Title: The Girl from the Channel Islands
Author: Jenny Lecoat
Genre: Historical fiction
Rating: 4 out of 5
The year is 1940, and the world is torn apart by war. In June of that year, Hitler’s army captures the Channel Islands—the only part of Great Britain occupied by German forces. Abandoned by Mr. Churchill, forgotten by the Allies and cut off from all help, the Islands’ situation is increasingly desperate.
Hedy Bercu is a young Jewish girl who fled Vienna for the island of Jersey two years earlier during the Anschluss, only to find herself trapped by the Nazis once more—this time with no escape. Her only hope is to make herself invaluable to the Germans by working as a translator, hiding in plain sight with the help of her friends and community—and a sympathetic German officer. But as the war intensifies, rations dwindle and neighbors are increasingly suspicious of one another. Hedy’s life is in greater danger every day. It will take a definitive, daring act to save her from certain deportation to the concentration camps.
I don’t think I’ve read anything about World War II in the Channel Islands, so this was something new for me, as was the German officer who wasn’t a Nazi (most of the historical fiction set during this time that I’ve read just portrays all German soldiers as monsters).
This time period is so hard to read about. The atrocities Hedy went through and witnessed are terrible, but she comes through with her hope and her spirits intact. I found this to be an excellent read.
Jenny Lecoat was born in the Channel Islands. The Girl from the Channel Islands is her new novel.
(Galley courtesy of Harlequin/Graydon House in exchange for an honest review.)