The Secret Letter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

WWII as seen through the eyes of two young girls English Imogen and German Magda, who become women during World War II.  This novel, based on the true story of the author's parents, gave us the perspective of what it was like to live through this horrific time.  This was an emotional read as you take the journey with these teenagers, who had no option but to mature and grow up before their childhood was over!  Highly recommended.
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The Secret Letter is such a beautiful book, made especially emotional by the fact is is based on the wartime experiences of the author’s parents.
Two girls, one English, one German, grow up during the Second World War. Separated by geography but united in their passion to defeat the Nazis, Imogen and Magda become young women facing the reality of war.
Imogen is in love with Freddie but he joins the war effort and tells her to forget him in case he doesn’t come back. Magda falls in love with an injured airman but can’t avoid Hitler Youth fanatic (and later SS officer) Otto.
I admit that when I started this book I imagined the two girls would have more of a link than they actually ended up with. But actually it was so much better this way as it allowed the author to explore two complete stories with brief connections rather than have one story intermingled, making it much more powerful.
Both Imogen and Magda begin the book as children so are quite naive. As they grow into women, they become more aware of the war and determined to fight injustice. Both women are independent and even ambitious. Love for their countries, and hope for a better Nazi free future, inspires them to help the war effort in whatever way they can.
This book by Debbie Rix firmly focuses on the bravery and hope of those fighting against Nazi rule. There is also sadness about the reality of war and the difficulties faced by civilians. As well as using her own parents’ experiences and letters, the author has obviously done plenty of research to underscore the fictional plot with real life events.
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Very well researched and thoughtful writing. I enjoyed reading about The Wrens which I haven’t read about before in other WW2 fiction novels. Overall a great read.
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A book told from the perspective of two characters living in two different countries while experiencing a war that changed each.  This story is so good. I loved reading about the war from Magda's perspective.  She is a truly brave girl.  Imogen's side was also gripping,  but seeing how these two lives intertwined was so powerful.  This book was spectacular!  I highly recommend this book!!
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This is one of those books that once read you will never forget.
It follows the life of two girls.from teenage years through to adulthood. 
Set during the Second World War with one living in England and the other in Germany.
It focuses on the trials and tribulations that these girls suffer due to the war.
What is great about the book is that it highlights the fear and traumas that German people had to deal with if they did not agree with Nazi regime and the way that the population were lies to about the atrocities carried out in their name.
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I absolutely devoured this in a couple of days. The story follows two girls - one 13 year old Magda, in Germany and the other 15 year old Imogen in England. Magda lives on a farm in the German countryside while Imogen lives in Newcastle. The story is mainly set in the war years from 1939 but touches on the 1950s and the present day too.

Magda has to keep quiet that she is sympathetic to the other side while having to endure the German Girls League, part of the Hitler Youth and the unwanted attention of it's local rising star. She lives at home helping out at the family farm. Imogen and her friend Joy were shipped off to the sleepy lakes to continue with school and she's training to be an architect when war breaks out and takes leave of her course to become a Wren.

The stories of both girls kept me interested throughout and their stories are very cleverly interwoven. I found it fascinating to read about their experiences during the war and all the people they met and the circumstances they found themselves in.  Highly recommend.
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This was so good! Like, I cannot believe how good it was. I knew it would be interesting for me, but I cannot put into words how impressed I am by it.

I loved reading about the two contrasting experiences, and seeing both the similarities and differences between the two girls experiences in different countries. I've read a lot of fiction based in England in WW2, so i particularly enjoyed reading Magda's sections.

