The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker

I love well-researched historical fiction.  It's such an easy way to learn, and remember, history.  That was the initial draw of this book, along with a few reviews saying this is a good read even if you are tired of, or have been disappointed by, the many and ever-increasing number of books set in World War II Germany.  I am a little embarrassed to admit that when I see another one my first reaction is an internal eye roll.  

This is the story of quiet rebellion by a regular guy, Anton, caught up in events.  He was a friar, until the Nazi's put an end to his order and sent him to the Russian front.  As the result of a parachuting injury outside of Riga, he is dismissed.  Without order, literally and figuratively, he answers an advertisement for a mail order husband.  

He moves to this widow's small town, marries her, gets a ready-made family in the process, becomes a music teacher, joins the home-grown resistance, and all along remains a friar in his heart.  There are some mostly predictable but always well-written plot twists, including the inevitable and eventual one where, in von Trapp style, he falls in love with his reserved but good-hearted wife.  The war ends, life goes on, and it's a hopeful tale for our times here in the USA.

The story would have been enough, but the epilogue to the book goes into some detail explaining that all of this actually happened!  Ms. Hawker chronicled the life of someone in her husband's family.  

And a second bonus:  the writer is a local, from the San Juans near where I live in Washington state.