From the bestselling author of The Light After the War comes the unforgettable story of a young woman waging her own war against the Nazis as a spy for the Resistance on the French Riviera.
Paris, 1943: Lana Antanova is rushing to tell her husband she is pregnant when she witnesses him being executed by a Gestapo officer for hiding a Jewish girl in a piano. Overcome with grief, Lana loses the baby.
A few months later, a heartbroken Lana is approached to join the Resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialise with Nazi officers, including the man who killed her husband.
Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of a wealthy Swiss playboy, the darkly handsome and charismatic Guy Pascal, and her base his villa in Cap Ferrat. Together they make a ruthlessly effective team. Consumed by her mission, Lana doesn’t count on becoming attached to a young Jewish girl or falling helplessly in love with Guy.
As the Nazis close in, Lana’s desire to protect the ones she loves threatens to put them all at risk.
Anita Abriel’s previous book, The Light After the War, was a fan favourite in the Better Reading office earlier this year, so I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of her new novel. I was not disappointed. Lana’s War is a sweeping and suspenseful tale of survival and second chances during some of the darkest days of history.
The glitz and glam of the French Riviera setting looms large, setting it apart from other WWII historical fiction novels I’ve read recently, which are typically set in occupied Paris or Nazi Germany. Indeed, compared to Paris, the French Riviera appeared to be little impacted by the war, and it was fascinating to follow Lana as she makes her way through this rich sitting, infiltrating the inner circles of the Nazi elite.
Lana is a brave, gutsy and worthy heroine, who puts aside her own heartache and fears to risk her life to save others. She’s a salute to the many strong and capable female members of the resistance who came before her, and you’ll be rooting for her from the very first page.
Filled with suspense, romance and danger, Lana’s War is a fast-paced and exhilarating page-turner, and the perfect summer read. Anita Abriel has really started to hit her stride in the sub-genre, and I can’t wait to see what she delivers next.