The Secret Letter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Imogen:  Of the two main characters Imogen was my least favorite. The one thing that I did not about Imogen’s storyline was that it reminded me of the Chronicles of Narnia with the children being sent away to the countryside to keep them safe from the war. But, Imogen refused to see what was going on in front of her and steadfastly held onto her innocence and naivete. She lives with a nice couple in the countryside where she courts a boy and makes friends. She is then still looking for love with Freddie an RAF pilot and goes onto college. Her life doesn’t change all that much and she still gets to see it through. 

Magda: Magda, on the other hand, has her whole life turned upside down. Being that she lives out in the countryside you would think that she would be less affected. But Magda’s best friend Lotte and her family are run out of town; she is forced to join the Women’s League in support of the Nazis and Hitler and is blackmailed and molested by a young officer. 
Magda is smart enough and aware from the beginning that the Nazis are not to be believed or trusted. 

Plot: 
This book showcases so many of the horrors and atrocities that occurred during WW2.  We get to see how these two young girls manage to live and survive during this horrible time. This book encompasses so many of the different aspects of WW2 from the bombings of London, to the evacuation of children, the indoctrination of young German youth, the events at Dunkirk and so much more. 

My opinion: I have read several historical fictions lately and most of them having to do with WW2 and the Holocaust. This one holds up well in comparison to the others. 

Would I recommend? 
I would recommend this book I will definitely be looking out for more from this author.
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Thanks to Netgalley for the advanced copy...

Oh wow! What a beautiful heartfelt story I ever read...I loved the beautiful cover and it’s perfect!

Looking forward to read more book from this author soon...
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A WWII historical fiction set in Germany and England   Told in alternating points of view from Magda and Imogene.  This story shows how two young girls fought behind the war for what is good and noble in people and how their lives intertwined.  Beautifully written.  Characters are thoughtful and well developed.  Magda and Imogene will stay with me for a long time.
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A coming of age story set during the turbulent years of World War 2 , The Secret Letter is my first encounter with the writing of Debbie Rix, but it certainly will not be my last. In a crowded genre this book stood out because of the two main characters, whose lives we follow over the course of the war and beyond. 
In England fifteen year old Imogen is evacuated to the Lake District to finish her schooling away from the bombings that threaten the cities every night. While she is lucky to be staying with a nice family, she misses hers, and also the very handsome and charming neighbour,Freddie, who has certainly caught her eye. Sheltered from the worst of the war she eventually joins the service as a WREN and soon finds herself at the heart of the Allied invasion at Normandy, while juggling her feelings for two very different young men. 
Meanwhile in Germany we are introduced to thirteen year old Magda, whose brother is away at university in England when war breaks out. In his letters home he manages to reveal some shocking truths that take the shine off the German propaganda the family is surrounded by, and this ,along with the loss of her Jewish friend spurs Magda into working for the German resistance. As if that is not dangerous enough she also comes face to face with  a downed RAF pilot and must choose whether to risk her whole family's safety in order to help him
The motif of letters runs throughout the book, from the letter at the very beginning which introduces us to the connection between these two women, to the letters from Imogen to her parents describing life in England during the war to the titular letter from Magda's brother that almost spells tragedy . It is a clever idea and is well executed . The characters are both well drawn and believable, though I did find myself more drawn to Magda's story as the story of the White Rose resistance group is something I had not encountered before. The book has several emotional highs and lows, and definitely held my interest , I would highly recommend it to any fans of WWII era historical fiction with strong female characters. 
I read and reviewed an ARC courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher, all opinions are my own.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this novel that wove together the stories of Magda a young girl living on a farm in Germany and Imogen who was sent by her parents to live in the countryside of England during the war.
The story starts with a letter in present day and then takes you back to the years of the war to tell the story of how their two worlds collide. 

Magda lives on a farm with her parents. Very early on Magda realizes that her view on things is quite different from what the “Young Maidens” are taught about racial purity and the like. Receiving  a letter from her brother makes her question everything that is happening in Germany too. She embarks on a path to find out what is really happening in the war and is determined to make a difference.

Imogen spends her days going to school in the countryside away from her family and the devastation the war is causing in the city.  After studying for a year at university to become an architect Imogen’s life changes forever as she joins the forces to do her bit.

Would definitely recommend this read!

Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the advanced copy.
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I couldn’t put this book down once I had started. Flipping back and forth between 2 young girls lives - one in Germany and the other in the UK. 
I have never read any of this authors books but will certainly look out for them
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The Secret Letter is a story that alternates between Magda and Imogen mainly over the course of the second world war.

By finding out more about Magda and Imogen, we get to see what things were like for people in Germany and England. From the time leading up to the war starting, as well as during, and to the final days of it ending. It was really interesting to see what life was like for both of them and their families.

I read this book on holiday and was so gripped by the authors story telling that apart from taking a quick two minute dip in the pool to cool down every hour or so, I was straight back on to my sun lounger with Kindle in hand.

Magda and Imogen both have quite different lifestyles and both do quite a lot in the war movement. I loved the strength of both characters as they are strong minded and know what they want from life. Whilst there is romance in the story this story is so much more than that. It reminds us of a time that we all should never forget and learn from.

The Secret Letter is a beautifully written story that captivated my mind and heart. In parts it was emotional at what people had to live through as well as an horrific reminder of what some people did to fellow humans. The ending was particularly emotional as I felt a whole array of emotions of happiness and sadness. A perfect historical fiction novel that fans of this genre are going to love.
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Terrific and emotional coming of age story set during WWII.  Fans know there are a lot of books out there right now in this genre but Ria has hit a sweet spot with the stories of Magda and Imogen (Ginny).  Moving between Germany and the UK, this tells the tale of how both young women pulled themselves up to fight the Nazis, Magda locally and Ginny as, ultimately, a WREN.  Rix has folded in snippets of real materials, such as speeches, which is an excellent device.  Neither young woman is perfect- they both have their foibles- which make them so realistic.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  Rix is an excellent storyteller and this was an excellent read.
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Dual perspective WWII novels are super popular right now, but this one is a standout. I loved that they were not only existing in the same timeline but how their stories were interwoven throughout the book. It was expertly and thoughtfully written. Even better is that the author based her characters on real people - her parents - and their actual experiences. I loved being able to witness such vastly different experiences and perspectives of the war. And there was so much  depth of character and strength of the women (and men) portrayed. I love that there was more to the girls than finding a husband to settle down with. I also learned something new in reading this, as I had no idea how the Nazis "replaced" Christmas traditions and how they deified Hitler to the point of prayer. Fascinating and terrifying how someone can have such a hold on people. 

I'm a MASSIVE fan of historical fiction, especially WWII stories. This is a great addition to the genre!
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This heart breakingly beautiful book book made me miss my mum, who passed away over 4 years ago.  Mum was a great reader, like me, but our taste in books was quite different.  However, I am sure she would have loved this book as much as I did.  Mum was a WREN, and as I read these pages, I really wanted to talk to her about her experiences, and our thoughts on this book - something that has never happened before.  

This is a really special book, which draws us into the worlds of two young girls during WWII, one German, one English, and explores how their lives change when WWII explodes on the world.  Prior to this I knew quite a bit about what it was like in England during WWII, but I don't think I have heard much about what it was like for the ordinary German families - or even more so, for those in the resistance - this book opened my eyes.  

The stories of Magda and Imogen are sensitively and beautifully written, their characters fully developed and explored, the traumas and turmoil they go through handled deftly and sensitively.  When we meet them they are normal young girls, in quite different situations, but as we watch them try to survive what WWII has thrown at them, I was moved by the fortitude, courage and compassion both girls showed..  The romantic aspects of the story, the heartaches and the joys, were handled perfectly and the author makes them both believable and realistic.  The supporting cast of characters were also very well written, and again, totally realistic.  The descriptions of the settings made me feel I was actually there, and I found the developing links between the girls very satisfying.

I loved both Imogen and Magda, felt to my core every moment of the highs and lows of their lives, and feel quite bereft now the book is over and they are gone, they are so real to me.   I am actually struggling to put into words my feelings about this book, and know I will spend forever editing this review, trying to get the words right, so I am going to just finish it now and say simply that this is a book which will remain with me for a long time, if not forever, and it has been a privilege to read it.  And I miss my mum.

