The Maid’s Secret by Shari J Ryan

Powerful And Heartbreaking

The Maid’s Secret by Shari J Ryan is a heartbreaking historical tale that totally consumed me.

The story starts in 1938 in Czechoslovakia and takes us through the war years. It is a powerful story of heartache, family and Nazi occupation.

Disagreements and arguments in peacetime are put aside in World War II as we follow family members from their home to the ghetto to the concentration camps. Hope, and a lot of luck are needed to survive. Sometimes the disease-infested conditions just become too much. Sheer willpower alone to survive is not enough.

We see the love and loyalty of a maid to her employers. As the Nazi grip tightens, the lines between employer and employee blur, eventually being rubbed out as family is all that matters.

As the war grabs a hold, characters step up to do what is needed. Class and race barriers mean nothing to those being persecuted.

The story follows a Jewish family and a Romany girl – both are persecuted by the Nazis. They really learn who their friends are, as many suddenly become deaf and blind to their plight.

Told from two alternating points of view of the main characters, the reader becomes totally invested in both their lives. We want to see them survive and have their fortunes restored and families reunited – as with the characters, we hold on to hope.

All the characters are realistic and likable. At a time of great evil, lives burn brightly with their goodness.

I found The Maid’s Story a powerful and heart-wrenching read. It must be read in memory of the six million innocents who perished.

I received a free copy from the author. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.


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by Shari J. Ryan

Release Blitz

Release Date: September 29, 2022

Genre: Historical Fiction
Trope: World War II


Czechoslovakia, 1940: “We will always have our memories,” he says, as the soldiers pull him away. “You will survive this. You are braver than you know. Remember that, always.” This heartbreaking World War Two page-turner shows that love is more powerful than hatred, bravery can overcome evil, and hope is stronger than darkness.

In the middle of the night, while I am curled in Ben’s arms, there is a harsh knock on the door. My blood turns to ice. The love of my life is Jewish, and I am a Romany gypsy maid; every second that we exist in Hitler’s Europe, we are in danger. Every day, we have been huddling around a crackling radio, listening for news of this evil war. Every night, we have feared we won’t live till dawn.

The banging continues, and we leap out of bed. I can hardly breathe as I open the door, seeing Nazis standing before us. My heart cracks as the soldiers grab Ben. I’m powerless to stop them from shoving him into a wagon, bound for the place of no return.

The love of my life is now imprisoned in wire with thousands of other innocent inmates. For every moment he is trapped behind the gates of hell, he gets closer to death—surviving on scraps of food, and forced to work in gruelling conditions.

The soldiers haven’t arrested me yet, but it’s only a matter of time. I vow to stay alive for Ben, not to give up hope. I’ll stop at nothing to escape the enemy as they hunt me down.

With our fate in the hands of monsters, will we ever see each other again? And will our love for one another save us—or kill us?

Fans of Fiona Valpy, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Book of Lost Names will be utterly glued to this heart-wrenching and utterly gripping World War Two novel which shows that, if you have love, you can survive anything…


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About the Author

Shari J. Ryan is USA Today bestselling author. She lives in Massachusetts with her wicked awesome husband, and two wild sons who fill her life with non-stop comedy.

With a life full of love, writing, drawing, TV binging, reading, and Starbucks, Shari is living her best life.

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