Cover Image: The Secret Letter

The Secret Letter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Another absolutely amazing read by this author.  I just loved this story and couldn’t put it down.  It had me glued to the book from the very start.  Loved it.
Was this review helpful?
This is a historical fiction based on the wartime experiences of the author’s parents. The story takes place during WWII and is about two girls: one English, Imogen, and the other German, Magda. It is a story of bravery and hope.
Beautiful and moving story.
Was this review helpful?
This is a heart wrenching novel about how one little girl has the potential to change history. This is told through the lens of two little girls on opposite sides of the war, hoping for the same outcome. The fact that this is based on a true story (the author's parents) is astonishing and adds so much more meaning to all the small details.
Was this review helpful?
A truly amazing, heartfelt story about love and war that really tugs at the heartstrings.The story follows a young English girl and a young German girl living through the horrific ww2 , their lives unbeknown to them become connected which reveals itself in many many years to come. 

I loved how some of the story was set in my home town of Newcastle as I could almost visualise how landmarks such as the central station was back in those times.

This is the first book I have read by this lady and I have already looked up her others which I will definitely be reading. A beautiful, captivating 5 star read.
Was this review helpful?
The following review was posted on Goodreads:

I am grateful to the publishers for allowing me access to this book through NetGalley. I loved it so much, I read it in less than 24 hours! I’m a sucker for a good WWII novel, especially when it includes unique stories that I haven’t heard of before. I loved that this novel was based on true events experienced by the author’s family members. I loved that it included action, romance, family, friendship, love, sacrifice, redemption, and a few amazing strong female characters. I’d highly recommend this book to my fellow WWII readers!
Was this review helpful?
3.5 stars

The setting of this story is from the start of WW2 until it’s end. It does a wonderful job of detailing some of the historical highlights that happened during the war. It doesn’t get too immersed in the details of these events, but rather refers to them during the plot line. The plot itself alternates between two perspectives- Imogen is a British girl/woman who signs up as a Wren after finishing her high school. Magda is a German girl/woman whose plans to go to university upon high school graduation are thwarted as she becomes involved in German resistance. 

The book is nicely written (aside from a fair number of grammatical errors which were hopefully corrected before publishing), and the characters were well developed. If I had to name a couple of suggestions for improvement, it would be better editing as there were some tangents that led nowhere (e.g. Imogen’s relationship with Dougie) and really didn’t need to be in the story. And there was quite a large focus on Imogen and her various romantic interests, which made the story feel more like a historical romance than historical fiction. If that was the intent of the plot, then it should be marketed as such and the romance parts better carved out to create more conflict, controversy or tension.

Overall I liked the book but i wasn’t emotionally connected to it, hence the downgrade in my rating. I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Drawing on the letters and diaries of her parents, Debbie Rix’s new novel, The Secret Letter, follows English Imogen and German Magda as they deal with the heartache and terror of living in countries impacted by the Second World War.

Early in the war, Imogen is evacuated to the Lake District away from her family and the threat of the Blitz. Later, she joins up to serve as a Wren. Magda’s experience in southern Germany is much more terrifying. As National Socialism becomes entrenched in her country, her friend is taken away by the Nazis for nothing other than being Jewish. Everyone around her seems to be enthralled by Hitler, while she despises everything about him. Through a friend, at the University of Munich, she is introduced to the White Rose movement, a non-violent resistance group made up largely of students, and ends up helping an English pilot stranded behind enemy lines at great risk to herself and her loved ones. Although on different sides of enemy lines, Imogen and Magda’s lives are intertwined.

This is a page turner, Rix skilfully evoking the reality of war and the toll that an insidious regime takes on both its citizens and those under threat from it. At the heart of it though is the question of how we choose to behave in dire times: do we step up and be counted or quietly watch from the sidelines as evil is done? And yet, surely ‘our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter’? The dilemma of our current times.

Was this review helpful?
I loved this book. It covered WWII. It had a good plot. It had breathtaking storyline. The main heroine of the book was brave, and courageous. These were hard times. Survival was difficult. This book reflects that. 
This book will remain in my head and heart for a long time to come.
Was this review helpful?
An interesting and absorbing read that shows some of the normal day-to-day activity of people in wartime. I particularly enjoyed the stories of Imogen and Magda - the dual heroines were similar yet so different. The Lake District scenes were evocative and amusing whilst heartfelt- the scenes rang true and made you empathise with the suffering of the characters. 