This book is released on 22 July.  Thank you to Debbie Rix, Bookouture and Netgalley for the opportunity to receive an advanced reader copy.  However, this review is an honest and unbiased reflection on my own thoughts on reading this book.
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This is another WWII Historical Fiction book that I would love to give more than 5 stars to.  I really enjoyed this book that I read in 2 days' time.  It is a story that goes back and forth between the lives of Imogene, a teen in England, and Magda, a teen farm girl in Germany.  The story follows them through the war with their growing up and learning to cope with the horrors of war, meeting people and not knowing who to trust, and the men in their lives.  It is heartbreaking at times and is such an overall great read.   Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this fantastic book that I devoured in record time, because it was such a page turner, in exchange for an honest review.
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Thank you to net galley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

I was a little bit disappointed with this one. I did prefer the second half to the first but I found it a little bit slow in places and it didn’t hold my interest. Not sure I’d be interested in reading any other books by this author unfortunately, sorry.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for a digital galley in exchange for an honest review.

If it hadn't been for the beautiful reviews I had read here on Goodreads, this WWII story would have slipped right through my fingers. Alternating between Germany and England, I quickly became engrossed in Magda and Imogen's storylines.  The Secret Letter is a coming of age story during a time when these two countries were torn apart by war. Debbie Rix weaves into the tale the Hitler Youth, The White Rose, the evacuation of British children to the countryside, and other war related activities. It results in a captivating story that makes it a nominee for best WWII book of 2019

As much as I enjoyed the two protagonists, I wasn't a huge fan of Magda's mother. It seemed as the story and the war progressed, she became even more incredibly naive and well, just plain stupid. Other than, I have only praise for this book!



Goodreads Review 09/07/19
Expected Publication 22/07/19
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I don’t normally read historical fiction but boy am I glad I read this. Read in one setting this is a brilliant captivating read. Set from 1939 to 2019, two girls, one English one German and one World War. Their childhood’s, adulthood’s, their loves, their lives, their wars. Beautifully written. All the way through I kept thinking what a great film it would make. A book that will linger long after the last page.
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5 stars for The Secret Letter! I’ll admit that I’m a huge fan of World War II novels; when I found out that The Secret Letter was inspired by true events, I simply had to read it.  The writing is spectacular, and I think it would be an excellent book club selection.  This novel is about heroism under the most difficult of circumstances and the heroes are many.  

Imogene is evacuated to the English countryside with several fellow students in hopes of protecting them from the war.  Imogene postpones her plans of becoming an architect joining the war effort as a WREN, moving up the ranks to assist in the Allied invasion of Germany.

Magda is growing up in a small village in Germany, as she learns to navigate in the very changed world around her as her Jewish friends disappear.  She endeavors to maintain a constant façade of supporting the Nazi party that she abhors while participating in the resistance movement.   

The novel depicts how the war impacted each of these women and their families but also the impact that they made on the war effort.  There is romance, intrigue and a weaving of these two lives into one riveting ending. 

I received an advance copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.
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I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.   Thank you NetGalley.

The Secret Letter is a historical fiction set in the WWII - era.       This book was absolutely beautiful.      I'm not normally a fan of historical books, but I learned so much from this book.   I will be reading more by Debbie Rix.
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Thanks to netgalley for an early copy in return for an honest review 
First time reading this Author and thoroughly enjoyed this book 
Set in war time 2 very strong women characters  seeing the  story from 2 very different  perspectives  intriguing  read that held  my attention  can highly recommend.
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I enjoy WWII-era stories, so I was looking forward to this book, and it didn’t disappoint. Characters and storylines are well-developed and realistic. The two lead heroines (Imogen and Magda) are strong and determined, and they want to make a difference during the war. The prose is beautiful, but heartbreaking at times. The story allows the reader to see things from two perspectives: the British (Imogen) and the Germans (Magda). The plot unfolds over a period of years (1939-1950s), and the author holds the reader’s attention throughout. This historical novel is based on actual events. It’s apparent that Rix did a lot of research for this story.
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A fascinating and interesting read. This book is beautifully written and had me in tears in places. Magda and Imogen’s stories are thought provoking and moving. I learnt more about World War 2 and different peoples attitudes. This book will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.
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I received an advanced e-copy of The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix from NetGalley.  This story was beautifully written and hooked me immediately.  The story features two girls - one in England and another in Germany during World War II.  Their two stories are interwoven even though they have never met each other.  They each experience hardships and unjust treatment of others during the war.  I was enthralled with the story all the way to the end and stayed up too late reading, but it was worth it!
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