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‘An absorbing and engaging tale of wartime bravery and endurance. Bill and Izabela are such tenderly drawn characters ... I loved it!’ RACHEL HORE, author of Last Letter Home and The Memory Garden
Their love is a death sentence. But can it keep them alive?
Czechoslovakia, 1944. In the dead of night, a farm girl and a British soldier creep through abandoned villages. Secretly married and on the run, Bill and Izabela are searching for Izabela’s brother and father, who are fighting for the Czech resistance. They know their luck will not last.
Captured by the German army, it seems they must be separated – but they have prepared for this moment. By cutting her hair and pretending to be mute, Izabela successfully disguises herself as a British soldier. Together, they face the terrible conditions of a POW camp, reliant on the help of their fellow POWs to maintain their fragile deception.
Their situation is beyond dangerous. If Izabela is discovered, she and Bill – and all the men who helped them – will face lethal consequences.
A novel set in war-torn Czechoslovakia amid the extreme privations of a prisoner of war camp, based on a true story of passion, heroism and a love that transcends overwhelming odds.
'Deeply moving and compelling ... an epic journey not only across war-torn countries but deep into the heart of what it is to be human. A heart-rending story beautifully told.’ JUDITH ALLNAT, author of The Poet’s Wife and The Silk Factory
‘Heart-wrenching and heart-warming in equal measure, The Prisoner's Wife is an unputdownable novel ... finely crafted, atmospheric, often nail-biting.’ BEN KANE, author of The Eagles of Rome series
'A story of danger, fear, determination and the redemptive power of love in war-torn Europe. It is a story that Hemingway might have envied.' JULIET GARDINER, author of Wartime: Britain 1939 to 1945 and The Blitz: The British Under Attack.
‘A gripping novel that explores the question of how much the human body, and the human spirit, can endure for the sake of love. The wealth of authentic detail makes it feel like a memoir ... I feel enriched to have read it.’ GILL PAUL, author of The Lost Daughter and The Secret Wife
‘The Prisoner’s Wife seamlessly and skilfully breathes intense, fully realised life into the stark scenes it describes. I was by turns moved, outraged and humbled’ DEBORAH KAY DAVIES, author of True Things About Me
'A powerful page-turner' MARIE BENEDICT, New York Times bestselling author of Lady Clementine
'You will be spellbound by this stellar novel. So richly imbued with sensory details you’ll be feeling every anguished moment and every golden ray of hope.' SUSAN MEISSNER, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War
'The most unique World War II story I’ve ever read... Romantic, perfectly observed, inspiring, and thrilling – The Prisoner’s Wife is impossible to put down – and when I did, I was teary-eyed. A complete winner.' SARAH-JANE STRATFORD, author of Red Letter Days
'Tremendous ... this is much more than a love story' GEORGINA CLARKE, author of Death and the Harlot
‘Engrossing, harrowing and heart-warming’ ANN MORGAN, author of Reading The World
‘It’s hard to imagine this novel is based on a true story ... a story of hope and courage against all odds’ Woman's Weekly
'This is a beautiful book that will give any reader in dark times a reason to believe in the continuing goodness of people' NICOLA GRIFFITH, author of Hild
Brookes takes inspiration from a British POW's account of his time being held by the Nazis in this page-turning story of love and survival. In the summer of 1944, five British military prisoners from the Lamsdorf POW camp arrive under guard to assist with the harvest on a family farm in Vra n , in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. One of the prisoners, bombardier Bill King, catches the eye of Izzy, the family's unmarried daughter, and they fall in love. With Bill scheduled to return to the POW camp once the work is finished, he and Izzy plot to run away and join Izzy's father and older brother with anti-German partisans. A sympathetic priest marries the couple; then Izzy cuts her hair and dons men's clothes to attract less attention as she and Bill set out to find the resistance. Instead, they're captured by German troops and sent to Lamsdorf, with Izzy still posing as a man. As Soviet forces rapidly gain ground, Izzy, Bill, and the rest of the prisoners are forced to march west during the bitter winter, a journey that tests their will to survive and threatens to separate the couple. Brookes demonstrates a fine command of historical circumstances and events but skimps on character development amid the nonstop action. In a crowded field of WWII fiction, this one doesn't stick out.