I don't want to give too much away, but I have to say, for anyone who likes WW2 fiction I would say this is a must read. It is fantastically written, the characters are so well constructed, and the plot is heartbreakingly beautiful.
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Thank you netgalley for the arc of this book in exchange for a fair review.  This was a different WW2 story. I enjoyed learning about the 2 main women in the story and how much they were the same and how determined they both were in their own way.  I don’t want to spoil the story so I won’t.  If you enjoy twists and turns and not totally predictably endings you’ll enjoy this book.
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This World War II novel spans the entirety of the war and focuses on two girls growing into young woman, one in Germany, the other in England. From Hitler youth and evacuation to resistance and joining the war efforts to acts of kindness and romance that will entangle their faiths, both their stories are mirrored as much as possible in an interesting but never forced manner. There is a lot of strength in both these female characters, which was nice to read about, and it was a well researched historical novel. There was also a strong romance element to it, which I felt undercut the meaning of those women breaking the mold and fighting for justice. Not to say they are not allowed to fall in love, but I thought the romance took up a little too much space here. Which is why, in the end, this was an enjoyable novel and a great, compelling read, but not a particularly memorable book or one that I would necessarily want to pick up again and again.
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I want to begin by saying that I received this book for free through Netgalley, but all thoughts are my own. This book is based around WW2, which is already an era I am interested in. It’s written from two different perspectives, one being of an English girl named Imogen and one of a German girl named Magda. These two girls end up being connected, and this book tells their stories. It’s based on a true story, partially of the authors own father who was an RAF pilot in the war while her mother was in the Wrens. The story of this book really gripped me and I ended up absolutely devouring this book in a matte of days and thoroughly felt connected to it and later knowing that it is based on a true story really makes me admire it more. The writing is very well done, and I even felt like I was learning about the situations for young girls in England during the war, but also felt like I was gaining more of an understanding about the fact that even Germans knew what Hitler was doing to some extent and hated it, but couldn’t express their feelings due to the fear of being killed. This book does also have a focus around love and loss, both romantically and a friendship type of love, and the way these loves wrapped up did actually put a smile on my face! This is definitely one of those books that fans of The Book Thief and The Tattooist of Auschwitz should read. This book in particular isn’t strictly holocaust related (although it is mentioned in some ways of course) but it gives another perspective of life in Germany during the war, as well as life in England, which is something I haven’t read much about. So I very much enjoyed the inclusion of both sides of the story of WW2. Overall this was such a beautiful book, Magda and Imogen were such wonderful, strong, brave, intelligent characters and I thought this was so well written and so moving. Please give this a read!
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Thank you to Bookouture and NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is a good story that explores the perspectives of two young girls from different countries during WW2. One , Imogen, is from England and the other, Magda, from Germany. I have to say that I enjoyed Magda's story much more than that of Imogen. The first third of the book felt like it was more directed at younger readers but as the girls matured, the writing style seemed to grow with them.. The storyline focuses more on hope and doing what is right then on the horrors of what happened during WW2. In saying that there is still a sense of the perils faced by the people of the time, both the Jewish population and anyone that was opposed to the government. The narrative felt like someone's true life story so I wasn't surprised to read that the author had based some of the 
story on the lives of her parents.
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This book reminded me again why I love historical fiction novels so much.  Even though history is based on facts, there are so many points of view to describe it and so many different situations and feelings that people experienced during specific period, that we can have endless stories to write about it. “The Secret Letter” is yet another version of people’s experience during WWII written in a truly beautiful and engaging style. 

Two girls, Imogen and Magda, are forced to live through one of the most horrifying times in world’s history, but with their strong determination and courageous actions, not only they survive WWII but they are also able to make a significant difference in their and other people’s lives. This is a story of bravery, kindness, love, and humanity. What makes this novel even more special is that it is based on a true story of author parents’ experience during WWII.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that loves historical fiction genre, and I am definitely looking forward to reading other books by Debbie Rix.

Thank you NetGalley, Bookouture, and the author, talented Debbie Rix, for giving me an opportunity to read an ARC copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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The Secret Letter is a stunning novel.  I love WW2 stories as even though fiction there is basis of what really happened.  This story is about two young girls. One in Germany and one in the UK.  Imogen is evecuated from her loving home in Newcastle and Magda at first is immune to what is happening on her farm outside the town.  The story follows the girls growing into adults and the bravery they showed.  Magda joins the resistance and Imogen becomes a Wren. It is fascinating reading how the German public completely fell for the propaganda and revered Hitler and the Nazis. It is horrifying reading about young boys who join the Hitler Youth becoming cruel and violent and neighbours turning on each other. A really moving read learning how different people survived the war. A great connection between these two young women. Highly recommend for those who love historic fiction.
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Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

This is a very moving story of two young women in different parts of Europe whose lives are nevertheless interwoven during WWII. In Germany, Magda watches as her dear friend Lotte is taken away to a concentration camp. She realizes that she does not fit in with the other girls in the village who take pride and pleasure in the Hitler Youth. She joins a secret movement to try to bring an early end to the war. When an RAF pilot lands near her home, her first instinct is to help even though it could mean risking her own life along with her family's.

