The Secret Letter

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 22 Jul 2019

Member Reviews

Debbie Rix is one of those authors whose books I eagerly wait for and pick up without even reading the blurb - she always delivers. With this book she has raised the bar already set so very high with her previous stunning stories. This story is exquisite perfection. Well crafted, beautifully written, emotional, poignant and immersive. I lived every word. The sense of time and place is, as with all her books, just perfect. All the characters come alive on the page. I felt for both Magda and Imogen, plucky girls transforming into strong women shaped by war. A wonderful story, masterfully written. Very highly recommended to everyone.
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Thanks so much to NetGalley, Bookouture and Debbie Rix for giving me the chance to read her new book : The Secret Letter, I was so excited to be approved for this book as I love WW2 Historical Fiction and this book ticked all the right boxes for me.

Magda Maier lives in Germany in 1939, she lives with her father Pieter, her mother Kathe on the families dairy farm and her older brother Karl is studying at the Heidelberg university.
One day Magda best friend Lotte and her family are run out of town. Magda is very upset by how her friend is treated and she later finds out that the family had been sent to a concentration camp.

Life in Germany starts to change, Magda soon discovers that she feels differently to her peers, she has no choice and joins the German Girls League it's the girls version of Hitler youth. Magda hates the meetings, uniform, and activities. Traditional events are no longer celebrated in Germany, Christmas being one of them, popular songs have the words changed and libraries are forced to burn books that are now classed as unsuitable.

While reading The Secret Letter you really start to understand  just how Germany was changed by the oppressive tide of Hitler and the Nazi party. Not all of the German people agreed with what was happening at the time but what could they do? If You didn't support the cause not only did you put yourself in danger but your family as well.

Karl finishes his degree, he is offered a place to study at Oxford university and he moves to England.
He sends a letter to his sister to explain that he will not be returning to Germany, as he would be made to fight in the war, he tries to explain what is really going on in Germany to his sister, as the only information the German people receive is was what the Nazi's party want them to hear and Karl pleads with his sister to destroy his letter after she finishes reading it.

In England 15 year old Imogen Mitchell or Immy as she liked to be called lives with her mother Rose, her father Joe and her pet dog honey in Newcastle.
One day her mum sits her down and explains that she is going to be one of the thousands of children evacuated to the country, with the threat of war looming, they had no idea when or if Hitler would attack England or where?
She and her friends Joy and Helen are sent to the beautiful lakes district where they go to school and enjoy living in the country. Imogen has a secret crush on a family friend Freddie and does her best to hide this from her family and friends.

Both Magda and Imogen are teenagers when the war starts, soon they both grow up to be young women and are required to help the war effort.
Magda continues to help on the family farm, but she gets restless under the oppressive regime, she becomes involved in the White Rose movement but she soon discovers how dangerous it is to rebel against the Nazi's.

Magda's life is changed forever when one day she helps a RAF pilot Michael Stewart who is shot down close to her families farm and against her parents wishes she decides the help him and other pilots shot down in Germany to escape and return to England.

In England Imogen has turned 19, she puts her plans for further study on hold and joins the Wrens, soon she is helping her boss with the plotting and planning of operation overlord.

Years after the war finishes Magda and Imogen find out that they're lives are connected by circumstances and events that happened during the war.
I loved The Secret Letter, it's a story that makes you cry because you can see how hard life was during WW2 for two young teenage girls, both had to grow up very quickly and carry on with their lives, no matter what happened to them and their families during such a turbulent time in history. I gave the book 5 stars, I loved it and I also enjoyed Debbie's previous book called The Promise.
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Absolutely loved this book! The historical element was great, very thought provoking. Highly emotional at times too. Debbie Rix is a new name for me but I will definitely look out for more from her in the future as I was so captivated by this one.
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Magda is not a Jew, so when the Nazis take power in Germany, she doesn’t have to worry for her own welfare, but her best friend, Lottie is taken away to a concentration camp. While others around her may not openly approve of what is happening around them, Magda knows she cannot sir idly by in the face of such evil. She joins a resistance group known as the White Rose and takes in ab English pilot who has landed behind enemy lines. In England, Imogen has been evacuated to the Lake District, separated from her family to keep her safe during the Blitz. These two young women, separated by ideologies and the lines of war will find that the most important things in life are not drawn up in battle plans or defined by a map
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The Secret Letter is a historical fiction novel set during World War II. It is told from the view point of two teenage girls, German Magda and English Imogen. I really enjoyed this book, I thought the main characters were very likeable and believable. The plot line is strong and easy to follow. The only reason I did not give the book a higher rating is that there is very similar books out there and this story did not stand out for me.

Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for this ARC
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