Defy the Night
Author: Heather Munn & Lydia Munn
No matter what age a reader is, unless quite young, this historical fiction is one to take time to read and be reminded of those courageous people who helped save lives. In this writing based on fact, one young women desires to help save lives as she views the work of another aid worker bringing in children from Nazi camps. The point I believe of the novel is how one French girl, Magali, has a distorted view of how she can be a Joan of Arc, looking evil in the face. However, she doesn’t see how her impulsiveness places lives at great risk.
As readers progress through the novel, they will see how Magali realizes in time and through experience all she has yet to learn. Defy the Night is a heart-touching novel because the scenes were described so well it wasn’t hard to imagine the harsh conditions the Jews were forced to endure. As a mother to read how other mothers willingly gave up their children so that they may have a better life pulled my heartstrings. Some of the refugees lost all family and were taken to homes where they were cared for to either stay permanently or until a person was willing to adopt them.
What I learned was how many aid societies were allowed early in the war to come into the camps and take the children to new locations. Later on in the war though this was no longer allowed and an underground system was being worked on in order to hopefully save lives that would otherwise face certain death. The path the workers had to take, the lack of good food, loss of sleep and the constant risk of danger took its toll on many courageous people.
The delicate balance between the impulsiveness of youth with the wisdom from older people is shown quite vividly in the book. I believe that balance to really exist, and how Magali submits to her parents even when it isn’t her way is a great witness to youths even though it is very hard to do. I loved when Magali worked with one aid worker and this person took time to explain some things to Magali and others she knew they would have to be experience. The brokenness that comes from impulsiveness, causing someone else harm is evident in the book along with the restoration that brings hope anew.
My rating is 4 stars.
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