An interesting read, showing a different insight into WWII

Was this review helpful?
This was a wonderful WWII historical fiction read! Told from the point of view of two young girls who become women during the war. Interesting characters with moments of suspense. I truly enjoyed this book. 

Thank you, Bookouture and NetGalley for a digital ARC!
Was this review helpful?
This story is based on real stories and people during the beginning of World War II. As seen through the eyes of two young girls, Imogen from England and Magda from Germany. Beautifully written. Characters are thoughtful and well developed. I really enjoyed reading this story. The girls will stay with me for a very long time.
Was this review helpful?
Historical Fiction that is based on real stories and real people will always hit harder and be more poignant to me than other historical fiction books, and The Secret Letter did not disappoint in that regard. I definitely thought this story was good, but I did have trouble connecting with the characters at certain points which made it hard to fall completely into the book.

I would definitely recommend this book to historical fiction readers, but in my opinion it might not affect people that have read a lot of WWII Historical Fiction as profoundly as other titles in the genre.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the gifted book and opportunity to read and review it prior to its publication date! This in no way affected my review, all opinions are my own.
Was this review helpful?
This was a wonderful story.  I've read quite a bit of ww2 historical fiction but this one didn't feel like a story I'd already been told.  I enjoyed the 2 story lines and the strength and hope shown by both young ladies. 

I received an ARC from NetGalley.
Was this review helpful?
Magda and Imogen are two fifteen year old girls st the start of WW2, Magda living in rural Germany and Imogen in England and alternate chapters follow the stories of their war.  Magda is a bit of a rebel and anti Hitler but that is an opinion she would be in fear of her life for if she expressed it, but she secretly joins the White Rose resistance movement.   Imogen after her school being relocated to the Lake District starts to train as an architect before joining the Wrens.  

A great story showing the two young girls turning into incredibly strong women both wanting to do their bit fighting Hitler.   I particularly enjoyed Magda's story as it's unusual to have a story about an ordinary German girl's war, and the fear that she lived in day by day.   I will definitely be looking for more books by this writer
Was this review helpful?
I was given a copy of the secret letter by Debbie Rix in exchange for an honest review. The book is set during world war two and tells the story of Magda and Imogen growing up while the war is on. Magda lives in Germany, she finds she doesn't agree with the Hitler regime but must keep her feelings hidden. Imogen helps during the war as a Wren typing up war records. Their lives cross through relatives. This was a well written book which I really enjoyed.
Was this review helpful?
A first by me by this author wont be my last! A facinating historical read that left me page turning well into the night! The details were perfect as well as the charcters i really enjoyed each page! Thank you netgalley and the publisher for my arc copy in exchange for my honest review!!! Any fan of historical reads will definatly fall in love with this!
Was this review helpful?
Magda and Imogen are two girls, living normal lives that are disrupted by war. While I loved that this book was based on a true story, I was hoping and expecting that the lives of these two girls would be intertwined more than they were. The premise was interesting, but the storyline just did not measure up to my expectations. I did find it incredibly interesting to read about the German resistance, so to speak.
Was this review helpful?
I do enjoy a good historical fiction, those dealing with wars and loss are never easy to read, still i do like a good one. This one, however, was a bit difficult to get through.

The story follows two young women during the six long years of WWII. Imogen in England and Magda in Germany. The idea of the book was interesting and i was rather surprised to find out that it was based on some true event about both girls.
NO matter how hard i tried, i couldn't connect with Imogen, i just couldn't really like her. Somehow, she made the war look like a glamorous garden Party, even when the story followed her during her work as a Wren.
Magda on the other hand, was easier to sympathize with. Living in a small, remote village, she was somehow far away from the center of actions. Yet in her own way, she did try to fight the Nazi doctrines and actions and make a difference.

I did enjoy some parts of this book, but still  i was relieved when i finished it and put it aside and this is not the kind of feeling i would rather have after finishing a book.
Was this review helpful?
What a wonderful story. I loved this one and I couldn’t put it down. I loved the fact that it began in 1937 in England as well as Germany, focussing on two families and the story switched between the two every other chapter. 
It gave you an idea of life from the German perspective as well as the English. 
My thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read this wonderful book in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A well written historical novel set in WWII Germany during the Nazi regime. Seen from different viewpoints, this is a poignant novel from the point of view of Magda in Germany and Imogen in England. A true portrait of how this war changed lives.
Was this review helpful?