• The Schoolteacher of Saint-Michel: inspired by real acts of resistance, a heartrending story of one woman's courage in WW2

  • By: Sarah Steele
  • Narrated by: Natalie Pela
  • Length: 12 hrs and 32 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (137 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The Schoolteacher of Saint Michel is a heartrending and deeply moving story of love and hope in World War II from the USA Today best-selling author of The Missing Pieces of Nancy Moon.

The war taught her to fight. The children taught her to hope....

Inspired by real acts of bravery and resistance, The Schoolteacher of Saint Michel is a heartrending and deeply moving story of one woman's courage and sacrifice during World War II, from the USA Today best-selling author of The Missing Piece of Nancy Moon.

This exquisitely beautiful novel is perfect for fans of The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, The Postmistress, Lilac Girls and The Girl from Vichy.

'My darling girl, I need you to find someone for me....'

France, 1942. At the end of the day, the schoolteacher releases her pupils. She checks they have their identity passes and warns them not to stop until the German guards have let them through the barrier that separates occupied France from Free France. As the little ones fly across the border and into their mothers' arms, she breathes a sigh of relief. No one is safe now. Not even the children.

Berkshire, present day. A letter left to her by her beloved late grandmother Gigi takes Hannah Stone on a journey deep into the heart of the Dordogne landscape. As she begins to unravel a forgotten history of wartime bravery and sacrifice, she discovers the heartrending secret that binds her grandmother to a village schoolteacher, the remarkable Lucie Laval....

©2021 Sarah Steele (P)2021 Headline Publishing Group Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A beautifully worked tale of bravery, woven into the reality of a time we can't forget." (Mandy Robotham, author of The Berlin Girl)

"An emotional, beautifully constructed read. I loved the way the clues from the past and present slowly knitted together, answering the questions that had been missing their answers for so long." (Sunday Times best-selling author Jill Mansell) 

"Gripping, at times heartbreaking, but ultimately uplifting, I found this beautifully written novel impossible to put down." (Sunday Times best-selling author Katie Fforde) 

"An engaging tale of courage and friendship. A triumph!" (Gill Paul) 

"Evocative writing and the storytelling is masterful. It really draws the reader in." (Felicity Hayes-McCoy) 

What listeners say about The Schoolteacher of Saint-Michel: inspired by real acts of resistance, a heartrending story of one woman's courage in WW2

Average Customer Ratings
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Great book

I loved this book. I listened to while walking and driving in car. I was listening so intently that I drove past the ordering window at Starbucks and found myself at the pick up window feeling and looking kind of stupid. 😂 The author and the narrator did a great job. If you like World War II stories it’s for you. I felt like I was there in the French village with them and did not want it to end.

8 people found this helpful

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Outstanding Narration

As a fan of WWII era fiction, I was intrigued by this story. Despite the use of the almost cliched scenario where a contemporary character “discovers” letters or other documents that lead to the the historical story, this one was well done. And the narration was AWESOME!! Truly beautiful and compelling.

4 people found this helpful

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Good storyline about WWII courageous women.

This was a good cross-generational story about women hero’s of WWII. Albeit fictional it is certainly based on facts.
The reader didn’t distinguish the characters enough so it was difficult at first to know which character was “speaking.”

3 people found this helpful

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Lover of WW ll novels

Excellent book with strong women as heroines. Secrets unfolded, in present day. Loved it, hard to put down.

2 people found this helpful

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One of the best books ever

I was hooked from the very beginning. The way this story was written was instantly engaging and I didn’t want it to end. The characters were all beautifully described. So much bravery and heartache. Don’t hesitate for a second. It’s one of the best “reads” ever.

1 person found this helpful

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Riveting intimate story of Ocupied France.

A riveting page turner narrated by an excellent reader. Every one should get it.

1 person found this helpful

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Great Story and Reader

I loved the book and the reader. Great, but sad story. I recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction. Natalie Pela is a good reader, but I speak French and she needs a coach to help her with the pronunciation of "Saint".

1 person found this helpful

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Time waste.

The main story alone wold have made a worthwhile read, but what, the French Resistance rescuing Jewish children was too boring?? The overlay and disruptions of the present day intrusions really made this a slog. Hannah and Jack are both jerks; it was really annoying to listen to Hannah moaning on and agonizing about Jack was ridiculous. I was tempted to just stop reading after a few chapters, but hoped that it would get better. Silly me. The denouement at the end just was not worth it.

1 person found this helpful

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I’m torn

It’s a true story so this novel has that going for it. It’s the reason I finished listening. However, the editing is such that new topics are started within a breath of the last sentence of the previous topic making it EXTREMELY hard to follow. The real story is nested inside a fictional drama that distracts. It leads to the listener being able to figure out the endings of the various and many strands of subplot. It’s not a bad book but it’s not a great audible listen. I think it would be best read instead of listened to.

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I loved it so much

This book kept me engaged from start to finish! I love historical fiction, and the various story lines woven into the book kept me interested and listening. I appreciated the authentic accents and thought the ending was just right.

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  • Ellen
  • 07-05-21

Really enjoyable

I very much enjoyed “The School Teacher of Saint - Michel. I usually avoid such wartime drama as they are riddled with historical inaccuracies however I found I could easily slip in to the older time zone without too much jarring. Some of the language used by the characters was too modern but it was a sprinkling and easy to ignore. The strength of this book lies in the characters and storyline of the war years. I found Hannah intensely irritating and for a woman of clear intelligence I was incredulous about how little we were meant to believe she had known about the era. The setting of the modern day Saint Michel was a pleasant place to be but Hannah was just too earnest and “woke”. In all honestly I could have done without the modern day characters, they tied the threads with the older timeline but I don’t feel they added anything to the storyline. The modern day section was not the one I wanted to hear and the book could easily have been completed with just the one timeline.
Strangely enough I enjoyed the narration of Lucy’s timeline, in Hannah’s it became a bit more wishy-washy. I think that was simply down to the fact the plot was a little stretched and the characters less strong, as a listener you simply couldn’t become as invested in their ending.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Seew
  • 03-04-22

Narrator is terrible!

I gave up so a waste of a credit. I just couldn’t get past the terrible narrator. Her inflection was all wrong and quite frankly she sounded bored. Not a gripping story either. I wouldn’t bother.

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  • Helen SJ
  • 12-04-21

An Amazing book.

This book dragged me into the story within quick smart and I was happy to acquiesce. Beautifully written, it weaves in and out of timelines seamlessly to pull together people's accounts and experiences of WWII in France.
If you enjoy hearing about the exploits of the French Resistance you will love this book.

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  • Elizabeth
  • 05-24-22

Fascinating book

What a brilliant listen. An extraordinary part of history that I had no idea about. So many families effected . So much courage and stories to be told. An essential read

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-30-22

A wonderful story!

I just loved this historical fiction. The characters were so realistic and the story line so believable.
Thank you so very much.