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.
So Brave, So Skillful
The Bletchley Girls by Anna Stuart is a marvellous historical novel that I just could not put down.
Whilst World War II was undoubtedly absolutely awful, it did provide opportunities for woman. Previously expected to marry and reproduce, now women could have positions of responsibility and really make a difference to the war effort, and even the outcome of the war.
Bletchley Park was a place of brilliant minds and unique skill sets. The reader follows three young women with varying talents, all of whom are heading to Bletchley Park. As they become firm friends their lives go in different directions as the BP girls are sent where they are most needed.
The reader sees the war at home, in Malta and in Egypt. All are fighting the same war. There are some truly terrifying moments.
A Brave Community
The Hidden Village by Imogen Matthews is a compulsive historical novel set in Holland during World War II.
Holland was rapidly overrun by Nazis and many people had to go into hiding. The Hidden Village tells a tale of the brave folks in a community who helped to feed and hide not only their Jewish neighbours, but those from further afield.
A whole hidden village sprang up within a dense forest but it needed brave and trusted people to bring supplies. The reader marvels at this community, even the children got involved, sometimes using imaginative ways to get food.
Stolen Ones by Angela Marsons is a totally gripping contemporary crime novel. It is the fifteenth book in the D.I. Kim Stone series but can be read as a stand-alone.
Once more I became totally immersed in the world of Kim Stone. She is a likable, realistic and tenacious police officer who will leave no stone unturned in her pursuit of the truth.
As with previous novels, the action is set in the Black Country and surrounding areas. I have my family roots firmly planted there and it was wonderful to be able to picture exactly where the scenes took place – I have been many times to the Nimmings Road car park at Clent.
We witness how our upbringings shape the adults we become. We must also own our choices. Characters born in the same deprived area made very different life choices and ended up in very different circumstances as adults.