In the months afterwards all of the women, at some point, said they’d known the men were leaving the valley…
1944. After the fall of Russia and the failed D-Day landings, a German counter-attack lands on British soil. Within a month, half of Britain is occupied.
Sarah Lewis, a 26-year-old farmer’s wife, wakes to find her husband Tom has disappeared. She is not alone. All the other women in the isolated Welsh border valley of Olchon also wake to find their husbands gone. With this sudden and unexplained absence the women regroup as an isolated, all-female community and wait, hoping for news.
A German patrol arrives in the valley, the purpose of their mission a mystery. When a severe winter forces the two groups into co-operation, a fragile mutual dependency develops. Sarah begins a faltering acquaintance with the patrol’s commanding officer, Albrecht Wolfram. But as the pressure of the war beyond presses in on them, the valley’s delicate state of harmony is increasingly threatened, before being broken completely, with devastating consequences.
Imbued with immense imaginative breadth and confidence, Owen Sheers’ debut novel unfolds with the pace and intensity of a thriller. A hymn to the glorious landscape of the border territories and a gripping portrait of a community under siege, Resistance is a first novel of considerable grace and power.
Resistance was successfully adapted to the big screen with the film released in November 2011
Faber & Faber, 2007