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Resistance Women

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  5,946 ratings  ·  1,008 reviews
From the New York Times bestselling author of Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, an enthralling historical saga that recreates the danger, romance, and sacrifice of an era and brings to life one courageous, passionate American--Mildred Fish Harnack--and her circle of women friends who waged a clandestine battle against Hitler in Nazi Berlin.

After Wisconsin graduate student Mildred
Paperback, 640 pages
Published February 4th 2020 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published May 28th 2019)
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Kelley Baron The club member that stopped reading because she thought the author was a Democrat is what is referred to as willful ignorance.

I have been reading…more
The club member that stopped reading because she thought the author was a Democrat is what is referred to as willful ignorance.

I have been reading books about the holocaust for 20 years. The similarities between Trump’s campaign and reign vs Hitler’s are huge. The mob mentality of the people in both time periods is the most terrifying. It has nothing to do with this author. It is the truth of both times (less)
Betsy Brown I just noticed this same area this weekend. I did have to back up and reread two or three times before I just decided to move past it. Halfway through…moreI just noticed this same area this weekend. I did have to back up and reread two or three times before I just decided to move past it. Halfway through the book and realize there are a couple of more places. It is sad that someone did not notice, but this book is keeping me more than engaged. History does seem to repeat itself.(less)
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Apr 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my first experience with Chiaverini and I am impressed. From 1929 through 1946, three women look on in horror as the Nazi Party rises and comes into power. Mildred Harnack is an American intellectual married to a German and Greta Kuckhoff is a hopeful German writer formerly enrolled at the University of Wisconsin where she met the Harnacks. Their stories are factual and both are members of the Red Orchestra, a resistance cell operating in Berlin. Sara Weitz is a Jewish-German literature ...more
Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
I finally read a book by Jennifer Chiaverini! I’ve meant to for ages now, and I’m thrilled to say my first book from her was epic!

Mildred Fish is a graduate student from Wisconsin. She marries a German economist, Arvid Harnack, and moves with him to Germany. Berlin in the 1930s is swimming with intellectuals, and the newlyweds are enjoying their work and social lives.

At the same time, we all know Hitler and his Nazi party are rising in power. Mildred and Arvid decide to resist. Mildred
Sep 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
Jennifer Chiaverini's latest historical novel delves into the lives of four women- three historical and one fictional that along with their husbands and family members took a stand against Adolf Hitler and the Nazi government. A well researched, well-detailed narrative, Resistance Women takes readers from 1930's Germany all the way through the war and into 1946.

Wisconsin graduate student Mildred Fish, daughter of an American ambassor Martha Dodd, literature student Greta Kuckoff, and Jewish
Kimberley Burg
Jan 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just started this book and feel an eerie similarity to our current situation in the United States as the unthinkable builds in 1930's Germany. Well written if not fast paced. The slow pace of the book provides a sense of the unthinkable unfolding and reminds the reader of how glacial change can be destructive, perhaps more so than a catastrophic sudden shift. A lengthy book reflective of the topic and the period.
"The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”
--- Edmund Burke

”Some fires burned themselves out only after consuming everything within reach of the flames.”

Beginning in June of 1929, this story shares the stories of several women living in Germany during the rise of the Nazi Party, and the stories of those whose lives connected with theirs. Two of these women, Mildred Harnack and Greta Kuckhoff, were based on their real lives, living and operating as
Apr 21, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This ambitious World War II novel is vast in its historical record and scope, taking us from the beginning of Hitler's rise to power through the end of the war, focusing in detail on the sociological and historical aspects of the rise of Nazism and Hitler, and the attempts by a few brave souls to withstand and resist and finally to just survive the onslaught of the horrors the characters face that grow larger and more incomprehensible every year.

The author's grasp of the period is amazing, and
Resistance Women takes you to a whole brilliant journey and it follows the WWI from the beginning of Hitler's rise, and the story is elaborated very intriguing with mixed emotions, a huge applause for Chiaverini for writing such a wonderful story! She really is a powerful Author to share an amazing story with all of us, and we're so happy to have her book in our May choice for our Monthly Picks so make sure to grab a copy!
The reality of the time is so accurate and it is very professional in
Although this book is shown as a work of fiction, it is also noted that the events portrayed in this book are based on historical facts.

Jennifer Chiaverini does it again, that being that she has written an extraordinary story in "Resistance Women". She never disappoints.

