The Secret Letter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

I seem to be in the minority on this one. I did finish the book but skimmed through it. The Secret Letter is the first book I have read by Debbie Rix. I have read many, many books on 
World War II and really do not like to rate them less than four stars,, because no matter what, we must continue to read and write about this horrific time so that it is never repeated. I don’t feel like I learned anything new from this book and when any major event took place I felt it was told in one sentence with no emotion.. The author wrote this story based on her parents involvement in World War II.. Her father was a RAF pilot and her mother was a WREN. You will learn about The White Rose Movement and WREN women but not in a lot of detail.  The one thing that resonates with me in this book is that there were many Germans who fought with the allies against the Nazis. Even  though this was not one of my favorite World War II books I encourage you to read it, many have loved it. Thank  you NetGalley and Bookouture for providing me with an ARC for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
When I saw the cover and the title I knew I had to read this book.
The secret letter is a historical fiction novel based on the author's parents true story and t's set in Germany and London during the WWII. It tells the story of two girls, Magda in Germany and Imogen in London and how their lives change drastically during this period. We get to know how they feel and how they think and that's how we get to know a bit more of this horrific period in  history. The war lasts several years, so we get to see them both grow and become brave women, make sacrifices, witness awful things and  then find love. Although it was nice reading about their first loves and all that I found them a bit distracting from the main story, specialy Imogen's  romances.
Of both stories I liked Magda's chapters more. I found her story  more entertaining, she was always dealing with different threaths that put her life in danger and this had me on the edge of my seat.   This book was a fast read for me, I couldn't stop reading.
I always like to read stories like this set on WWII and based on true events. So if you are like me you should give this book a chance, I'm sure you'll find this story compelling.
Was this review helpful?
I loved this story of Magda, a thirteen year old girl living in Germany in 1939.  Through her eyes we witness the fear and destruction as the Nazis rise to power, epitomised by the removal of her best friend, Lotte, who is forced to wear the ubiquitous Star of David as she is sent to a concentration camp.  Whilst her contemporaries in the village are happy to follow the rules of the Hitler Youth, Magda rebels and joins The White Rose Movement. 

Meantime in England, 15 year old Imogen is evacuated to the Lake District to protect her from the German bombs that are falling and we witness her story as she writes to her family.  

A delightful story, beautifully and sensitively told.  I have no hesitation in thoroughly recommending it.

Thank you to the author, publishers and NetGalley for providing an ARC via my Kindle in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?

This book was lovely. I haven't read a book about the Second World War in a while, but this one was really something. I loved these characters, both Imogen and Magda. Both two headstrong girls who have an urge to prove themselves during the war. 

It actually blew my mind how well researched this book was. I was turning pages like there was no tomorrow. I was so invested in what happened next, even though I learned all about WWII in high school, but I couldn't read fast enough and find out what happened to Imogen or Magda next.

I really enjoyed the ending. To be quite honest, I didn't think either girl would end up the way they did, but it was a very pleasant surprise after reading about such a horrible time in history. Also, the fact that Mrs. Rix has based Imogen's story on her own parents just warms my heart. Theirs was a story that deserved to be told.

I highly recommend this book if you fancy a well-researched historical fiction.
Was this review helpful?
This is a really good read by this author. She writes these books so well and manages to bring a historical novel to life. 
It was easy to warm to the characters and it left me constantly wanting more 

A great book
Was this review helpful?
I really enjoyed reading this story and learning about what the war was like in Germany and not just England and France. This book was really well-written and well-researched. I really felt like I was there at the farm in Germany or in the bunkers in England. This is a story of two brave women during a tumultuous time in the world's history. 

The Secret Letter follows two girls from two different backgrounds. Imogen is 15 years old and living in the Lake District away from her family to escape the bombings near her home. Writing to her crush, a pilot in the RAF is all she has to keep her going. Magda is 13 years old and living with her family on their farm in Germany when the war breaks out. She doesn't agree with her country's fanatical views, and secretly rebels against her government. When an RAF pilot crashes in her area, she risks her life and the life of her family's to protect him. 

