My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

ARC Re view: Lana's War by Anita Abriel


Please Note:  I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions in my review in any way.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):

Paris 1943: Lana Antanova is on her way to see her husband with the thrilling news that she is pregnant. But when she arrives at the convent where he teaches music, she’s horrified to see Gestapo officers execute him for hiding a Jewish girl in the piano.

A few months later, grieving both her husband and her lost pregnancy, Lana is shocked when she’s approached to join the resistance on the French Riviera. As the daughter of a Russian countess, Lana has the perfect background to infiltrate the émigré community of Russian aristocrats who socialize with German officers, including the man who killed her husband.

Lana’s cover story makes her the mistress of Guy Pascal, a wealthy Swiss industrialist and fellow resistance member, in whose villa in Cap Ferrat she lives. Together, they gather information on upcoming raids and help members of the Jewish community escape. Consumed by her work, she doesn’t expect to become attached to a young Jewish girl or wonder about the secrets held by the man whose house she shares. And as the Nazis’ deadly efforts intensify, her intention to protect those around her may put them all at risk instead.


When I read the description of this book I was hooked.  WWII, spies, the French Riviera? Yes, Please.  This book starts with a bang, and doesn't let up.  There was a huge amount of suspense, glamour, and romance in this novel, with a heroine I could root for.  This was a very enjoyable book.


What I Liked:


While the novel begins in Paris, it mostly takes place on the French Riviera, during World War II.  While Lana's life in Paris is one of heartache and suffering, the people of the French Riviera don't seem to know there's a war going on. Food is plentiful, and the rich are there to enjoy life.

But, under the surface, there is much going on.  The Germans are beginning to tighten their control over the citizens, as Jews are being rounded up and sent to concentration camps.  Anyone who even looks Jewish is being sent away.

Although Lana is there to work as a spy, she needs to behave like a carefree society girl.  It is nearly impossible for her to overlook all the suffering she sees, and not try to help.


Lana is in Nice posing as the mistress of a wealthy Swiss industrialist.  Her "Lover", Guy, has movie star looks, but is cold, and mostly keeps his distance.  Both Lana and Guy have tragic backstories that make it look, at first, like they won't hit it off.  But several events happen in the story that has each one appreciating the other.  Inevitably, they fall in love.  This raises the stakes, and the tension, higher as it looks more and more like Lana or Guy will be caught.  If it hadn't been for the "live life to the fullest" mentality of the time, I wouldn't have felt their love story was realistic.  But given how one could be killed at any time, the romance worked.


This is a spy novel and I liked the situations where Lana and Guy are working to prevent the Germans from finding Jews.  Lana, not a trained operative, takes a lot of unnecessary risks, like befriending a Jewish family. There is a lot of tension as the reader wonders if Lana, or the family will get caught.  The author is wise to not sugar-coat the action.  Not every character makes it out alive.




Release Date:  January 12th, 2021

Author:  Anita Abriel

Publisher:  Atria Books

Genre:  Historical Fiction

Page Length:  336 Pages

Source:  NetGalley

Format:  E-Book

Recommendation:  Full of suspense and romance, this was an exciting WWII book.

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2021 Reading Challenge
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