An American teenage girl gets to play a role in the Resistance movement after she impulsively stays in Alsace, France, just before World War II begins.
After spending the summer on her grandmother’s farm, 13-year-old white Genevieve can’t bear to go back to New York so soon. Although she considers Mémé disagreeable, she finds French farm life invigorating and loves her new friends, Katrin and Rémy. But when Nazi soldiers reclaim Alsace and one of them insists on living in their very house, life becomes a test of endurance and wits. Genevieve eventually learns to appreciate Mémé, gets to hear stories of her own deceased father, and comes to understand the importance of the long-standing relationships that develop in small European towns. Genevieve transforms from scattered and impetuous “Flyaway Girl,” as her aunt calls her, to confident, determined, and compassionate young woman. Related in the first person by Genevieve, this is a competent, endearing novel about the consequences of choices and how quickly and deeply ordinary life is upended by war. Further, Genevieve’s frequent quandaries about trust and betrayal in a changing landscape are timeless in their relevance.
An engrossing story that examines the nature of character and maturity while putting a young girl at the center of action and suspense. (Historical fiction. 8-12)