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A Good Place to Hide: How One French Village Saved Thousands of Lives During World War II

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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  550 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Nobody asked questions, nobody demanded money. Villagers lied, covered up, procrastinated and concealed, but most importantly they welcomed. This is the story of an isolated community in the upper reaches of the Loire Valley that conspired to save the lives of 3,500 Jews under the noses of the Germans and the soldiers of Vichy France. It is the story of a pacifist ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published April 15th 2015 by Pegasus Books (first published June 1st 2014)
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Susan
Jul 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a book about ordinary people, in extraordinary times. The villages of the Plateau were an isolated community of scattered, small communities, in the Auvergne region of France. Due to a variety of reasons, they were perfectly placed to act as a shelter to those fleeing the Nazi’s and, at this point, I am not even referring to the personal bravery of the inhabitants and the fact that some prominent people, including a former mayor and local pastor, had links with organisations, such as the ...more
Anne Hamilton
Jun 30, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australia-nz
I first came across the story of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon towards the end of Unspeakable: Facing Up to Evil in an Age of Genocide and Terror by Os Guinness. After discussing the enigma of a good God in a world of appalling evil, Guinness turns the tables and relates the story of Jewish historian Philip Hallie.

An acclaimed author and respected scholar, Hallie was an expert on the Holocaust. After years of study, he discovered to his horror that you become what you read. One traumatic night, he left
...more
Dale Harcombe
This books tells the story of an isolated community in France that worked together to save the lives of many Jews during World War 2. It tells of a Protestant pacifist pastor who was prepared to put himself in danger and his life on the line to save others. This story of The Plateau shows both the horror and bravery of war. Much of the book is interspersed with fragments of letters and interviews from survivors and family of those who were involved.
It tells the story of heartbreak for some
...more
Lyn Elliott
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, history, 2016-best, france
Former journalist and publisher, Peter Jose’s book,A Good Place to Hide: How One French Village Saved Thousands of Lives During World War II is a well told story of how one small community in the Auvergne region of France saved thousands of Jewish lives during World War II.

The centre of this activity was Le Chambon sur-Lignon, situated on a isolated high plateau which had no strategic significance, was difficult to get to and where the community was mostly Huguenot (Protestant).

The community’s
...more
victor harris
Jun 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: world-war-two
Another of those extraordinary World War II stories that continue to surface. The setting was south-central France in the village of Le Chambon. In defiance of Nazi and the collaborationist Vichy government, the Protestants and Catholics in the village provided a safe haven for Jews and others persecuted by the right-wing regimes. The project was coordinated by pacifist minister Andre' Trocme' and his assistants and it is estimated that perhaps as many as 3,000 lives were saved; although that ...more
Mick Gillies
May 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such an amazing read relating to an area of France during World War 2 that I never even realised played such an important and perilous role. The narrative is about the people of the Loire Valley and how they helped so many “refugees” without any question of payment or why the people were on the run. All that mattered was that they needed help – nothing more, nothing less.
Risks were taken on a daily basis and to be discovered would mean death to both refugee and saviour.

The initial entry into
...more
Ruth
Oct 12, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked the tone of the book. Kind of chatty, if you can say that about such a serious topic. Grose put together some things that I didn't see. (I saw the trees but not the forest.) Like the fact that WWII was really an extension of WWI. Compared to the many horror stories I have read about this subject, this was tame. Not a bad thing, of course. I feel myself waffling about the book. I liked it, but it didn't really engage me.
Kate
Oct 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The incredible story of the Plateau in the Loire Valley region of France where several villages sheltered, guarded, and guided Jews, French Resistance fighters, and young men avoiding conscription into Germany’s factories in WWII. The book is at its best describing individuals - the pastors whose pacifism and historical understanding of oppression led them to inspire their parishioners to save so many, the refugee with a talent for forgery, the famous spy with a wooden leg, etc. It falters a bit ...more
Lisa
A former journalist, literary agent and publisher, Peter Grose is an Aussie expat living in France, who writes histories of WW2. I have read and reviewed both his previous books which focussed on the stories behind the occasions when Australia came under attack on home soil: An Awkward Truth: The Bombing of Darwin and A Very Rude Awakening: The night the Japanese midget subs came to Sydney Harbour. This new history, A Good Place to Hide is a departure for Grose because it focuses on events in ...more
Flewts
Apr 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is not "popular reading." While the author's prose is very readable, this is a book that would appeal more to historians than to the casual reader. It focuses on a small area of France, and the actions of the locals during World War II as they acted to hide people at risk. Some of these were, of course, Jews, but also at risk were young men in danger of being conscripted into serving in German factories. The actions of the Vichy government with its oppressive anti-Jewish actions--at times ...more
Dorothea Miller
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book tells a tale of bravery that's little known to Americans. If you love stories of people like Corrie Ten Boom and Schindler, this story tells about a whole region of France that stared down the Nazis and won!
Grace Worlie
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I recently read A Good Place to Hide by Peter Grose. It’s about this French town called Le Chambon-sur-Lignon who saves over 3,500 Jews during WWII. What I liked about this book was the bravery of the people. No one questioned helping the Jews and they also hid resistance and soldiers running from the German Army. The pastors were the people who got this movement going; they started preaching against what the Nazis were doing. In my opinion, that is very brave because you could get killed for ...more
Kimberley
Thank you Allen & Unwin for a free copy of this book via Goodreads. It's important to note that the following review is written having read the Uncorrected Proof.

A Good Place To Hide told the story of a French community which saved thousands of lives during the horrors of World War II. It was beautifully told, combining the touching stories of individuals with the cold facts of Vichy France.