Although I really liked the writing and imagery of this story, I felt like the description of this book did not match what actually happened in the book. I'm not quite sure why the book is called The Secret Letter. There was a letter that Magda hid, but it didn't have that much to do with the overall arc of the story. The connection between Magda and Imogen was anti-climatic and played a small part in both the girls' time in the war. I also felt like the book could have been half as long. With that being said, there were some pretty heartbreaking parts. I was especially drawn to Magda's story. She was so brave and went through a lot of hard things at a young age. The book really should have focused mostly on her. It ended on a hopeful, happy note and I found myself continually being drawn to this story. 

Thank you, NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book.
Was this review helpful?
Follow the lives of two very brave girls through World War II.  Magda lives in Germany and does not share the Nazi beliefs.  She is strong enough to stand against the new rules of the Hitler Youth.  Imogen lives in England and  is forced to move away from her home and family to go to school in an area that is considered safer.  Remarkably, the lives of these two young girls are intertwined several times as they get older and are determined to help others.  This book brought out all of the emotions!  I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Was this review helpful?
Trust me when I say, this one does come together at the end. There's a lot going on, and a long cast of characters to keep straight.

There's young Magda in Germany, struggling and rebelling against the war. And there's young Imogene in Europe, trying to concentrate on school while bombs fall all around her. And we have downed English pilots and Nazi officers. Oh and don't forget the past and present narrative.

But yes, it's worth it
Was this review helpful?
Well I read this in 24 hours, what better compliment can I give it! Although the subject matter is not pleasant at times it was nice to know from the very beginning that the main protagonists survived! What made me keep reading was that I really wanted to know who Imogen's husband was and how he ended up helping Magda in Germany. The book was a page turner (with a few twists and turns along the way), well researched (with further reading at the back if you want to learn more) and loosely based on a true story. I will definitely look out for Debbie Rix in the future!
Was this review helpful?
I received a DIGITAL Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			
For readers of Orphan Train, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Book Thief comes an unforgettable novel inspired by a true story about the power of human kindness and bravery in a time of unimaginable heartbreak.

Germany, 1939: Thirteen-year-old Magda is devastated by the loss of her best friend, shy and gentle Lotte, cruelly snatched from her and sent to a concentration camp – the Star of David sewn on her faded, brown coat. As the Nazi’s power takes hold, Magda realizes she’s not like the other girls in her village - she hates the fanatical new rules of the Hitler Youth. So Magda secretly joins The White Rose movement and begins to rebel against the oppressive, frightening world around her.

But when an English RAF pilot lands in a field near Magda’s home she is faced with an impossible choice: to risk the lives of her family or to save a stranger and make a difference in the war she desperately wants to end.

England, 1939: Fifteen-year-old Imogen is torn from her family and evacuated to the Lake District, a haven of safety away from the war raging across Europe. All she has to connect her to the bombs and the battles are the letters she writes to her loved ones. Little does she know, on the other side of the enemy line, her fate rests on the actions of one girl who will change her life forever…

Wow... what a book.  I was gobsmacked at how good it was - expertly written, an engaging story and a relevant story as we approach the 75th anniversary of D-Day. (I lost two uncles - one a week after Dday and another in October)  The horrors of that war were, well, horrific and this would be a good book for a teen to read to get an idea, in an "enjoyable way" to see how the war affected people their age. I run a historical book club and this will be a definite pick for us to discuss.

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by Millennials on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it some very revered (as it was a tragedy beyond compare...) ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡ ✡  (#neveragain)	
NOTE: I cannot link this review to LinkedIn - there is something wrong with the linking/programming and it will not happen.
Was this review helpful?
The gorgeous cover and intriguing title alone pretty much had me sold on reading this book, but the blurb sealed the deal. I seem to be especially drawn to historical novels about WWII lately. What appealed to me most about this novel is that the two main characters are on opposing sides of the war. Imogen is British, Magda is German, and each are expected to do their patriotic duty.