In England, Imogen is evacuated from the city to the country side with her classmates for their own safety. Like Magda, she dreams of the end of the war so that she can get on with her life. The story is told from the perspectives of both girls, weaving back and forth between the two of them. At times heart-breaking and at other times uplifting.
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This is the parallel story of two young girls, and their lives through the Second World War.  Both of their stories were so good, with one of them having a better life than the other but both survived the bad times.  Their lives are linked by Magda's brother and Imogen's husband.   An excellent book.
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I have bee reading World War 2 stories for a while, and every time I read one new book, I learn something more. Some books are good, some others are far better. This is t case of The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix. I could not put it down. And on the other hand, I did not want to finish it, because I will miss Imogen and Magda.
Apart from the story itself, it shows how on both sides of the conflict, there are human beings, with feelings, beliefs, and worries. In every war, everybody loses. In every side, you have to resign your happiness and act according to the situations, to save your life and others'
Highly recommend it. Thank you Bookouture to let me read this book for an honest review.
The Secret Letter is released July 22nd. 2019. Don't miss it.
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The Secret Letter is historical WW II fiction based on true stories.  The book is very well written and I liked it very much.  My moms best friend was a war bride from Liverpool England, I grew up hearing her stories and now after reading this book, I want to know more.  I wish Mary were still alive to read this book, I think she would have loved it
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The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix.  

The Secret Letter was an interesting read.  I enjoyed the storyline about the two strong women who grew up during WWII on opposite sides.  Both Magda and Imogen were strong female characters during a time of struggle.  They worked to forge their own path.  What great role models.

Imogen grew up with a loving family.  She has a wicked crush on Freddie forever, but he didn’t seem to notice her - not really.  She was determined to do well in school and go to college.  She knew she had to serve her country and did so with some amazing adventures.  Mostly though, she wanted to see Freddie again.  

Magda lived on a farm in the mountains. Her brother went to the university and then moved to England to not have to deal with Hitler.  Magda helps on the farm, goes to school and wants to go to the university as well.  With her country in turmoil, she stays home and helps with the farm, but she really wants to help the other side.  She does her part in helping hide soldiers and she just wants to see Michael again.  

Two strong women, committed to their lives and country.  Two strong women who have a tenuous connection, but want to stop the horrid war.  The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix is an interesting title, but isn’t the large connection you might expect. The connection between Magda and Imogen is not a huge connection as well.  Yet the book works in the strength of the two main characters.  The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix is a good read.
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Not sure what to think about this book.
I really struggled with the main characters Magda and I mogen, they irritated me. Magda especially.
On the other hand, there were some interesting facts in the story, and I enjoyed reading the story about how the German's were treated in the war and how they coped as we know that not everyone agreed with Hitler.

Thanks to NetGalley,  Debbie Did and Bookouture for the opportunity to read and review.
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The Secret Letter
by Debbie Rix


Historical Fiction , Literary Fiction

Pub Date 22 Jul 2019

I am reviewing a copy of The Secret Letter through Bookoture and Netgalley:

In Germany in 1939 thirteen year old Magda is devastated by the loss of her best friend shy and gentle Lotte who was snatched away from her and sent to a concentration camp, wearing a Star Of David, Sean to her faded brown coat.  Magda realizes she’s not like the other girls in her village as she hates the fanatical new rules of the Hitler youth, leading Magda to secretly join The White Rose Movement.  She begins to rebel against the world around her.

When an English RAF Pilot Lands in a field near Magda’s house she finds herself having to make an impossible choice to risk the lives of her family or to save a stranger and make a difference in a war she wants to end.

In England in 1939 Imogen is a fifteen year old girl is taken from her family and evacuated to the Lake District what is believed to be a haven of safety even with war raging all through Europe.  All she has to connect her to the bombs and the battles are the letters she writes to her loved ones. What she does’t know, on the other side of the enemy line, her fate rests on the actions of a girl who will change her life forever…

I found The Secret Letter to be a powerful and well written novel...

Five out of five stars!
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