Title: Where Irises Never Grow
Author: Paulette Mahurin
With courage, depth, and passionate insight, bestselling author Paulette Mahurin captures the horrors of the German occupation of France. Where Irises Never Grow tells the story of how one book that escaped Nazi confiscation moved through time holding a cryptic note. Unraveling its mystery brings the reader to Lyon, France. It is there war, in all its bloodstained pathos, is witnessed through the escalating cruelty of the Vichy regime. Particularly impacted is the Legrand family. Thrown into a whirlwind of turmoil they struggle to help the Resistance while maintaining deceitful relations with the government. As the Nazis move toward occupying southern France, the duplicity unravels along with all the Legrands are protecting. Their struggle is raw. Uplifting. Nothing is held back in depicting the horrors inflicted on innocent people by the corrupt tyrannical despots. But this is more than a story of war. It is a story of friendship and loyalty. Of love and sacrifices. And choices for ultimately it is a story that shines a light on the fundamental urge by decent human beings to do right by another, to stand tall no matter the risk when millions stood silent. Where Irises Never Grow will linger in the readers gut and mind long after the last page is finished.
The story introduces us to Charlotte and Victor Legrand, citizens of Lyon, as well as the famous Klaus Barbie who brings down evil and nightmares throughout the story. The contrast of perspectives in characters gives the readers different looks at what life was like for a variety of people in this time. Some were in hiding, some were tortured, and others were more than happy to do the torturing.
Filled with scenes of gut-wrenching truth, hope, suspense, and despair, Where Irises Never Grow paints a horrific picture of life in France in 1942. This is a book that puts you in the middle of the French Resistance and lets you see the best and worst that humanity has to offer. A lot of research went into the writing of this book, and it shows.
The descriptions are realistic and really point a horrific picture of what some people unfortunately went through. The torture scenes in particular were done in a way that makes it impossible not to sympathize with all the unfortunate souls who were treated to such heinous acts.
Brutal in honesty, this story doesn’t shy away from the truth and will leave you deep in thought about many aspects of mankind and society as a whole.