It is no secret that my favourite fashion house is Dior, so when I heard that Brisbane author, Christine Wells, had written a novel based on the life of Catherine Dior, I couldn’t wait to read it. On Bastille Day I ventured out with my writing friend, Kelly, to the launch of Sister’s of the Resistance at the Brisbane Square Library. Christine told us about her inspiration, writing process and shared much of her research about Catherine Dior, the Paris spy network and of course those brilliant and groundbreaking Dior designs.
Christine had been intrigued by the secret life of Catherine, who was awarded a French medal of honour for her work as a member of the French Resistance. Catherine’s story was one of the hidden stories of the war. With Christine’s novel we learn more about this courageous Frenchwoman and her daring feats of bravery.
Sisters of the Resistance, a novel of Catherine Dior’s spy network, follows the stories of three women linked to Catherine Dior. We meet sisters Gabby and Yvette and Louise Dulac, a glamorous French actress. It’s an historical fiction story filled with heroism, fashion, romance, and ultimately sacrifice and love set in the beautiful city of Paris. Meticulously researched and beautifully written this novel will transport you straight to 1940’s Paris.
It’s Paris, 1944. The war is nearly over, but for members of the resistance in occupied France, it is more dangerous than ever before. Gabby Foucher loathes the Nazis, but as concierge of number 10 rue Royale, she does her best to avoid conflict – unlike her bolder sister Yvette who finds trouble at every turn.
Then both sisters are recruited by Catherine Dior, who lives in their building. The sisters are swept into a world of treachery, intrigue and spies. While Gabby quietly risks everything for the man she is hiding from the Nazis, Yvette must decide whether to trust an enigmatic diplomat who seems to have guessed her secret. As the threat of betrayal draws ever closer, one slip could mean the deaths of many, and Gabby and Yvette must make choices they might regret.
Paris, 1947 and Yvette returns from New York to reunite with Gabby and begin life anew as a mannequin for Christian Dior, who is revolutionising fashion with his New Look. But first she must uncover the truth behind Catherine’s terrible fate, while Gabby finds that there are many kinds of courage, and that love is always worth fighting for.
About the Author
Christine Wells writes historical fiction featuring strong and fascinating women. A former lawyer, Christine has been fascinated with story telling from early childhood when she drank in her father’s tales about the true stories behind popular nursery rhymes and she has been a student of history ever since. Christine loves dogs, running, holidays at the beach and window – shopping for antiques. She lives in my beautiful hometown of Brisbane with her family and is currently working on a story about ‘ Miss Moneypenny ‘ of James Bond fame.
Sisters of the Resistance is beautiful and compelling , with deeply nuanced characters you will come to care about and love. It’s a thoughtful look at the unsung heroes of the war, the danger and heroism that was present in those with seemingly ordinary lives. Set against a backdrop of Paris and the glamour and excitement of Christian Dior’s groundbreaking post war designs, this story has it all and will keep you reading long into the night. It is to my mind, Christine Wells best story yet. Sisters of the Resistance is out now.
Freelance writer, wife and mother of three sons, occasional supply teacher and aspiring romance author, Michelle Beesley can be most often found in a coffee shop chatting with friends or beside a rugby field cheering on her favourite teams.
Michelle is a prolific—albeit reluctant—traveller, keen walker, bookworm and yoga enthusiast who loves anything pink or sparkly (including champagne!).