Cover Image: The Secret Letter

The Secret Letter

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Member Reviews

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
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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!!
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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.
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This book takes place during WWII.  In England, Imogen is evacuated with a number  of other teenagers and children to the Lake District.  In Germany, Magda questions the Nazi's, and there fanaticism against the Jews.  

This book jumped several year at a time, which was a bit disorienting.  Between the end of Part I and the beginning of Part II, the story jumped two years.  For characters who began as young teenagers, this is a lot of time and periods of growth to skip over.  Neither Imogen or Magda felt very realistic, probably because of the drastic time jumps.  Overall, this book was a bust.
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I really enjoyed this book. The author told two stories of World War II through the eyes of two girls, Magda and Imogen, two strong women characters.  "The Secret Letters was based on true events.  It was well written and kept my attention the whole time.  I will definitely recommend this book to others as well as now I will read more books by this author.
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The Secret Letter is a beautiful, yet heart wrenching tale which addresses the horrors of World War II from the perspective of the Germans and the British. It delves into the lives of two adolescent girls, not only from two different countries but quite different backgrounds, and their experiences during the years of the war. The story begins in 1939 and spans through until the early 1950s, following each girl, the difficulties that they faced and how one of them changed the others life forever. 

We are told the story from two different perspectives: that of 13 year old Magda and 15 year old Imogen (this is how old they are when the story begins in 1939). Magda lives in a rural German village, not far from Munich, where she is forced to participate in Hitler related activities at school and pretend she hails him as the Fuhrer. This is something that she struggles with as she discovers over time, through communication with her brother, that Hitler is doing dreadful things (including taking her best friend away). Over the course of the book, Magda grows enormously, as she aims to do what is right and not what all the other Germans are doing. When enemy fighter planes go down near the farm, Magda does all that she can to assist and help them back to health so that they can make home to their families and to the cause against Germany. Despite being subject to harassment, sexual abuse and threats from the Gestapo, Magda stays true to her beliefs and fights for the freedom of all. I found her character developed so much throughout the book. At the beginning she made small changes to rebel against her school mates, which then led to larger changes including supporting the White Rose and hiding enemies in her house. I admired her strength and determination and how she had no fear, no matter what situation she was put in. 

The second narrator is Imogen, a young British girl who is forced to move to the lakes with others adolescents from her city so that they are away from the risks of bombings. As she moves around throughout the war years, from the lakes to London, France and back again, she throws her heart and soul into her job working for the war effort as a Wren but she always feels like something is missing. Imogen struggles with her love life, as she has a couple of short flings but pines for her one true love, unsure if he ever loved her as more than a friend. I found Imogen’s love life throughout the book to really play with my emotions. She was a girl that knew what she wanted, but it was just out of her reach. This would have been the case for so many relationships within the war time, the men going off to war and the women never knowing if they would come back. Rix made this part of the plot so seamless, it was as if the reader was feeling the same emotions as the characters. 

I adored this book from start to finish. By having the story span over a number of years, it was great to see all of the characters develop and change so much over time and the impact that their actions had on future events. I was immersed into the world of Germany and England and felt like I was a part of the story, the story, the characters and the events were extremely emotive. Rix writes beautifully and in such a way that the contents of each page feel lifelike. One part that really toyed with my emotions was when Magda was sexually assaulted, I was extremely upset and hoped that she would get her revenge. There was no point during this book where I felt the plot lacked or slowed down, it was a high paced adventure that kept me engaged throughout. The most special part of this book was reading through and trying to work out the connections between Imogen and Magda prior to anything being revealed. As the first chapter was told in the present day, a letter between the two characters, you knew that there was going to be some form of connection between them and it was fascinating seeing how Rix interwove their stories together. The most amazing part of this book was the relationships between the characters and I feel like this was what kept me so interested as I wanted to see what happened at the end.

I would highly recommend this to those who have read The Nightingale and The Book Thief and thoroughly enjoyed them. It is a story of sacrifice, love, motivation, strength and perseverance which captivates you until the final page. It is historical fiction but is based on true events which occurred during World War II. I was blown away by this book and I’m sure you will be too.
I rated this book: 5 Stars 

Thank you to the publishers, Bookouture, and NetGalley for providing me with a review copy. 
The Secret Letter will be released internationally on the 22nd of July 2019
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This was a wonderful book! The author not only was able to seamlessly weave together two stories of World War II, each from different perspectives, but she was also able to give us a realistic look at the war through those perspectives. While the book addresses the hard issues of World War II it is not dark, but rather leaves the reader with hope and a bit more understanding. "The Secret Letters" was everything good historical fiction should be!  It is a story that is filled with both the author’s imagination and the facts of World War II that will captivate from beginning to end and well after the book is closed.  I especially appreciated the “backstory” the author told at the end of the book. It made the book and the story it told all that much more touching. I was honored to receive an advance copy of this book from NetGalley and the Publisher, Bookouture in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a story about two very different sides of WWII, the Allies and Germany, two people on seperate sides, both trying to do what is right. It is based upon a true story which I liked. I would recommend it to fans of historical fiction. 

I would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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Thanks Netgalley and the Publisher.  What a powerful read based in the Second World War.  This was very thought provoking as it is based on a true story.  Would recommend.
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Thank you net galley for the advance reader copy of the novel.   This was a historical fiction set in wW2.  This novel was slow to start but the plot developed well between two points of view immogen from England and Magda from Germany.   I enjoyed the different perspectives of both allies and Germans trying to do the right thing even in war.   Magda several times puts her own safety at risk to help others.   The character of Otto was awful.   I thought the writing a bit juvenile at times but overall a good read and an author to watch for future works.
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