Starred Review. Poet Sheers takes readers to a small Welsh village during a speculative WWII—featuring a German invasion of Britain—in his auspicious debut novel. It's 1944 and Sarah Lewis and the women in Ochlon valley are left alone after all the local men disappear one night. The women's worlds suddenly shrink to the day-to-day struggles to keep their sheep farms going until the war comes to their doorsteps in the form of Capt. Albrecht Wolfram and his men, who have a murky mission to carry out in the valley. Promising to leave the women alone, the Germans occupy an abandoned house and the two camps keep mostly to themselves until a harsh winter takes hold, and it becomes clear that the locals and the Germans will have to depend on one another to survive. It's also revealed that Albrecht is just as interested as the locals are in staying away from the war for as long as possible, and the two communities begin to merge. But when the weather breaks and the valley reopens to the world—and hence the war—the peculiar idyll threatens to shatter. Sheers's alternate reality is frighteningly convincing and dripping with heartbreak. This is an outstanding debut.
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“Sheers's alternate reality is frighteningly convincing and dripping with heartbreak. This is an outstanding debut.”
–Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A remarkable first novel…Resistance is at once a brilliant and sometimes frightening thriller, and a mature exploration of human blur and compromise.”
“Resistance [is] an impressive debut and confirms Sheers as a writer whose talent encompasses a variety of literary forms.”
“A beautiful, vital novel, about the paths that can lead to war, and out of it.”
—Nadeem Aslam, author of Maps for Lost Lovers
“A remarkable work of speculative imagination. Sheers writes with an austere, bracing beauty perfectly attuned to the stark lives (and loves) of his characters. The result is that rare gift, a literary thriller whose pages we turn slowly, even regretfully, savoring every word.”
—Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl
“Owen Sheers’s riveting debut novel beautifully illuminates that which is unalterable: the power of love and longing, community and courage.”
—Jennifer Vanderbes, author of Easter Island --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.