.
Power Reviewer Kim (04/13/08)

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 (04/03/08)

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 (02/26/08)

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 (02/26/08)

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 (02/26/08)

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.
Sally (02/26/08)

Resistance
Don't let the alternate history setting fool you; it is merely a backdrop for a novel about timeless human issues concerning war and finding the humanity in others who are unlike ourselves. The writing is wonderfully descriptive, especially of the setting, and I recommend this book. Book clubs would find many areas of discussion.
Power Reviewer Diana (02/26/08)

A Moving Account
As with the telling of any story of an alternative history, the risk is becoming too fantastic or implausible. Resistance takes us to a world where Germany has indeed won the second World War, and drops us into a landscape so barren and foreign, it’s as though World War II occurred 150 years ago, instead of 60. The book succeeds in many ways, not the least of which in putting a human and almost sympathetic face on the proverbial Nazi monster and shows us, right to the very end, that every action, good or bad, has a consequence.
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