RESISTANCE by Anita Shreve


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 Shreve's fifth novel--another bittersweet trip down memory lane (after Where or When, 1993, etc.)--tells a story of love and betrayal in wartime Belgium. The starting point is familiar: A crew of brave young Americans out on a dangerous bombing mission to destroy Nazi targets is brought down by enemy fire in occupied Belgium; two airmen die, others are captured, and the wounded hero is rescued by the local Resistance. Midwestern boy Ted Brice, who thinks he may be in love with Sheila back home, is hidden in the attic of Henri and Claire's farmhouse. A Resistance nurse binds his wounds; Claire sees to his other needs. She is a beautiful woman who reads poetry in English and married Henri because she'd known him all her life- -``she adored his face'' but did not love him. Ted's wounds heal slowly, and he's still not strong enough to leave when three German soldiers are killed by a member of the Resistance. The local Gestapo makes immediate reprisals, summarily hanging villagers in the town square; Resistance members are betrayed; and Henri must flee, leaving Claire to cope alone, which she does very well, despite an unsuccessful raid by the Gestapo and the difficulties of keeping Ted hidden. The Frenchwoman and the American embark on a passionate affair that ends only when Henri comes back for Ted, who is to be taken to France by the Resistance. The lovers are separated, betrayed to the enemy, and never meet again, but a wrap- up chapter--in which Ted and Sheila's son comes back for the 1993 inauguration of a monument memorializing his father and the rest of the plane crew--agreeably fills us in on the years in between. Lively writing, but an awfully familiar reprise of countless WW II novels, books, and movies.

Pub Date: April 6th, 1995
ISBN: 0-316-78999-2
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 1995


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