Tuesday, 3 July 2018

New Release Spotlight & Review: Arlette's Story

Arlette’s Story by Angela Barton

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 … 

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My first historical novel set during WWII, Arlette's Story is both heartbreaking and uplifting as she and her family and friends come to terms and endure life during the German occupation of France.

Arlette Blaise, her family and neighbours feel comforted by the fact the German forces were only occupying the north of their country. Set in idyllic surroundings, Oradour-sur-Glane had nothing to offer the foreign invaders. When a Jewish man arrives, driven from his home, they welcome him to work alongside her father on their farm. Everything is fine until the Nazis arrive in the small town and peace as they know it evaporates.

Heart-wrenching, the author captures the emotion of time as the horrors of living in an occupied country unfold. The hardship; lack of food and essentials become part of life as everyone struggles to make the best of a dire situation. Secrets are kept, but with a constant threat of exposure, everyone is always on high alert, living on their nerves to preserve what little they have and to save those close to their hearts.

Yet, there are moments of blind faith and wisdom, where everyone believes the occupation will be over sooner rather than later. Life goes on, but will it ever be the same again?

Arlette and Saul's story is as beautiful as it is sad. Their endearing and enduring love conquers all, but not without tragedy. With a torn conscience, Arlette wants to act defiantly in protest but bends to the will of the Germans to try to provide and protect those who rely on her. Her unwavering bravery is not for the faint-hearted and not without consequences.

Overall, a very commendable d├ębut novel by Ms Barton. Her writing enabled me to I enjoyed the picturesque scenes she painted as well as the cold realities of a community trying to survive during oppressive times. Therefore I'll definitely be looking for future titles from her in the future.

***arc generously received courtesy of Ruby Fiction via NetGalley***

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.
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