BOOK CLUB: Resistance and Revenge

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Resistance and Revenge by Catherine McCullagh is a fictional story of survival and courage set in war times.

Set in 1941 in rural England, the village is in the grip of occupation. Louisa Carmody’s husband Tom has returned from fighting and he’s wounded and struggling from the horrors he witnessed. The new Tom bears little resemblance to the man she married.

Tom’s father is Lord Branston and he fought in World War I. William and Tom aren’t seen as a threat to the occupiers and are free to live and work on the Branston estate. The manor and farm have seen better days.

Louisa has noticed William and Tom have become secretive. Men appear day or night and she is expected to find food to feed them. It is clear to Louisa that William and Tom are involved in some sort of resistance.

The occupiers also expect to be fed, turning up at any time and searching the property. Louisa works hard to keep the farm and the house running.

There are collaborators in the village informing their friends and neighbours. Louisa knows she can trust no one and needs to be careful and wary of strangers. She has strength and resilience and will do anything to protect those she cares for.

Their lives are at stake. All they can do is hold out and hope for the Allied invasion to happen soon.

The book has plenty of action, death, betrayal, and suspense gripping you to the very end. It is a very clever twist on the German Occupation of France during World War II.

As Catherine McCullagh says “Apart from the Channel Islands, Britain was never invaded, but it was certainly a possibility and one that the British Government never truly dismissed.” That is certainly something to think about!

I loved the book and found the historical aspect very informative on village and estate life during the era. There are many wonderful characters but Louisa is fantastic and holds all the characters and events together. 

The writing style is easy to read and follow. The cover is well done and draws you in. The book is well worth reading.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading Resistance and Revenge by Catherine McCullagh. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

You may also like The Low Road by Katharine Quarmby:

9 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: Resistance and Revenge

  1. Thank you, Beauty & Lace, for allowing me to read and review ‘Resistance and Revenge by Catherine McCullagh’.
    This is a story about the realities of living in an occupied area during the war in 1941. Louisa is married to Tom, Lord Branston’s son; together, they live in the rambling estate, which still needs to be worked. Unfortunately, Tom has returned from active duty a changed man, no longer the loving husband he once was, more like a shadow.
    As the men of the household become more secretive, Louisa struggles to provide a haven for her family and those who work within the estate. At the same time, she must deal with the uninvited occupiers, with the threat of betrayal and loss always present.
    I enjoyed reading this book, enjoying the times when the resistance efforts worked well and became concerned when all could be so easily lost in the fight for revenge. Thank you ‘Beauty & Lace Bookclub’ for the opportunity to read ‘Resistance and Revenge by Catherine McCullagh’.

  2. A work of fiction that could so easily have been factual History.
    1941 was War, England was not occupied but could have so easily have been.
    Life under a cruel and unforgiving occupying force, the residents of a small village struggle daily to survive.
    Not everyone accepts the Occupiers and being part of the Resistance can be fatal if informers betray them.
    Catherine McCullagh writes well and this is easy to read. Highly recommend this to readers that enjoy Historical Fiction.
    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Big Sky Publishing to be able to read this book.

  3. Thank you for letting me read Resistance and Revenge by Catherine McCullagh.
    I enjoyed this book very much. Louise is a strong character and will not be left in the dark and treated as a servant when it is clear something is going on by the number of men arriving to be fed and accommodated. There is also the problem of a number of German soldiers expecting her to feed them at regular intervals.
    The way Louise is able to organise things and keep secrets is admirable.

  4. A wonderful story about life during war times, the struggles of the effects of war, what people had to do to survive and the main character Lousie is truly an inspiration. It also highlights how others act during these tough times, do they want revenge? Will they resist? Hopefully we will never need to know during our lifetime.

    We follow the family through the highs and lows showing an easy to follow and read historical fiction which was well thought out . It showed us a different way of life in a manor house, to the locals, their acceptance or not of new comers, whether they be the Occupiers or not.

    Thank you for the chance to read Resistance and Revenge

  5. Flawed and dominated by the circumstances.
    Set in England 1941, Catherine McCullaghs newest book Resistance and Revenge is a must read.
    Louisa is a young woman who’s husband is sent off to war. We follow the family through the hoghs and lows that follow.
    An amazing historical fiction!!
    Thankyou Beauty and Lace and Big Sky Publishing

  6. This is a fascinating glimpse of what life may have been like had England been invaded and occupied during WW2. Louisa and her family deal with daily challenges of not enough food, few men remaining to work on farms, suspicion of neighbours being collaborators, keeping secrets from the occupiers, and fear of what the future brings. She is strong and resilient, however, and keeps her family and remaining servants together. Her husband suffers from PTSD and their relationship has crumbled.
    This book is very well written. The author has a real skill with words and the emotions of the characters and descriptions of settings are very evocative. We are immersed in village life under occupation. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Thank you Beauty & Lace and Big Sky Publishing for the chance to read and review this book.

  7. Thank you Beauty and Lace for the opportunity to read Resistance and Revenge by Catherine McCullagh.

    This is a well written story.
    It’s about trust, integrity and hope.

    A village has been taken over by the invader. You don’t know who to trust, if you trust the wrong person it could cost you your life!!

    Louisa is a lady trying to run her household, with her damaged husband, her father in law, and their loyal staff.

    Louisa is a strong character, who does everything to try and keep her family together. They are fighting for their lives.

    Highly recommend ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

  8. This is the first novel I read by Christine McCullagh, and I absolutely loved it! The story has ups and downs, intrigue and a strong female lead. Although it was a work of fiction, it certainly gave an insight into life under occupation during WW2.
    I highly recommend this book, and looking forward to reading more novels by this author.

  9. Resistance and Revenge is a novel written by Catherine McCullagh.

    Set in rural England in 1941 follows the life of Louisa Carmody during war times in a small village. Louisa’s husband had to go to war but when he returned from active duty he was not the same man she married with the effects of the war taking its toll on him.

    Louisa now has to run the homestead along with her staff but under very tough conditions. She also has to deal with the uninvited occupiers who can call on the household at any time and watch every move she makes to keep everyone safe as who knows what requests can be made at any time.

    It must have been a very tough period in anyone’s lives to have to deal with such circumstances and trying to keep your own family safe but keeping one step ahead of the occupiers whilst having the courage to keep struggling on.

    The story has been well researched as you would think it could have been a true story not a story of fiction.

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