Tuesday, September 6, 2022

The Opera Sisters by Marianne Monson





Based on the true story of the Cook sisters, who smuggled valuables out of 1930s Nazi Germany to finance a daring, secret operation to help Jews find hope for a new life in England

British sisters Ida and Louise Cook enjoy their quiet, unassuming lives in south London. Ida writes romance novels, and Louise works as a secretary. In the evenings, the sisters indulge in their shared love for opera, saving their money to buy records and attend performances throughout England and Europe, becoming well-known by both performers and fellow opera lovers.

But when Hitler seizes power in 1933, he begins targeting and persecuting German Jews, passing laws that restrict their rights and their lives. The sisters continue their trips to the German opera houses, but soon, Jewish members of the opera community covertly approach the sisters, worried that they will be stripped of their wealth and forced to leave their homes and the country. Danger looms on the horizon, threatening to spill across all of Europe’s borders.

Ida and Louise vow to help, but how can two ordinary working-class women with limited means make a difference?

Together with their beloved opera community, the sisters devise a plan to personally escort Jewish refugees from Germany to England. The success of the plan hinges on Ida and Louise’s ability to smuggle contraband jewelry and furs beneath the watchful eyes of the SS soldiers guarding various checkpoints. But how many trips can they make before someone blows a whistle? Or before the final curtain falls on Germany’s borders?

The Opera Sisters is a riveting and inspiring novel of two unlikely heroines whose courage and compassion gave hope to many Jews desperate to escape Nazi persecution.



About The Author



Marianne Monson is a women's history author known for unearthing remarkable stories of incredible women. Her 2016 book, "Frontier Grit," about pioneer women was nominated for an American Library Association Amelia Bloomer Award, and her 2018 "Women of the Blue and Gray" was awarded a silver medal in the military category by Foreword Reviews.

Her work has been praised by reviewers:

"the biographies zing with personality and page-turning prose" -Publishers Weekly

"the diversity of her subjects is outstanding" -Booklist

"a deftly written work of fiction" -Midwest Book Review

"Monson is an excellent storyteller whose research fills in the gaps" -Foreword Reviews

With her two children and husband, Marianne lives in Astoria, Oregon, where she writes from a 100-year-old house. When not writing or reading, you can find her exploring nearby trails. You can follow her adventures on Facebook or at: www.mariannemonson.com


My Review

What an awesome job this author did with bringing this story alive. We meet the Cook sisters, Ida and Louise, on the cusp of their young adult lives. Soon, we are with these young women as they discover their mutual love of opera, and they save every cent they have to keep fulfilling their dreams.
They begin going to the continent from their home in Great Brittan, and are such enthusiastic lovers of Opera they are being to be recognized and meeting famous performers and others with their passion. These are real people, although the story is fictional, most of the the story is based on fact.
Soon, with a lot of people not believing, the evil was taking over Europe, and getting rid of the problem, the Jewish population!
These sisters were amazing people, the sacrificed and gave all that they had to help others, and there are people alive today because of them. A captivating read, with notes that correspond with the facts being revealed.
Thank you Mariane Monson!
I received this book through the Publisher Shadow Mountain, and was not required to give a positive review. 

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