AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
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“Unforgettable” —Kelly Rimmer, New York Times bestselling author
Inspired by true events, the riveting story of a young Jewish woman trapped on the occupied island of Jersey during World War II.
Summer 1940: Hedy Bercu fled Vienna two years ago. Now she watches the skies over Jersey for German planes, convinced that an invasion is imminent. When it finally comes, there is no counterattack from Allied forces—the Channel Islands are simply not worth defending. Most islanders and occupying forces settle into an uneasy coexistence, but for Hedy, the situation is perilously different. For Hedy is Jewish—a fact that could mean deportation, or worse.
With no means of escape, Hedy hides in plain sight, working as a translator for the Germans while silently working against them. She forges a tentative friendship with a sympathetic German officer who is likewise trapped by circumstance. But as the war intensifies, Hedy knows she is in greater danger each day. Soon, her survival will depend not just on her own courage but on the community she has come to cherish and a man who should be her enemy.
Vividly recreating little-known events, this is an unforgettable tale of resilience and bravery, and of the extraordinary power found in quiet acts of heroism and love.
“Riveting” —Karen Robards, New York Times bestselling author
“Harrowing” —Noelle Salazar, bestselling author
“Cinematic” —Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife
“Captivating” —Glynis Peters, author of The Secret Orphan
Lecoat's U.S. debut draws on the history of Germany's WWII occupation of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, where the author was raised. During the summer of 1940, Hedy Bercu is living on Jersey after having escaped Nazi-occupied Vienna. After the Germans invade, Hedy is forced to register with the new government as a Jew, and she's later hired against protocol to do translation work, due to a lack of qualified applicants. Only the person who hired her knows she is Jewish, and while in the Germans' employ, Hedy meets Lt. Kurt Neumann, who becomes infatuated with her and takes the fall for her over stolen petrol coupons. Hedy and Kurt begin a secret relationship after his release from jail, but Kurt breaks off their relationship when Hedy confesses she is Jewish, not out of his adherence to Nazi ideology, but because he is hurt by her earlier lack of trust in him. After Kurt agrees to help Hedy find her parents in Vienna, he learns about the horrors of the concentration camps, and their romance reignites. As the war continues, and Kurt discovers there are plans to deport Jews living on the island, his prime concern becomes keeping Hedy safe. Lecoat capably combines historical fact with the fictional narrative, and offers a cast rich with multidimensional characters. Readers will be riveted.
Fascinating historical novel highlighting a lesser known aspect of World War II. The characters are compelling and relatable. I really enjoyed this book