Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Book review of Arlette's Story by Angela Barton

French Village Diaries book review Arlette's Story by Angela Barton
Arlette's Story blog tour

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for Arlette’s Story, the first novel from Angela Barton and a book I knew I had to read as soon as I saw it.
One woman’s struggle to fight back against the enemy in order to protect the ones she loves.
When Arlette Blaise sees a German plane fly over the family farm in 1940, she’s comforted by the fact that the occupying forces are far away in the north of the country. Surely the war will not reach her family in the idyllic French countryside near to the small town of Oradour-sur-Glane? 

But then Saul Epstein, a young Jewish man driven from his home by the Nazis, arrives at the farm and Arlette begins to realise that her peaceful existence might be gone for good … 
French Village Diaries book review Arlette's Story by Angela Barton
Arlette's Story
My Review
Arlette's Story is an emotional novel about life for a farmer's daughter in a village near Limoges during the war and occupation. Arlette is naïve to begin with when war breaks out, but we follow her as she matures from an innocent girl to a strong, independent young lady. She is resilient, brave and experiences far more than she should, thanks to the harsh way farming families were treated by the occupying Germans.
When the Germans arrive, Arlette draws the unwelcome attention of the Komandant, and as her grandmother wisely said, “no good will come of this”, but despite the risks involved she was able, up to a point, to use the situation to her advantage. Life was extremely hard, those she loved were forced away, tearing her family apart, their food and animals were requisitioned and despite rationing there was often nothing left to buy in the village shops. They also lived with deceit, hiding knowledge of the underground movement, knowing the harsh consequences involved if they were discovered.
I became rather attached to Arlette, who always remained strong despite facing tragedy more than once, and knowing the real history of where she lived, I wasn’t searching for a happy ending. Although upsetting in places, this is a beautifully written, well researched novel, thatshowed a real empathy for what life was like not too far from where I live in France now. 
Arlette stayed in my head long after I finished reading her story and if you’re a lover of historical fiction, I’m sure you will enjoy this book too.
French Village Diaries book review Arlette's Story by Angela Barton
Angela Barton
Author Bio 
Angela Barton was born in London and grew up in Nottingham. She is married with three grown up children. Passionate about writing both contemporary and historical fiction, Angela loves researching for her books and is an avid reader. Having signed publishing contracts for three of her completed novels with Ruby Fiction, Angela is excited to be working alongside such a friendly and supportive publishing team. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Nottingham Writers’ Studio.
Having recently moved to France, Angela (alongside her husband, Paul) is now a lavender farmer, creating products from the oil that’s distilled. Angela says she’s looking forward to spending more time writing in the company of her two spaniels while sitting on her veranda overlooking the breath-taking countryside of Charente. 
Social Media Links   
French Village Diaries book review Arlette's Story by Angela Barton
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