How Angels Die by David-Michael Harding

In the past 2 years or so, I’ve been quite taken with reading historical fiction. Strangely they all were about war-time Spain, especially the Civil war. How Angels Die by David-Michael Harding is a historical novel that plays off in 1944 during wartime France. It is my first time reading a Harding novel and first time reading about France during war time…

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How Angels Die is a riveting and passionate tale that didn’t disappoint. The story is about two brave sisters, Claire and Monique McCleash, working with the French Resistance movement against the Nazi’s, both in their own and different way. Claire is a Resistance fighter who partakes in raids against the Gestapo, while Monique uses her body and sleeps with Nazi’s officers, seducing information out of them to inform the movement. The latter creates a divide in the McCleash family with the father Sean believing his daughter is nothing but a prostitute and would rather have her follow Claire’s example. The mother, Estelle is siding with her daughter Monique, being of the opinion that they are all helping in their own way.

The novel paints a visual picture of France during war time: horrific descriptions of the attacks, raids and rape. The way the author describes the characters and events in this book, it was inevitable that I would find myself somehow being emotionally bound to the characters while reading this novel. I understood Claire’s anger towards the Germans, Monique’s dealing with the rejection of her father and quest for love and Paul’s heartbreaking need for death to come sooner after the “death” of his fiancé, to name but a few. I felt sad when Paul died before finding out the truth about Valerie, yet glad when Sophie did. I cried tears of joy AND sadness. Sadness because of the death of one of the main characters and joy because in the end you learn, yet again, that sometimes we do get a second chance for redemption. In some way or another…

I would definitely recommend this book, whether you like historical fiction or not. The book was sent to me for review, and I really enjoyed reading it.

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