Recollections: Reviews by a Book Lover



Review: The Girl in the Blue Coat

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I received an advance reading copy of the Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse from the publisher.

I’ll start off by saying that World War II historical fiction is one of my favorite genres. With that said I really enjoyed Girl in the Blue Coat.  It is well researched and thought provoking.

There is so much going on in this novel.  Amsterdam has been taken over by the Nazis.  Hanneke (the main character) is working for a funeral home, while also working in black market trades.  She is grieving the death of her boyfriend, while struggling to provide for her family.  Then one day Hanneke is asked to find a missing girl who is Jewish.  Hanneke has always felt her black market work was her way of rebelling against the Nazis, but she isn’t sure she wants to take on something that will be even more dangerous.  Soon she is thrust into the world of the underground resistance, discovering just how ugly Hitler’s war machine is, all while trying to find a young girl before it is too late.

This book has a lot going for it.  It’s part mystery. It deals with grief, and finding the courage to do the right thing.  Many people risked their lives during WWII to help in resistance work.  It was often difficult to know who could be trusted, and even more difficult to make the tough decisions about what chances the resistance could and couldn’t take when it came down to it.  Hanneke doesn’t want to get involved with the resistance, all she wants to do is find Mirjam.  The resistance wants Hanneke’s help in finding hard to find goods to help feed people in hiding.  They will help Hanneke but not at the cost of putting anyone else involved in the resistance in harms way. And Hanneke isn’t sure how much she wants to get involved in the resistance because she is the only one her parents have to take care of them. The more Hanneke learns about what the Nazis are really doing the more she understands  what is truly at stake.

I was up late reading this book every night wanting to know if Hanneke would succeed and at what price.

This book goes on sale April 2016, and if you love World War II historical fiction as much as I do then it needs to be on your must read list.  It is a beautifully written story about love, grief, war, and redemption.

 

 

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