THE RESISTANCE BETWEEN US
by Phyllis Kimmel Libby
edited by Mary Ellen Redmile Cooper
A Kirkus Review ...
In this debut novel, set in a small town in Vichy France on the Swiss border, World War II arrives at the back door of a wealthy 41-year-old widow, causing her to risk everything in the battle against unspeakable evil.
"It is 1941, and the Germans have occupied northern France. But in the southern, 'free' region, the Vichy government is in control, albeit through collaboration with the Nazis. Almost two years ago, a skiing accident took the life of Madame Ingrid Fellner's husband and left their daughter, Marta, seriously injured. Grief over her husband and devotion to her 8-year-old daughter's recuperation have allowed Ingrid to 'distance herself'' from the chaos enveloping Europe.
"But as the book opens, she walks by the river that borders her property, and makes a discovery that shakes her out of her complacency: 'Oh Mon Dieu!'
"'There is one, no, there are two yellow stars, two people. A Jewish couple has washed up on my shore!' It is the pivotal moment that will lead Ingrid to join the French
Resistance, a decision that will cost her more than she can imagine—her self-respect, her standing in the community, and perhaps her life.
"She agrees to let the underground use her basement as a way station for Jewish refugees, some of whom have escaped from concentration camps. While Ingrid entertains the regional head of the Gestapo, Eric Heisler, upstairs in her drawing room, becoming his 'field mattress' to keep him distracted, the 'Old Testaments' are hiding downstairs.
"The riveting first-person narrative is written in Ingrid's voice. It is a voice outwardly enriched by her aristocratic upbringing and inwardly full of self-doubt and anguish.
"The novel, the first installment of a series, is simultaneously character-driven and rich in historical details about the operation of one aspect of the underground's activities. Libby paints a vivid portrait of the competing forces that turn friend against friend, ripping off the veneer of civility even as they lead to new deep bonds of trust and love that cross traditional societal lines.
"Ingrid is living with two identities; she is Madame Fellner in public but is known as the mysterious 'Madame Henri' within the underground, literally traversing from one world to the other each time she descends or ascends the back staircase to her basement: 'I spend my days paranoid and obsessed with questions. I torture myself worrying about every detail that could reveal what I do secretly and then give up because it's too much to carry.'
"With the increasing deceptions, Ingrid's closest confidants are her mentor (and local underground leader), Dieter Van der Kreuzier; her butler, Guy; and her housekeeper, Marie. They are among this book's most significant secondary characters.
"A dark backstory, which first appears as an intriguing subplot, takes on greater importance as the primary narrative moves forward, weaving together the threads of war and revenge.
"Smooth, in-the-moment prose and realistic dialogue enliven a haunting tale tightly packed with historical facts that should alarm readers even today, seven decades later."
Important Professional Reviews
"A sweeping epic of war infused with love, betrayal, vengeance, atonement—and somehow, humor—that is fortified by scrupulous and detailed historical scholarship. The Resistance Between Us is both an irresistible page-turner and one of the most sophisticated and authoritative contemplations ever written about one of the most cataclysmic events in human history."
Adam Davies, author of the bestseller, The Frog King, and the play, The Bathrobe Club
"The Resistance Between Us is literary narrative with a voice that reads like poetry. The reader is inside the room with the underground, with Jewish and political refugees, and Nazis—suffering in silence with a heroine who can't risk saying the truth aloud. The action is urgent and powerful. Bound to become an enduring classic, this novel is a challenge for today's conscience."
Michael B. Neff, founder/director of Algonkian Writers Conferences, author of All the Dark We Will Not See
"I was born during WWII in Germany and have only a few flashes of memory about what happened, but we suffered terribly after the war. All the men in my family were dead, including my father, and my mother as a young widow had no food, no security, only fear. So to read about this courageous woman, a fiction that seems so real, is uplifting, and gives hope. It is impressive to know that there were people like her, giving up her personal welfare to help others, facing danger, death, loss of wealth and health. This book reads as a true story and it could very well be. The historical facts described were unknown to me, and are enlightening. In all the agony there is love, courage, tolerance, friendship. I enjoyed reading this story immensely."
Dagmar Lai, (Paris, France)
"This literary work is fiction, but the facts are real, and shape a world I have not experienced in other WWII accounts. The author uses the direct first person to connect readers with Ingrid, a heroine whose complexities and courage are enhanced by the secret fears she shares with you. This book stays in the forefront of your imagination every second you are away from it. Taking care of mundane chores, loving your children, even putting away groceries become privileges. You bless everyone in your family with gratitude while you reflect on the horrible quandary Ingrid faces, as did those who lived through the Holocaust and French Occupation. Ingrid becomes a friend and role model. Sometimes you want to shake her and other times you want to defend her, but you always admire her fortitude. The Resistance Between Us is an excellent example of how literary fiction at its best reveals a higher truth."
Elizabeth Hurd, Special Correspondent, The Oklahoman,
"In The Resistance Between Us, the reader is immediately drawn into the scene and mindset of its main character, Ingrid Fellner. The textures, smells and nuances of her surroundings are palpable. One becomes caught up with this woman and what she faces moment by moment as her journey unfolds. Like a canvas where each brushstroke has its place in order for the painting to succeed, each word, phrase and chapter of this historical novel is carefully placed and layered to create a truly beautiful literary work of art."
Corinne Didisheim, Artist, (Missouri)
Copyright ©2017 by Phyllis Kimmel Libby
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uses permitted by copyright law. For permission requests, write to the publisher, address: "Attention: Permissions Coordinator," at the address below:
Mary Ellen Cooper, Editor/Publisher
Permissions, Rights, Sales
711 East Mansur Avenue
Guthrie, OK 73044
The three books in the Ingrid's Wars Series, published by Mistral Editions and authored by Phyllis Kimmel Libby, are works of fiction. Names, characters, places
and incidents are a product of the author's imagination. Locales and public names, especially involved in events of history, are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental—with the exception only of historic persons, institutions, and actual locations as noted in the text or the Informal Appendix.
Cover Design, Phyllis Kimmel Libby
Quantity Sales: Special discounts are available on quantity purchases by corporations, associations, and others (especially book clubs). For details,
please contact "Sales" at the address above.
About Kirkus Reviews and Its History . . .
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In Gallery II at the end of these web pages, you will find copies of two pages of Publishers Weekly from August 28, 2017, highlighting The Resistance Between Us as a newly published title.
Both Kirkus Review and Publishers Weekly played a large part in launching our book, The Resistance Between Us. We highlight them here and thank them both for their very positive response to our work.🔝🌲🌲