Resistance: What does it mean to resist?

Flight Before Dawn MEW Books


Flight Before Dawn, my first novel, is a story of resistance. At its heart this is easy enough to determine. It’s set in Normandy, France during WWII. History remembers Normandy for what happened on the beaches in June of 1944, on D-Day and in the days after, but Victoire’s story through the pages of Flight Before Dawn begins half a year earlier, in the autumn months of 1943.
We meet her in the middle of her resistance. We learn that for over two years, she and the Resistance have been watching Leal. But, Victoire’s story of resistance stretches even beyond two years. Since the beginning, Victoire has resisted. We also learn that her father was in WWI and that her grandfather was in the Franco-Prussian war and so she feels an inherited duty to her country. 
When we first meet Victoire, the Resistance is taking part in stockpiling materials, coordinating efforts with the British intelligence, and is preparing for the hoped-for-Allied invasion. As the story progresses, resistance takes form in siphoning off gasoline, in spying, and even in sabotage. 
Rainier, Victoire’s close friend and the town’s doctor, whom Vicotire’s own doctor father trained, tells her something important in chapter 11 of part 1 in this exchange between them. 

“You are the angel of the Resistance, but not all of our members are saints. We have broken curfews, we have lied, we have traded on the black market, we have spied and before our liberation is complete, I’ve no doubt that we will be asked to fight more staunchly. We may lift arms, much as our fathers did.”
“Of course. I suspect we will be asked to participate in sabotage.”
“But, still I do not wish for your heart to be sabotaged.” 

In these lines, Rainier reveals a second form of resistance. Although they are embedded deep in civilian war, through their efforts to end the Nazi occupation of their land, they are holding fast to the humanity that shapes them, to their own dignity, and to keeping their hearts, their minds, and their souls—the fabric of who they are— guarded. 

Sometimes Resistance is remembering why you are different from the enemy. Sometimes it is living from that humanity. 

My best to you all,

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