Lana’s War by Anita Abriel

Set in WWII Paris, Lana Antanova witnesses her husband’s execution by the Gestapo for hiding Jews at St. Catherine – the convent where he is teaching. The trauma led her to miscarry their unborn child, but what follows this horrifying opening is an entertaining tale set predominantly in the French Riviera, filled with suspense and romance in this memorable historical fiction.

Lana’s War follows Abriel’s debut true story novel, The Light After The War – which tells the tale of two friends escaping Auschwitz and based on her mother’s survival of the war. Abriel’s new book sees a young widow and the daughter of a Russian Countess recover after months of bedridden heartache to take up an unlikely offer to help the French Resistance. Despite her fears of judgement for being in a relationship so soon after her husband’s death, Lana courageously goes undercover as a mistress of a wealthy Swiss industrialist named Guy Pascal. She will spend the next few months as a spy, infiltrating circles of local elites to find out about upcoming raids. She uses this information to help save as many from the Jewish community from imprisonment but to also honour her husband Frederic’s memory.

The covert resistance plot delivers a fast-paced read that immerses you into the opulent world of the wealthy in the south of France. Lush and decadent locations and landscapes provide a serene backdrop to the agents’ dangerous missions. Among the elites are Nazis eager to expose resistance fighters and Alois Brunner, an Austrian Schutzstaffel officer responsible for Fredric’s death. Lana finds herself caring for an orphaned Jewish child and another journey unfolds with a cross-continent adventure as she continues her husband’s work and goes on to follow her own dreams. Lana’s War is well researched and filled with colourful characters and poignant writing that captures the courageous spirit of its protagonist and provides an insight into the WWII resistance efforts.

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