• The Edelweiss Sisters

  • An Epic, Heartbreaking and Gripping World War 2 Novel
  • By: Kate Hewitt
  • Narrated by: Esther Wane
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (263 ratings)

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The Edelweiss Sisters

By: Kate Hewitt
Narrated by: Esther Wane
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Publisher's Summary

1938, Salzburg. A powerful story of hope, forbidden love, and incredible courage, about three sisters who will risk everything - even their own lives - as part of the resistance movement in Nazi-occupied Austria.

Johanna, Birgit, and Lotte Eder have always lived quiet lives, working in their father’s clockmaking shop and helping their mother in the house. But like many other Austrians, they find it impossible to ignore the changes in the world around them.

At first Johanna finds it hard to believe the Nazis pose a real threat. But then her father hires Franz to help in his shop. He’s kind and soulful, with dark eyes that twinkle with intelligence. But he’s Jewish, and as Johanna falls for him, she realizes that loving him puts them all in danger.

Then comes the Anschluss - the reunification of Austria and Germany under Nazi rule. The three sisters’ lives have become ever more separate, with Lotte joining the convent at Nonnberg Abbey and Birgit’s secret involvement with the Resistance. But as Johanna realizes how mistaken she was about the level of danger, she begins to see that it may be down to her to protect the man she loves.

She knows that she can’t do it alone, though. She will have to turn to the people she trusts the most: her sisters.

The three of them work together to try to get Franz to the safety of Switzerland, and they soon prove invaluable to the Resistance. But they’re risking everything. Can three women who would die for each other also be prepared to die for what is right?

The sisters’ subsequent journey from Nazi-occupied Salzburg to the devastating concentration camps of Ravensbruck and Mauthausen will show the strength of human spirit like never before. As, out of the darkness, a tiny seed of hope flowers....

A totally heartbreaking and impossibly powerful story about love, tragedy, and the power of humanity. Perfect for fans of The Nightingale, The Lilac Girls, and The Sound of Music.

©2021 Kate Hewitt (P)2021 Bookouture, an imprint of Storyfire Ltd.

What listeners say about The Edelweiss Sisters

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Loved it!

I absolutely loved this book. I enjoyed each of the three sisters and definitely enjoyed the ending. Well done!

5 people found this helpful

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For anyone interested how WW2 affected average people

Characters were believable and well- developed and provided a glimpse of how the war affected a range of individuals. Certainly the war was devastating to American families also, but how fortunate Americans were to be living on this side of the Atlantic—-and how EVIL Hitler and the Nazis were!

4 people found this helpful

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Loved this story of the Ada sisters.

The sisters life, struggles, and resilience come to life in this moving historical fiction set during ww2.

3 people found this helpful

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Need to Read

This story is a sad and moving story of the horrors of the Nazis and how 3 sisters are affected by it. Having listened to this as the Ukraine is invaded, I hope that history isn't going to be repeated.

2 people found this helpful

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great book an easy listen

it was a good book easy to listen to and a great story. I would recommend

1 person found this helpful

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Great Book

Loved this story of 3 sisters during WW2. Very well performed. There’s always more to learn from Ww2.

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Short on orginality and fact checking

The story is entertaining, set against the backdrop of Salzburg, Austria from before the Anschluss to the immediate postwar period. However, by interweaving the fictional lives of the Ede sisters with well known historical figures seems a little too much like Forrest Gump with a German accent. And does a group of young Austrian women who end up resisting the Nazis really have to rub shoulders with Maria von Trapp, who is the almost cliché epitome of of an Austrian woman who defies the Nazis? As if that's not enough, one of the sisters needs to become a nun, so going the opposite direction of the Sound of Music simulacrum? Really? Not enough: calling the fictional siblings the "Edelweiss sisters" conjures really disturbing images of Julie Andrews trilling that earworm of a song "Edelweiss." And why not stop with the sound of music echoes? Nope, The Dutch Ten Boom sisters need to be introduced as inspirations as well? At least the Nazi sympathizer with a conscience does not bump into Oskar Schindler. That's something, I guess.

Then there are several unnecessary anachronisms and confused context. The allusion in 1938 to Jews being "sent East," never to be heard from again would make sense a few years later, but before the invasion of Poland in 1939, there was nowhere "East" for the Nazis to deport Jews to. And, frankly, prisoners in Ravensbrück would have known about Auschwitz and other camps in Poland by 1945, because the death marches were by then bringing prisoners, including many Jews, from those camps into Germany, including Ravensbrück. In fact, that would have been one of the major topics of concern among prisoners in the camp, but it seems that, in this alternate history, death marches only left from Ravensbrück, they did not arrive there. These and other inaccuracies left me wishing a more informed historian would have reviewed the manuscript; these flaws should have been corrected.

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Hope. Faith. Love.

I enjoyed the second half of the book immensely. I was going to return the book, but continued to listen. It wasn’t until chapter 20 that I was glad I continued listening. It was a wonderful story about a family who never gave up hope.

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kept my interest

I enjoyed this story and ended up buying my mom the paper back. The characters seem real and I liked how she used the Abbey from The Sound of Music.

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Heartbreaking and heroic!

These stories truly capture how brave so many people were during wartime! I'm drawn to stories of incredible feats by incredible women and this matches both of those. The sacrifices required by these three characters draws you in immediately.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-30-21

Disappointed

I read this as I was interested to see what Carol Kirkwood would write. Entertaining but shallow - over the top descriptions of Bulgari watches, brands of shoes etc etc I kept going because I don’t give up on a book.

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  • Jacqueline Benz
  • 02-07-22

All together the most touching story of 3 sisters in the time if war.

Each sister has her unique story of trials, deprivation, hopes and dreams . The author is able to read into each soul what they are experiencing; they are all so different and therefore handle what this devastating war dishes out to them in various ways.
It is a riveting story. This is my second listen and enjoyed it just as much as the first:)
It reveals Gods deep love and how he changes us all when our back is against the wall! Faith prevails!
Jacqui of Noosa Queensland.

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  • Pia Horan-Gross
  • 01-08-22

Three sisters during Nazi occupied Austria

Beautifully written and vividly reconstructed, to evoke the insidious fear and brutality of the Nazi takeover and occupation.

Despite the general atmosphere of helplessness and terror, the determination and heroism of those who quietly resisted the invaders provides a stark contrast.

Lotte, one of the sisters, who chooses to flee all the turmoil in the shelter of a monastic order, later realizes that it is a preparation for a life ahead, not of her own choosing. Her story and her response are truly extraordinary and inspirational, though heartbreaking.

As to the narrator; I wish she had a better grasp of the German language, as there are a lot of references to the German language.