An unforgettable story of resilience and resistance set during WWII and present-day France on a secluded island off the coast of Brittany.
Juliet Blackwell is the New York Times bestselling author of several novels based in France, including The Vineyards of Champagne, The Lost Carousel of Provence, Letters from Paris and The Paris Key. She also writes the Witchcraft Mystery series and the Haunted Home Renovation series. As Hailey Lind, Blackwell wrote the Agatha-nominated Art Lover’s Mystery series. A former anthropologist, social worker, and professional artist, Juliet is a California native who has spent time in Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Italy, the Philippines, and France.
The Grateful Reader Review by Dorothy Schwab
A ferry crossing the choppy Atlantic from France’s Wild Coast of Brittany, Côte Sauvage, shuttles tourists onto the docks along the rocky shore of the island known as Île de Feme. Juliet Blackwell artfully guides readers from the dock on the present-day island filled with touristy souvenir shops and pubs with Wi-Fi to the seaweed covered steps of the lighthouse guarded by Nazi soldiers in July 1940.
Only a few steps from the dock sits the ancient three-story stone house Natalie Morgen is supposed to be renovating into a quaint guesthouse & restaurant with her famous boyfriend-chef, Francois-Xavier. The “pie in the sky” plans of Natalie, best-selling memoir author and social media sensation, have gone awry. The sudden & mysterious arrival of older sister, Alex, not seen for 10 years, adds to her financial stress and lack of writing “oomph.” The sisters, raised in a survivalist compound in California, have certainly survived but with their own set of emotional and physical issues to face. Juliet Blackwell expertly weaves current issues facing Nat, Alex and women today with the women on the Île de Feme in 1940. Based on Général de Gaul’s exhortation, all the men of fighting age sailed to England to join the Free French Forces fighting the Nazi invasion of France, while 300 Germans occupied the island. Violette, a young islander, introduces readers to the legend of the Gallizenae, the herbs and cures of the village healer, the German invasion of the island and how the women survived. Juliet Blackwell’s Off the Wild Coast of Brittany, presented in dual timeline with three narrators, examines the themes of allegiance to one’s country and family values, life altering physical conditions, isolation, independence and self-worth. An “island” view of World War II.