An utterly heartbreaking tale of two young girls, worlds apart, who are thrown together when they have lost everything. Fans of Wives of War, Before We Were Yours and Diney Costeloe will absolutely love this poignant and moving World War Two novel.
Germany, 1939: Eleven-year-old Frieda is boarding a ship bound for England with her little brother, Kurt. Life at home is perilous, with synagogues set alight and innocent lives lost to the Nazis, and they have no choice but to flee. But as Frieda stands on the deck crammed with frightened children, her brother jumps off, back to land.
England, 1939: After a devastating childhood at Blakely Hall Orphanage, seventeen-year-old Sandra longs to put her past behind her. But when war breaks out and her brother Alf is sent to fly bombers, she’s completely alone.
1943: When Sandra and Frieda’s paths cross in the remote countryside, each girl finds a home at last. Facing long, terrifying nights in bunkers, they huddle together as planes roar above them and distant explosions shake them to their cores. They console one another – Frieda, with no idea whether her family have been captured or if her brother survived, and Sandra praying that Alf will live to see tomorrow.
The darkness of war may shroud them but as long as they have each other, they can keep a little light in the world. Will Frieda and Sandra ever be reunited with their loved ones? And will the two handwritten letters bound their way hold news of happiness… or heartbreak?
I absolutely loved this book. I just got totally drawn into the story and caught up in it. I’ve read a book by this author before, and I knew that she writes such superb, authentic historical fiction.
It’s told from both Sandra’s and Freida’s points of view, with slightly more input from Sandra.
Both of them have been through a lot, and have had to be strong. They’re both quite innocent, Sandra is a little older, but seems younger, and they just click when they meet. Freida hasn’t had many friends, and it’s very touching to see their friendship develop. They’re good for each other, and complement each other.
Although they are in a quiet country village, the impact of war is everywhere. There are still shortages and rationing, and loved ones away fighting. It was heartbreaking to hear of the fear when the telegram delivery boy would appear on his bicycle.
The story flows beautifully and will totally captivate you from start to finish. I savoured it every time I read it, and was sorry when it was finished. I’d really love a sequel.
If you like historical fiction, or just love a beautiful story with excellent characters, please read it, you will love it.
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