Australian Author · Historical Fiction · Read-Reviewed-2021

Small Acts of Defiance by Michelle Wright. (2021).

Small Acts of Defiance by Michelle Wright. (2021).

**4 out of 5 stars**

January, 1940. After a tragedy, young Australian woman Lucie and her French mother Yvonne are forced to move to Paris to live with Lucie’s authoritarian uncle Gérard. They find themselves trapped as the Second World War engulfs Europe. Using her artistic talents, Lucie engages in small acts of defiance against the occupying forces and the collaborationist French regime, which includes French citizens denouncing so-called “traitors” in their community. Faced with the escalating brutality of anti-Jewish measures, and the indifference of many Parisians, Lucie must decide how far she will go to defend the lives of others.

This is the debut novel of an award-winning writer, set in Paris and featuring 16 year old Australian young woman Lucie. What I really appreciated about this book was the exploration of how little actions can make a difference; how the smallest act by one person can produce a follow on effect in society. I liked the character of Lucie, although I kept forgetting she was only 16 at the beginning of the novel – I think it was a good demonstration of how many children and teenagers are forced to grow up in times of war and conflict. It’s clear the author has put a lot of research into this book and it feels like the reader is there with Lucie which is a result of how well-written the story is.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this novel for readers that enjoy historical fiction, particularly WWII based novels.

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