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Reviewed by Heather Stockard for Readers' Favorite
After her family is killed during the German bombing of Rotterdam in World War II, Miriam Meijer finds herself caught up in a web of intrigue and danger. Her mysterious lover, Charles Delmand, and the French Resistance provide her with a new name and a new job, working for General Rene Carmille at the National Statistical Service in Lyon. As a Dutch Jew, Miriam must hide her heritage from the invading Nazis, while helping to sabotage their plans to use the census to round up Jews for deportation or worse. But the Gestapo has eyes everywhere and there’s no such thing as safety in occupied France. Miriam must do her best both to aid the Resistance and the Jews and make it through the war alive.
A Quiet Hero, by West Virginia author Dwight Harshbarger, is a novel based on the real-life exploits of General Rene Carmille, a member of the French Resistance in WWII. Well-written and researched, the novel tells Carmille’s story through the eyes of fictional characters. It takes a realistic look at life under German rule, and the horrors of the Nazi regime. Harshbarger does not shy away when it comes to the brutality and violence of World War II, but he shows us a side of it that’s rarely seen in novels: the paperwork. It’s a surprisingly interesting subject and Harshbarger handles it nicely. His writing is gritty, realistic and emotional, and it pulls you into occupied France. If you are fascinated by World War II, A Quiet Hero is a must-read.