Download Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France Audiobook

Village of Secrets: Defying the Nazis in Vichy France Audiobook, by Caroline Moorehead Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Caroline Moorehead Narrator: Suzanne Toren Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Resistance Trilogy Release Date: October 2014 ISBN: 9780062205810
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From the author of the New York Times bestseller A Train in Winter comes the fascinating story of a French village that helped save thousands hunted by the Gestapo during World War II.

High up in the mountains of the southern Massif Central in France lie tiny, remote villages united by a long and particular history. During the Second World War, the inhabitants of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon and its parishes saved thousands wanted by the Gestapo: resisters, Freemasons, communists, and, above all, Jews, many of them orphans whose parents had been deported to concentration camps. There were no informers, no denunciations, and no one broke ranks. During raids, the children would hide in the woods, their packs on their backs, waiting to hear the farmers' song that told them it was safe to return. After the war, Le Chambon became one of only two places in the world to be honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among Nations.

Just why and how Le Chambon and its outlying villages came to save so many people has never fully been told. With unprecedented access to newly opened archives in France, Britain, and Germany, along with interviews documenting the testimony of surviving villagers, Caroline Moorehead paints an inspiring portrait of courage and determination: of what was accomplished when a small group of people banded together to oppose tyranny.

A major contribution to the history of the Second World War, illustrated with black-and-white photographs, Village of Secrets sets the record straight about the events in Chambon and pays tribute to a group of heroic individuals for whom saving others became more important than their own lives.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The definitive account…[an] unblinking exposé of resistance during the war.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Le Chambon has long been mythologized in France for the actions of its inhabitants…. But, as this riveting history shows, the story is more complex…If the picture Moorhead paints is messier than the myth, this only serves to enhance the heroism of the main actors.”

    New Yorker

  • “[Moorehead] has done us the great service of unveiling the real lives behind the myth and in demonstrating that fallible human beings are far more interesting and dramatic figures than those who make up the stuff of legends.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The vivid narrative takes on a cliffhanger quality…a rich, haunting account that leaves us with an uncomfortable question: What might have happened if more people had refused to go along?”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “Based on interviews with survivors and relatives and extensive archival research…an exciting history of nearly forgotten individual and group courage. Highly recommended.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Moorehead’s deeply researched, crisply written, and well-paced work will stand as the definitive account of a heroic, hazardous, and uplifting initiative during the German occupation.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Moorehead not only recounts the heroics but also the everyday ordinariness of those involved, busting the embellished mythology while emphasizing the essential humanity of the entire operation.”


  • “Moorehead recounts the story of a small area in eastern France where opposition to the Nazis succeeded for years…Moorehead’s knowledge of the people, the area, and the history make this one of the most engrossing survival stories of World War II.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Documenting bravery in an isolated corner of France, Suzanne Toren narrates with clarity and authority…Toren pronounces French surnames and place names smoothly and accurately.”


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About the Author

Caroline Moorehead is the biographer of Bertrand Russell, Freya Stark, Iris Origo, Lucie de la Tour du Pin, and Martha Gellhorn. Well known for her work in human rights, she has published a history of the Red Cross and an acclaimed book about refugees, Human Cargo.

About the Narrator

Suzanne Toren, award-winning narrator, has over thirty years of experience in narration. She was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine in 2019. She has won the American Foundation for the Blind’s Scourby Award for Narrator of the Year, AudioFile magazine named her the 2009 Best Voice in Nonfiction & Culture, and she is the recipient of multiple Earphones Awards. She performs on and off Broadway and in regional theaters and has appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.