The Song of the Partisans

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
260 Pages
Reviewed on 07/17/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Manik Chaturmutha for Readers' Favorite

Song of the Partisans is a military historical novel by Kathryn Gauci. The story follows the life of a young Parisian nurse, Simone, who helps the Resistance cause havoc against the German forces who have France under their control. She is first used for minor jobs of delivering to couriers or tending to wounded members of the Maquis but, seeing the potential in her, Jacques proposes a job far more dangerous and vital. From Paris, she has to relocate to the wine village of Verzenay in the façade of filling in the position of a live-in nurse and companion for an older woman, Madame Marie Legrande. While traveling, she meets one of the German officers, Oberstleutnant Bruno Albrecht. Little did she know this would be the start of the many meetings. The story outlines the bloodshed occurring on both sides, betrayal, loyalty, uncertainty, and a hardening of hearts, knowing only one thing; whatever happens, life moves on, even when war is waged.

Gauci's writing makes us travel with the Resistance. We can almost feel the tension of getting caught by the Nazis and French society's pressure. Narrated in the third person point of view, the story revolves around the protagonist, Simone. I adored Simone and how she hides her vulnerability yet rises to the occasion when called upon. Seldom letting her emotions take the upper hand, Simone is one true war hero who puts her country first but not without self-doubts. Simone has been adequately fleshed out and made remarkably relatable with different emotions. Simone's little romantic encounters leave us with a heavy heart, knowing nothing is certain in war, not even love. Gauci has a strong grip on military history and has effectively used it in this book. The details of how the Resistance would have worked, up to even the type of guns they used, are mentioned. Overall, Song of the Partisans by Kathryn Gauci is a true feast for readers of historical fiction.