A story of courage, fear and defiance based on the authors own experience. A Pack Horse Called Rachel is the remarkable tale of a girl of twenty, daughter of a Jewish father, caught in the extraordinarily brutal world of France in 1944. Rachel moves through the pages of the book with her faithful dog Nourse, as her work with the Maquis based in the Auvergne takes her perilously close to danger.
The account is based on personal experience, and the description of historical events is as true as memory will allow. It is beautifully written and at the same time captures the painful and lonely reality of life in the Maquis. Although all names have been changed the writing includes some fine characterisations of the friends and foes the heroine meets and it describes the hardships resistance fighters, the ‘Maquis’, in the Auvergne had to face, the climate prevailing in winter, the Vichy traitors and the hostility of ordinary people in Vichy France
Rachel overcomes the initial animosity and mistrust of the lecherous and alcoholic farmer Raboullet on whom she comes to rely; the wrath of the Gestapo, the betrayal of St Pré, a love and its tragic loss.
From the opening raid to the closing trial of St Pré the book gives an incisive view, as we understand the mind and soul of the resistance better with each page.