Although perhaps beginning a bit slowly, it soon picks up and the reader is transported into the
...more
Angela Smith
Not exactly a page turner, but very few factual books are. It lays the foundations for the main players of this real life story and it's a slow process at times. A village in occupied France is a haven for Jews and other political etc. refugees trying to escape from the Nazis, some of the officials and even the Germans closed their eyes to what was going on under their noses. Through some very resourceful individuals whose courage and various skills saved thousands of Jews from deportation.

It
...more
Trav
Jun 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway.
I truly do not know where to begin with this incredible book. I was blown away by A Good Place to Hide, the tale of a French community who saved thousands people during World War 2. The content was astounding, inspirational and quite often heart breaking; this book exposes the incredible acts of both horror and bravery in such a desperate time in our history. Grose weaves the story of “the Plateau” and its people, featuring interviews with some of
...more
Jenny
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book through Goodreads first reads. This book was a great read. With our manners and etiquette slowly diminishing from generation to generation, this narrative reminds us of and accentuates the true courage and strength found in ordinary people. This book is heart-warming and easy to pick up. It is quite realistic and reminds us of the horrors and mistakes of the past that must not be repeated. This book reminds me of Schindler's List. If you liked the ideas in Anne Frank or even ...more
Helen Mason
Jun 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. The people were amazing at the lengths they would go to just to survive. The generosity of people at the time and how there was no discrimination. A community (no matter what their occupation was) that was prepared to go to all sorts of lengths to hide and help people out. Small criticism would be, that I would of liked a map of the area to know where places were.
Laura Florand
An amazing story, well researched and told. Each person involved would be, by him or herself, a fascinating story. (Virginia Hall, a minor character in this book, is, all by herself, riveting.) Highly recommend.
gemsbooknook  Geramie Kate Barker
Won this Through Goodread First Read.
A beautiful story that was beautifully written. Showing the best of everyday people in the worst of situations. Will recommend to all.
Marianne
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well-written, very readable account.
Anthony Bracciante
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book tells the story of the role that the people and small villages of the plateau of the Haute-Loire region in France, centered around Le-Chambon-sur-Lignon, served as a sanctuary during World War II and their efforts in saving the lives of thousands. The story encompasses the pacifist Huguenot ministers who set the tone for their communities; the work of overseas relief agencies; the arrival of refugees; the work of forgers and escape routes; the rise of the resistance; and the eventual ...more
Joanne Clarke
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing story - Real people operating in the shadows of German occupation

This was an astounding story of bravery and ingenuity in a remote area of France during WWII. These people saw a way to help and save some of the children of Jews and others who had been arrested and sent to camps. Their methods were simple, but oh so effective. This was WWII history that was totally new to me. I had never heard of Virginia Hall or the Trocmes. And the roles played by Protestant pastors and their
...more
Danielle
Feb 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Overall this was an okay book. There were some parts that were very interesting, but other parts not so much. There were some parts that did not keep me interested/hooked which caused me not to want to pick up the book and read. Some parts were confusing as well as keeping track of all the people. I enjoy reading factual books about certain events, people, and things but for some reason this book was hard for me to keep on track to read. Again, this book was overall a interesting book to read!!
Mads
Feb 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting insight into a community whose actions may have otherwise been forgotten into the 21st century. A good read with accurate detail and personable story-telling from an exemplary author overtly familiar with Le Chambon, the Plateau and WWII refuge. Felt a little disjointed in parts and some interesting stories felt like they cut short. Nonetheless, this didn't take away from the book's 'readability'.
Michelle Wright-parkin
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very different look at the French resistance. It focuses on the village while talking about the wider Plateau involvement. The people that did such a courageous and caring thing are written about without extra colour. The final paragraph of the concluding chapter strikes at the heart of our international obligations and how we as a society have dealt with our fellow human beings in recent years. A must read for anyone interested in the French resistance or World War 2.
Elizabeth
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a fascinating story of the courage of one community during WWII in France. It was an interesting history that I knew nothing about and I loved how many specific parts of the story Grose told with direct quotes from memoirs or interviews with people who were directly involved in saving lives. I flew through this one because I loved the story and needed to know what happened to everyone and how this courageous community fared throughout the war.
Clare Kelly
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The challenges of WW11

This book gave a good insight to the challenges of so many people during WW11. Great to read about the support given to people/ Jews fleeing the German occupation of France. It also offered a challenge to our handling of present day refugees. A very good read.
Susan
Interesting and informative

Well written and nicely organized; giving an insider's view of what the people of France experienced during WWII. Specifically the people of the plateau, and the many refugees who came their way.
Tamhack
Sep 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
We had been reading several books about the WWII and the atrocities, this book was a welcome relief because despite the atrocities it focused on how ordinary people displayed noble characters and helped there fellow men. Pulled together and showed compassion.

Amazon summary:
"The untold story of an isolated French community that banded together to offer sanctuary and shelter to over 3,500 Jews in the throes of World War II

Nobody asked questions, nobody demanded money. Villagers lied, covered up,
...more
Judy
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Engrossing

Excellent non-fiction work of WWII France. A little known place with extraordinary inhabitants and their role in offering a safe haven for refugees. Well documented, absorbing.
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Started work as a journalist on the Sydney Daily Mirror, then moved to London as correspondent for The Australian. Returned to Sydney to set up the Australian office of Curtis Brown, the literary agency, then moved back to London to work for Curtis Brown there. Switched to publishing, as publishing director for Martin Secker & Warburg in London. Worked briefly and none too successfully as an ...more