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Resistance Paperback – 6 Mar 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; paperback / softback edition (6 Mar 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571229646
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571229642
  • Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 2.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 80,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

'Sheers is a poet by nature and so no detail ... escapes close examination.' -- Telegraph

Book Description

A thrilling and emotionally intense novel set in a World War Two where Britain has been invaded.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Captain Kirk on 31 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Both the author and characters avoid the realities of war as long as they can in a beautiful welsh valley,

Set in a 1944 Britain where Germany has invaded, this novel focusses on a small secluded Welsh Valley, actually not far from me. The four women who live on the hill farms there wake one day to find all their husbands have left - to fight in the resistance we believe. Shortly after there arrrives a group of German soldiers sent there on a special mission.

The interaction of the women and the Germans is well described, the prose descriptive and involving, whether about the emotions of the two lead characters - a young wife and the German commander - or the scenery , seasons and working life.

Despite the sombre topic and the lack of much action, the drama is maintained, the book flows and only sometimes bores, and the themes are well handled.

Knowing the geography as I do, the valley at that time could very well have been as isolated and cut off as this book describes. Even so, it strains credulity that , even after letters have been returned marked Deceased, that no relatives would have visted (we are told that some live a 5 mile walk away! ). It is also somewhat implausible that all men in a valley would agree to leave their wives and children behind to suffer likely reprisals. The author wants to develop the plot by keeping his characters in an isolated bubble, perhaps the better to examine their emerging relationships. This is also at the expense of tension and action. Action need not detract from the quality of prose and description here. There are opportunities for the author to have introduced more drama ,but he avoids this or misses the chance - the final Tommy Atkins scene, eg,was almost thrown away.
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52 of 58 people found the following review helpful By S. Barnes on 11 Mar 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an extremely powerful story set in the imagined backdrop of an invaded and Nazi-occupied Britain, from 1944 onwards... an alternative outcome for the Second World War which could quite conceivably have come true. After failed D-Day landings the German invasion begins in earnest on British soil and this story unfolds as the country gradually becomes another occupied territory of the Third Reich - herein lies its power and horror.

One morning, in one of the most remote valleys in the Black Mountains on the English-Welsh border, twenty-six-year-old Sarah Lewis awakes unusually late in the day to find her husband has disappeared. Suspicions are confirmed as all the women in the valley meet to find that all seven men in the valley have literally vanished overnight. The women fear that their husbands have joined an underground resistance group... and they are left to tend their farms, taking on the full heavy workload previously undertaken by the men.

Fear and mistrust envelops them when a German patrol arrives in the valley on an important mission, until an uneasy truce is formed from a mutual need for help during the harsh frozen winter months in this isolated valley of the Black Mountains. The men in the patrol are war-weary and glad of their respite from the fighting; the women are struggling with their workloads.... both sides have a tendency to forget that there is a war on, and this could be a very dangerous thing to forget indeed.

Owen Sheers (also poet) writes in a beautifully lyrical way, vividly bringing to life the Olchon valley. The power of the novel lies in its ability to shock, as the slow realisation gradually dawns that this outcome could have been the one to come true... An idea that stays with you long after turning the last page.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. P. WRIDE on 28 Nov 2010
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Really good and entreating book. Characters well drawn and the language is, not surprisingly ,almost poetic which is befitting Owen Shears' history as a poet. The premise of a German invasion is believable though the reason the group of soldiers are sent to a particular Wesh valley is a bit stretched. However, for me, the landscape and it's description through a winter is the star of this novel, not least because of the knowledge of how little it has changed over the years and could be discovered even now sixty odd years on. highly recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jennie Pollock on 10 July 2013
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Owen draws his characters beautifully, and imagines their different roles and responses superbly. His writing, while beautiful and perceptively descriptive, avoids sounding like a poet trying to write in longer lines. He is a novelist with a poet's ear and a painter's eye; the story never feels secondary to the words with which it is conveyed.

His familiarity with the rhythms of rural Welsh life is very obvious in both the setting and the story, as is his fascination with the myths and legends rolling around those hills. I'm sure on a second and third reading, I'll pick up more and more themes and layers of depth and meaning in the stories told by some of his characters.

On a first reading, though, the sense that those layers are there was enough, they gave the book richness without clamouring to be noticed, and gave the characters a satisfyingly rounded sense of time and place.

In short, it's a beautiful book, telling an excellent, compelling story set in a world which feels worryingly plausible. I loved it, and can't wait to read more of Owen's work.
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