Told in varying viewpoints, the story revolves around American Mildred Fish Harnack, and the friends who support her - and each other - through an extremely harrowing time in history when nothing, and no one, is safe, especially
Maureen Timerman
Apr 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
Going into this book I thought I knew what to expect, but not in this detail, and not when I felt that I needed to get out of there and leave. When I think about those that stay and then what happened, I thought about staying in my own home, it’s mine why should I leave, and that mentality could get them killed.
Through the author we get to walk on the streets of Berlin during this horrific time, and we put faces to those who can see what is happening and do what they can to help thwart this
I'll be honest: I almost put this one off indefinitely after realizing I had about 5-6 World War II historical fiction novels sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read. I'm not sure why every author seems to have released one this year, but my shelf is FULL of them. It was hard to decide which one to read first, and reading too many of them close together would just confuse them in my head. I don't remember how I ended up choosing this one to come first, but I'm glad I was able to fit it in.

Another historical fiction novel about WWII. I’m sorry, but this was a struggle from about 20% in until the end. The author seemed to lose touch with her characters and only slightly used them to give a TON of facts about the war in Berlin. So glad I finished but really wish I had never bothered to read it.
One additional note. I did marvel over the similarities in what Hitler said/did in his rise to power and what Trump says and does. It’s frightening, almost as if they were following the same
Amy Bullis
Apr 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: advanced-copies
One of the best books I’ve read; I could not put it down for the first 400 pages. My reading pace slowed as I neared the end because I’d fallen in love with the characters, and I didn’t want their stories to end as I knew they would. This excellent work needs to be on everyone’s “to read” list.
Karen Macedo
May 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book in a goodreads giveaway. Thank you to William Morrow. The story is about the brave women in the resistance during the second world war. Some of the characters are the actual women who tried to fight the injustice being done to the oppressed during the war. Really well written and well researched. One of the best books I've read about the second world war.
I just finished reading this captivating and engrossing read by the one and only Jennifer Chiaverini and I am enthralled! I loved this book and read it slowly over the last few days enjoying Chiaverini’s writing and her attention to detail of 1930’s Berlin, the development of these amazing characters you will love, and building the political tension of the Nazi regime.

Newlywed and recent Wisconsin graduate Mildred Fish marries Arvid Harnack a German economist and lives with him in Berlin. The
The Lit Bitch
3.5 stars

This book showed up on my desk for review a few months ago and I was absolutely in love with the cover!

It reminded me of spring and it was elegant and had a lot of visual interest. The summary also sounded like something I would love, as I especially love war time stories.

Chiaverini has written a variety of different books, with her most widely known book being Mrs Lincoln’s Dressmaker as well as a women’s fiction quilting series called, Elm Creek Quilts.

This book seemed completely out
Jul 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This historical fiction is heavy on the history, which is exactly as I like it. The history evolved around the many difficult situations for the Germans and emigrants inside Berlin and Germany during Ww2 who did not like the direction the country was taking under Hitler and his Nazi cohorts. Their dissension led to resistance groups and therein lies the plot of the thrilling story. There was so much to learn and plenty of inspiration to investigate further. Fact is often more intriguing than ...more
Laura • lauralovestoread
May 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, arcs
Resistance Women is about the true badass woman named Mildred Fish Harnack and her circle of women friends who waged a clandestine battle against Hitler in Nazi Berlin.

My first book by Jennifer Chiaverini and I’m hooked! I love historical fiction and I was blown away by the true story of the brave women- A professor, an aspiring author, and a student- who helped commit espionage against Hitler during WWII.

While this book is a chunker, I loved the true historic events taking place, and fell in
Christina DeVane
This was a long book and took awhile to get through! Amazing history and heart gripping events! The author bases all her main characters on real people (except one who is a combination of people) which makes for excellent authenticity. Because this is so historically accurate the story gets choppy in places. The middle gets a little slow, but the last 100 pages are worth the whole book. There’s a brief affair at the beginning that I assume is historically accurate.
This story begins in 1929 and
Thanks to Goodreads and Wm. Morrow for this ARC.

I struggled with this book until I dropped it at page 59.

I usually enjoy WWII/historical books but this one was just too heavy for me (literally and figuratively since it was 586 pages). I've read so many historical books about WWII that I felt this book was not for me.

