France 1944 and the streets are filled with swastikas. The story of a brave English girl behind enemy lines, a German soldier, and a terrible sacrifice…
When young English nurse Sibyl Lake is recruited as a spy to support the French resistance, she doesn’t realise the ultimate price she will end up paying. She arrives in Colmar, a French town surrounded by vineyards and swarming with German soldiers, but her fear is dampened by the joy of being reunited with her childhood sweetheart Jacques.
Sibyl’s arrival has not gone unnoticed by Commander Wolfgang von Haagan and she realises that letting him get closer is her best chance of learning enemy secrets. Yet despite her best intentions, Sibyl soon finds that betrayal does not come easy to her.
When Jacques finds that Sibyl is involved with the enemy, he is determined to prove himself to her with one last act of heroism. An act that will put all of their lives in terrible danger…
This little Ginger Book Geek is a history nerd with a particular interest in the Second World War period. I just love reading fiction set round about that time as it is the nearest thing I can get to getting a time machine. I sometimes think that I am so interested in that era because I didn’t know my grandparents so I couldn’t ask them ‘What did you do during the War?’ Anyway enough of me so back to the review I do go. I read the synopsis for ‘The Soldier’s Girl’ and I was immediately hooked. I couldn’t wait to get a copy and dive in. Well, ‘The Soldier’s Girl’ blew me away and I absolutely loved it but more about that in a bit.
The characters in ‘The Soldier’s Girl’ are varied but each have their own set of problems. The majority of the story focuses on Sybil. As a young child, she faced the devastating loss of her father and the further loss of everything that the family owned. They literally had nothing. Fortunately the family had a very good friend living in France who invited Sybil and her family to live with her and her family. Sybil really seems to settle in France and it isn’t too long until she thinks of France as her home rather than England. At some point Sybil does return to live in England but she still classes France as her home. Sybil trains and qualifies as a nurse and she seeks a job in France. It’s here that she is soon recruited a spy. I must say that Sybil is one seriously brave young lady. She knows that she runs the risk of being outed as a spy and she understands the potential consequences she faces. Sybil is feisty and determined.
Oh my goodness my this was one seriously fantastically, heart wrenching tale and I loved it! The author uses such vivid and powerful descriptions that I really did feel as though I had been transported back to the inter-war period and of course back to the Second World War. I really got a sense of the fear that existed during that time and the conditions in which people live. They say that you learn something new every day and I certainly learned something new from this book. I had a basic understanding of the history of the Alsace-Lorraine area and the fact that it went from French to German to French control but what I didn’t realise was that the area had its own little language which was a mixture of French and German. Having studied both languages to a fairly high level this certainly appealed to me.
‘The Soldier’s Girl’ is extremely well written. The author’s writing style is such that you can’t fail to be drawn into the story from the first word on the first page and before you know it you are addicted to the story. It didn’t take me long at all to get into the story. I found that it was almost as if the book had hypnotized me and I was certainly under its spell. I became addicted to reading this book as I was desperate to know how things panned out for Sybil. I was keeping everything crossed that Sybil evaded capture. I found that I was turning the pages quicker and quicker as I raced to the end. At one point it seemed as though the page numbers had blurred into one. I was genuinely disappointed to reach the end of the book as I was enjoying the storylines, the characters and the author’s writing style that I just wanted the book to continue for a lot longer than it did. I don’t mean that negatively by the way. The author has done a lot of research of this time period and it really does show with a fantastic attention to the little details that nerds like me love.
Reading ‘The Soldier’s Girl really did feel as though I was on an emotional rollercoaster ride and I felt as though I went through a whole range of contrasting emotions. On more than one occasion I felt a lump in my throat and my eyes filled up with tears. I am not normally affected by the books I read but this book got to me more than any other book I have read.
In short ‘The Soldier’s Girl’ is one hell of a fantastically brilliant book and I would definitely recommend it to other readers but particularly to those who enjoy historical fiction. I can’t wait to read what Sharon comes up with next. The score on the Ginger Book Geek board is a very well deserved 5* out of 5*.