Imogen was evacuated to the Lake District in the early days of the war, safely away from the cities the Germans were bombing. She eventually joins the WRENS where she works on Top Secret projects for the war effort. Magda despises Nazi ideals, and secretly joins the White Rose movement after befriending Sophie Scholl at the University of Munich. Magda is determined to do what is right at all times, despite the risk of discovery—leading to a decision that affects the lives of both women.

This was a fast read for me. It pulled me in right from the start, and I just couldn't put it down. Both Imogen and Magda fascinated me, but it was Magda's part of the story that had me frantically tapping the screen. She was constantly dealing with a threat of some sort or another, and had a few close calls that left me feeling terrified for her. Imogen's part of the story didn't leave me with an impending sense of doom all the time, but the difficulties she faced touched my heart, and I just wanted her to be happy.

I found this novel to be beautifully written, and I was a little sad to reach the end. This is the first time I've read a book written by Debbie Rix, and I'm wondering why it took me so long to 'discover' her books. I can't wait to read more from this author!

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of Bookouture via Netgalley.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Letter is a book that I just didn't want to finish as it was that good.

It is a novel of strength, endurance, family, courage, hardship during the Second World War and after. 

It is the story of two girls, Magda and Imogene on opposing sides of the war .  

The author does a good job making you a part of their lives and you just want to turn those pages.

This was my first book by Debbie Rix , can't imagine why now.  I have my list ready to read by Debbie.

Thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture for the opportunity to read The Secret Letter.
Was this review helpful?
Very good story going between two girls Imogene and Magda, during WW II. The difference in their backgrounds and how they helped during the war in Germany and air raids in England.
How their lives came together made a nice ending.

Wonderful to read about her family, and how they became the characters for her book.
Was this review helpful?
This is a wonderful book of two young women on both sides of
the war. I really enjoyed it very much!  The writer did an amazing job of 
getting the truth of how things really were back then. Both of these young
women were very brave.  This is the first book I've read by Debbie Rix. I am 
very interested in reading her other books!
Was this review helpful?
Imogen and Magda are both young teenagers in the beginnings of WWII. Imogen is from England and Magda from Germany. As they live through the horrors of WWII, we see that each girl and each country are both impacted forever. Magda discovers an injured RAF pilot close to her family’ farm, and her kindness and willingness to help him reverberates through time and affects a great many people’s lives. Even though these characters didn’t know each other, both of their lives are intertwined in the most extraordinary ways and their families will never be the same. This story, inspired on true events, shows us how a simple act of kindness and bravery can have a ripple effect on the world. Thank you #netgalley for the opportunity to read this ARC.
Was this review helpful?
I would like to thank the author, the publisher and NetGalley for giving me the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. It was brilliant, superbly written and the characters were so believable. I shall be recommending this book to my friends.
Was this review helpful?
The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix is a historical novel set in the Second World War.
It tells the story of two girls. Magda who lives in Germany and Imogen who lives in England.
This story is about how the war changes all aspects of their life and the lives of their family and friends. 
It's a story of courage, determination and friendship.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I love stories about women’s efforts during World War II, and The Secret Letter did not disappoint. Imogen and Magda were strong women with strong feelings about helping the allies win the war. London- born Imogen joined women’s groups and traveled to war torn areas, determined to make a difference. And German Magda risked being executed for treason by joining a resistance group and helping allies who were prisoners of war. 
This book held my interest and made me want to learn more about the women’s groups during the war.
Was this review helpful?
A fabulous heartbreaking story.  we must never forget what terrible hardships and loss wars bring.  Imogen and Magda make the best of a bad situation.  Told with touching stores and about their connections, Warning that the terrible war should never happen again.  You must read this!!
Was this review helpful?
I dread giving reviews on true historical fiction especially when it is during WW2. This book truly did not disappoint. Remarkable story, great characters and wonderfully written. Sad time in history. Would definitely recommend. Thank you netgalley for letting me give an honest review of this book.
Was this review helpful?