This is my first book by this author and I've heard of her other books which are a lighter read and she's sure gone in the opposite direction and I commend her for trying something
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book seemed to take a long time to read which is natural I guess when it takes you slowly thru 20 years of time leading up to and into World War II. The story of the 4 women and their families tell an inside of Germany tale of the tedious pre-planned buildup with Hitler against the Jews and other non-aryan groups that leads the expansion into border countries and eventually out right war. Another book that reminds us we must never forget...
Carol (Reading Ladies)
Mildred Fish, an American College graduate, meets the love of her life, Arvid Harnack. After they fall in love, they marry and make their home in Arvid’s homeland of Germany. Mildred and Arvid thrive there, forming new friendships, and enjoying the intellectual and artistic offerings of 1930s Berlin. As Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party become more popular and powerful, Mildred and Arvid and their friends are compelled to resist. For years, Mildred and Arvid and their cohorts risk their lives to ...more
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Meet the women:
• Mildred, an American, is married to Arvid Harnack, a German. She is teaching in Berlin, working on her Doctorate, vowing to stay in Germany with her husband.
• Greta Kuckoff, recently returned to Berlin from Wisconsin. She is a writer, with not many options. Her lover is Adam, who is married, but insists he will soon be free.
• Sara Weitz is a Jew and a student of Mildred's. Her parents have been able to flee to Switzerland, while Sara remains in Germany with her brother Natan.


Resistance Women is a great novel for readers who are curious as to how Adolf Hitler came to power and why the German people allowed such nightmares to occur in their own country.

After an attention-getting prologue from 1942, the novel opens in June of 1929 and chronicles events taking place in Germany up until the end of the war in 1946. Based on the members of the Red Orchestra, a resistance group based in Berlin, the story slowly reveals Hitler’s climb to power and the involvement of three
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent historical read by Jennifer Chiaverini! First book by this author & I was totally captivated. What a wonderful story about four amazing women who helped resist the rise of Hitler pre WWII and during the war. Another great read about WWII!
Dec 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Resistance Women
by Jennifer Chiaverini

“Hitler lied with impunity, …. when his fanatical admirers disregarded all evidence that contradicted him? [Mildred] wondered sometimes if the Fuhrer believed his own lies, but she suspected the answer was much simpler, that he was ruthlessly calculating——“ (Page 280)

The story involves 4 women who are part of a cell trying to hasten the end of Hitler’s reign by passing information to the Allies and helping victims of Hitler’s Horror. The 4 women, Mildred
Feb 12, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I know it covers a long stretch of time but there was really no need for it to be as long as it was. Pretty monotonous in tone, sometimes it felt like I was reading a rather boring history book instead of historical fiction. Most of the characters were fascinating and the circumstances were enough to keep me around though!
Laura Johnson
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This book was very good. I'm just getting into historical fiction and it took me awhile to read and it didn't hook me from the beginning, but it had a lot of information and a lot of story to absorb. Towards the end it was definitely a page turner to find out what happens.

***Received from a Goodreads Giveaway****
Katie/Doing Dewey
Summary: Wonderful, moving, detailed story of female friendship and epic bravery.

This is the story of four women who resisted the Nazi regime, some from the very beginning to the bitter end. Martha Dodd is the most well known of the four, as the American ambassador's daughter featured in In the Garden of the Beasts. She plays the most minor role here. Two other women, German Greta and American Mildred, were real members of the German resistance. Jewish German Sara is a fictional character based
Kelly Long
3.5 stars rounded up to 4. I did enjoy this book but it moved too slowly in several parts.
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
My last three books were about the horrors of WWII - first in Shanghai and then in Singapore and now in Berlin. All three books have been excellent but I think my next book is going to be light and fluffy to counteract all the terrible things that happened in the three WWII books.

Resistance Women is well written and extremely well researched. Two of the three main women characters are based on actual women who worked in the resistance during the war - Greta and Mildred. Several of the minor
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Jennifer Chiaverini is the New York Times bestselling author of several acclaimed historical novels and the beloved Elm Creek Quilts series, as well as six collections of quilt patterns inspired by her books. A graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Chicago, she lives with her husband and two sons in Madison, Wisconsin. About her historical fiction, the Milwaukee Journal ...more
“Perhaps Germany will serve as a warning,” said Arvid. “May they learn from us to snuff out fascism in America when the first sparks arise and not delay until democracy goes up in flames all around them.” “This could never happen in America. A nation that elected Franklin Delano Roosevelt would never elect a madman populist.” 9 likes
“Intolerable wrongs we accept now as a matter of course would have provoked marches in the streets and calls for new elections only a few years ago.” 1 likes
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