Defy the Night: A Novel, by Heather Munn and Lydia Munn
In the midst of war, one teenager is determined to make a difference.
If no one will do anything, she'll have to do it herself.
In 1941 France is still "free." But fifteen-year-old Magali is frustrated by the cruel irony of pretending life is normal when food is rationed, new clothes are a rarity, and most of her friends are refugees. And now the government is actually helping the Nazis. Someone has got to do something, but it seems like no one has the guts--until Paquerette arrives.
Smuggling refugee children is Paquerette's job. And she asks Magali to help.
Working with Paquerette is scary and exhausting, but Magali never doubts that it is the right thing to do. Until her brash actions put those she loves in danger.
About the Authors:
Heather Munn was born in Northern Ireland of American parents and grew up in the south of France. She decided to be a writer at the age of five when her mother read Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books aloud, but worried that she couldn’t write about her childhood since she didn’t remember it. When she was young, her favorite time of day was after supper when the family would gather and her father would read a chapter from a novel. Heather went to French school until her teens, and grew up hearing the story of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, only an hour’s drive away. She now lives in rural Illinois with her husband, Paul, where they offer free spiritual retreats to people coming out of homelessness and addiction. She enjoys wandering in the woods, gardening, writing, and splitting wood.
Lydia Munn was homeschooled for five years because there was no school where her family served as missionaries in the savannahs of northern Brazil. There was no public library either, but Lydia read every book she could get her hands on. This led naturally to her choice of an English major at Wheaton College. Her original plan to teach high school English gradually transitioned into a lifelong love of teaching the Bible to both adults and young people as a missionary in France. She and her husband, Jim, have two children: their son, Robin, and their daughter, Heather.
A coming of age story set in France, early 1941.
There were so many things I loved about this story. I'm not a history buff by any stretch of the term, but there are a few historical periods I can't learn enough about. World War 2 is one of those times. Magali is a young fifteen year old French girl who wants to fight back against the Nazis and Germans and scorns anyone whom she deems weak. Like her mother, her friend, and another young girl she doesn't know very well and doesn't care to.
She's a strong lead with a stubborn heart and I loved her spirit. Not her pride, but her tenacity, grit, and determination to help others. Yes, she liked herself more than she should have, didn't quite see her own faults as clearly as she saw fault in others, yet I still loved her and could only hope that if a day ever comes in which I have to choose to help others or turn a blind eye to what's going on, I help without hesitation like she did.
I don't think the authors could have written more true to life characters than Magali, Paquerette, Rosa, and Nina. This was a strong book that always went forward in plot, tone, and setting. I didn't tire of reading it at all. What reading time I have is precious, but I will be reading this one again and will recommend it to my reading friends.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions. I was not required they be positive.
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