1938, Salzburg. A powerful story of hope, forbidden love, and incredible courage, about three sisters who will risk everything—even their own lives—as part of the resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Austria.
Johanna, Birgit and Lotte Eder have always lived quiet lives, working in their father’s clockmaking shop and helping their mother in the house. But like many other Austrians, they find it impossible to ignore the changes in the world around them.
At first Johanna finds it hard to believe the Nazis pose a real threat. But then her father hires Franz to help in his shop. He’s kind and soulful, with dark eyes that twinkle with intelligence. But he’s Jewish, and as Johanna falls for him, she realizes that loving him puts them all in danger.
Then comes the Anschluss—the reunification of Austria and Germany under Nazi rule. The three sisters’ lives have become ever more separate with Lotte joining the convent at Nonnberg Abbey and Birgit’s secret involvement with the Resistance. But as Johanna realizes how mistaken she was about the level of danger, she begins to see that it may be down to her to protect the man she loves.
She knows that she can’t do it alone though. She will have to turn to the people she trusts the most: her sisters.
The three of them work together to try to get Franz to the safety of Switzerland, and they soon prove invaluable to the Resistance. But they’re risking everything. Can three women who would die for each other, also be prepared to die for what is right?
The sisters’ subsequent journey from Nazi-occupied Salzburg to the devastating concentration camps of Ravensbruck and Mauthausen will show the strength of human spirit like never before. As, out of the darkness, a tiny seed of hope flowers…
A totally heartbreaking and impossibly powerful story about love, tragedy, and the power of humanity. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, The Lilac Girls and The Sound of Music.
The Edelweiss Sister’s follows the story of three woman in Australia. As the title suggests, Lotte, Birget and Johanna Eder are sisters, who share a somewhat content life with their father Manfred who is also a clockmaker, and their mother Hedwig.
Each of the sisters have their own dreams they long to achieve. Johanna helps her mother out with the housework, but she longs for the opportunity to embark on a typing course that will allow her some independence. Birgit sees herself as being rather lain looking, and often feels invisible as she doesn’t feel she stands out in any way, so she busies herself working alongside her father in his workshop. Lotte, the youngest and some would argue the prettiest of the three siblings, realises that her true calling in life is to become a nun.
As the sisters try to achieve their dreams in life, it is far from straightforward. Brigit finds herself tangled up in the resistance movement and Johanna falls head over heels in love with her fathers apprentice Franz, who is a Jew. Following the Anschulls, they find themselves putting their lives at risk in order to save Franz who has become dear to them, but this obviously has some rather dire consequences as they are then taken to the concentration camps where they suffer some truly inhumane treatment, something nightmares of made of.
I have read all of Kate Hewitts books to date, and they never fail to capture my heart with her refreshing way with words, and the Edelweiss Sisters is another beautiful, emotionally driven story by this fantastic author. The story is poignant and emphasises the resilience and strength that human kind possesses. The characters are all wonderfully developed and have strong personalities and dreams they long to achieve in life. The bond between the Eder family is truly moving, and encompasses the importance of having compassion and love for one another.
Another brilliantly written, emotional read from the incredible Kate Hewitt.
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About the Author
Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives.
*Thank you to Sarah Hardy at Bookouture and Kate Hewitt for providing me with a gifted copy of this book in return for my honest review. All thoughts are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*