This novel is set in a small town in Norway during World War II, a unique setting for a Steinbeck novel. Nazis have occupied, overrun and exploited the town, because of help from a trusted member of the community who was in reality a Nazi spy.
Although the war-weary Nazi Colonel and his men are able to force the townspeople to work in the mines for Nazi Europe's war machine, they are shocked that the townspeople do not immediately celebrate the Nazi cause or the occupation of their town. As the plot progress - and fairly predictably, without detracting from it - the townspeople engage in small, morale-boosting acts of rebellion while the Nazis are left wondering if their reports from home of thrilling victories are empty words that fail to provide comfort through the long winter.
The novel is a very quick read and is reminiscient of a play; most of the action is inferred or discussed through dialogue, and the thoughts of the main characters are also revealed through the same.
This report prepared by Shelley Livaudais