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Sunday, August 28, 2022

The Opera Sisters by Marianne Monson

Ida and Louisa have a very sedate life. One works as a government clerk, and Ida loves to write, often scribbling down snippets and notes of ideas for stories. Their love for opera sees them scrimping and saving to buy opera tickets and then daringly actually going to opera houses in Europe to see their stars perform. During the course of these visits they are befriended by the celebrities themselves who are charmed by the simplicity of the sisters. When Austria and subsequently Poland followed by France are overswept by the Nazis, Ida and Louise set up a system of trying to help Jews to get out of Europe by a system of sponsorship. To this end during their frequent visits to Europe, they take with them the jewels and furs of the Jews who have managed to save them as a guarantee of their stays in London and elsewhere. The system works despite Ida and Louisa's total lack of training in this kind of work - work they do with their entire hearts and minds overcoming great odds and personal dangers to get as many people as they could out of these countries. The novel is based on a true story and links and snippets as to actual events are highlighted at the end of the chapters but the appeal of the story is the simple, straightforward lifestyle of two very middle class sisters who stepped out of their comfort zone to help people who were unknown to them. An inspiring read of two very down to earth heroines. Sent by Shadow Mountain Publishing for an unbiased review, courtesy of Netgalley.


  1. My mom read and liked this book a lot.

  2. This sounds really good. I love books that highlight the efforts of ordinary people during this time.