USA Today Bestseller
“I found ’The Girl from Vichy’ a compelling and powerful read. The novel is set during a turbulent time in history and Andie has captured the dangers and realities of life for French resistance fighters with memorable and gut-churning detail. This is edge of the seat stuff – you won’t be able to put it down”
Gill Thompson, USA TODAY bestselling author of The Child on Platform One
As the war in Europe rages on, Adèle Ambeh dreams of a France that is free from the clutches of the new regime. The date of her marriage to a ruthless man is drawing closer, and she only has one choice – she must run.
With the help of her mother, Adèle flees to Lyon, seeking refuge at the Sisters of Notre Dame de la Compassion. From the outside this is a simple nunnery, but the sisters are secretly aiding the French Resistance, hiding and supplying the fighters with weapons.
While it is not quite the escape Adèle imagined, she is drawn to the nuns and quickly finds herself part of the resistance. But her new role means she must return to Vichy, and those she left behind, no matter the cost.
Each day is filled with a different danger and as she begins to fall for another man, Adèle’s entire world could come crashing down around her.
Adèle must fight for her family, her own destiny, as well as her country.
Perfect for fans of The Alice Network, The Nightingale and Fiona Valpy.
What people are saying about Andie Newton:
‘A powerful debut!’ Gill Paul, author of The Secret Wife.
‘A captivating story with a twist of romance threaded throughout’ Glynis Peters, author of The Secret Orphan.
‘A heart-clenching emotionally evocative debut!’ Terry Lynn Thomas, author of The Secret Wife.
‘A compelling tale of friendship, courage and espionage in a frightening and uncertain world’ Charlotte Betts, author of The Dressmaker’s Secret.
‘The Girl I Left Behind made me cry and left me wanting more, which to me are signs of a truly wonderful book, one that will stay with me long after I’ve finished reading’ Lana Kortchik, author of Sisters of War.
‘Wonderful story where it has you on the edge of your seat but have the tissues with you!’ NetGalley Reviewer.
‘The author has a gift for creating a sense of place whether the setting was on a snowy mountain or the streets of Germany in the early 1940’s’ NetGalley Reviewer.
Discussion Questions for your Book Club:
- When Mama hears of Adèle’s plan to run, she immediately gives Adèle her secret stash of francs and reminds her that her life is her own, not someone else’s to control. What does Mama’s reaction tell us about her character considering the time period?
- Adèle thinks Marguerite is mad at her for taking her seat on the train, but this is not the case. In what ways can we infer that something else is going on with Marguerite? And then later at the convent, what does Adèle do that inadvertently makes her look suspicious?
- First impressions can be deceiving. Adèle and Marguerite are two completely different people at the beginning of the book; they look different, both are at the convent for different reasons, but by the end of the book we can see that they are quite similar, are they not? In what ways are they similar?
- Let’s talk about Papa and Mama’s relationship. In what ways can you tell that their separation is killing both of them? What is keeping them from reconciling throughout the book?
- Many families are politically divided. Today, I think we are pretty outspoken with what we believe, which makes for some interesting dinnertime conversations. However, this wasn’t always acceptable. Why do you think Adèle didn’t tell Papa herself she was a Gaullist?
- When we finally meet Gérard, we find out he is both physically and mentally overpowering. He is a boastful schemer. Adèle is the exact opposite; essentially a farm girl who leads a simple life. Why do you think he wants to marry Adèle? What makes her so attractive to him?
- In many ways Gérard represents the Vichy regime. What can we infer about the desires and actions of the collaborationist regime through Gérard’s character?
- Luc and Adèle’s relationship takes a turn when he finds out she’s the Catchfly. Why do you think this is? What do they find attractive about each other?
- How does Marguerite act more like a sister to Adèle than Charlotte throughout much of the book? What is Marguerite giving Adèle that her sister isn’t?
- When Adèle finds Charlotte’s crate of paints tucked in the far corner of the cellar they are covered in dust. Mama encourages Adèle to use the paints, but Adèle knows Charlotte will be upset even though she practically threw them out. What do the paints symbolize to Charlotte? What do they symbolize to Adèle in relation to her graffiti?
- Charlotte is very particular and precise when it comes to folding garments in her shop. What does this say about Charlotte as a person? And what does it say about Adèle when she does it wrong and appears to care less how they are folded?
- Why does Charlotte want a baby so badly? Why do you think she buries her miscarriages in secret?
- Adèle finds Charlotte drunk in her apartment after her miscarriage. However, Charlotte isn’t just hurting from the miscarriage, is she? There is a lot of resentment in Charlotte’s voice and it’s aimed right at Adèle. Why is Charlotte resentful?
- Charlotte’s apartment appears picture-perfect, a plush blue divan that hasn’t been sat on, and many figurines displayed on shelves. What did we learn about Charlotte after seeing her apartment for the first time?
- The ending. In what ways does Marguerite represent the struggle for freedom, and the cost of achieving it? What does her death signify to Adèle, considering their relationship and the resistance? And what about Charlotte? What is the significance of her running up hill through the catchfly?