I am delighted to be sharing an ‘Off the Bookshelf’ review of the Audiobook of; In Darkness, Look For Stars by Clara Benson.

In Darkness, Look for Stars by Clara Benson.

Narrated by Daphne Kouma

Genre: WW2, Historical Fiction

Paris, 1941: Going against her mother’s orders, spirited Maggie devotes herself to the Resistance. Her life is a whirlwind of forged passports and secret midnight runs, helping Jews escape. Much to her high-society mother’s disapproval, she has fallen in love with Emil, a Jewish Resistance fighter who is wanted by the Nazis.

The city is growing more dangerous by the day, with signs proclaiming “No Jews” posted everywhere in the mazelike streets and people dragged away in handcuffs. The forbidden lovers are forced to say goodbye – Emil going underground to escape capture.

Meanwhile, Maggie’s sister, Cecilia, is hundreds of miles away, where the realities of war are yet to hit the serenity of the South of France. Innocent and shy Cecilia is shocked to the core when Emil turns up, seeking refuge. Her sheltered life turned upside down, Cecilia is thrown into the world of the Resistance, all the while sending coded letters to her sister, who every day awaits news of her fiancé.

But with the Nazis closing in on them, their lives soon hang in the balance. Both sisters must decide where their loyalties lie – and how far they are willing to go to save themselves and one another.

An evocative, riveting, and stirring tale about the tragic realities of war, the fine line between loyalty and lies, and the power of love, even in the darkest of times. Fans of The Nightingale, The Letter, and All the Light We Cannot See will be spellbound by this magnificent historical novel.

Review

Stunning, heartbreaking, emotional, haunting and utterly mesmerising!

Well, I am at a loss for words, literally lost for words and in tears This is astonishing,

I have read some tragically emotional books over the years, but this really packs a punch. The heartbreak, the emotional angst and the tension which wraps around your very heart take your breath away, it’s simply stunning! I honestly can’t say enough good things about this, This is one of that books where you can’t breathe encase you miss a moment, it’s powerful and evocative and utterly heartbreaking.

By the end I was crying, my heart was breaking with loss once all was revealed. There is one particular scene with Maggie at the end which will stay with me for a long time, the raw emotion she felt in that scene when she realised just how she had been betrayed was incredible heart-wrenching I felt every sorrow with her, every disappointment, all her sadness and loneliness it was all consuming and I will never forget it, even now as I write this and think back I can feel tears.

This was my first book by Clara Benson – I have since added her other works to my toppling tbr list, what an extraordinarily talented author, the writing is immersive and compelling, and I was hooked from the first few words. I loved the time slip aspect, it’s easy to follow as the chapters are labelled so you know where you are. I was enthralled by the story, and the way the story slips forward at crucial moments, just when you think you know where the story in past is going the chapter ends on a cliff hanger and it whisks you forward to see the repercussions of the act, it’s compelling and keeps you on your toes wondering what will happen, especially what will happen to Maggie, Cecily and Emil – my goodness I was a mess when we found the truth, I’m feeling tearful again now!

I have to mention the brilliant narrator; Daphne Kouma, what a huge talented narrator she is. I was pulled into the story from the very first words, she does the most amazing job at really capturing every emotion in every scene. Each of the characters was beautifully and perfectly played and I instantly knew who was talking to whom without being reminded, Daphne breathes life into the characters with her expressive and gentle voice, I was completely enthralled and whisked away. Her narrated hooked me so much and I look forward to listening to more books she narrates.

Whether you read it in the traditional sense or listen to the audiobook this one must be consumed page to page by everyone, In Darkness, Look For Stars will stay with me for a very long time and I implore everyone to read it!

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