Compelling Story, But Not Cohesive

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The Nine is the historical account of a band of nine female resistance fighters as they escaped a German forced march and made a ten-day journey across the front lines to safety. Written by the great niece of one of the women, Hélène Podliasky, the author documents her journey to find out more information about the women who traveled with her loved one.

The strong and courageous women used all of the abilities at their disposal to make it through horrendous conditions, whether it be abuse, torture, starvation, harsh elements, or a myriad of other issues. The biggest issue that I had with the telling of the women's collective stories was that the book itself was not well organized. The book is more of an investigative search for the truth than the telling of the stories of the survivors. The women were remarkable, not only for their abilities but for their perseverance and strength despite unimaginable conditions. Hélène's personality mainly comes through, though the rest of the women are not as fully described. Not having enough information for a book about her great aunt, the author tried to include the stories of the other eight women. Although an admirable attempt, there is just not enough information given to make the book balanced. The reasons why the women were taken forcibly was never fully realized, as the author basically glossed over the details about the women's work in the resistance themselves. The heroic actions of the women should have been part of the telling of their story. For these reasons, I would be hesitant to recommend The Nine to other readers.

Disclaimer: I won a physical copy of The Nine from Bookish First and was additionally given an Advanced Reader's Copy via NetGalley and the publisher. The decision to review this historical account was entirely my own.