Cover Image: The Girl with the Yellow Star

The Girl with the Yellow Star

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

The Girl with the Yellow Star

Meg Evans is among my favorite authors. So, naturally, I was delighted to be approved by NetGalley and publisher Bookouture to receive a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Ms.Evans’ characters are so realistic they jump from the page, as though they are old friends the reader has not seen for a long time.  Her attention to detail in creating the Cornwall settings makes you feel you are actually there. Yet she does this with an astonishing economy of words. The reader is not obliged to wade through lengthy travelogue descriptions. Just enough of the local dialect is included in the dialogue passages to draw the reader in. The author knows how much to use without it sounding like a foreign language.
I admire how Ms. Evans’s German character: Max is not the stereotypical hardened Nazi nor the hapless man forced to serve in the army (Kriegsmarine in this case). Neither is he the almost clichéd character who rejects his identity and his country to join the resistance. Max remains true to himself to the end. 
The story advances at a fast pace but without feeling rushed. The reader does not lose track of the seasons, as the farm work is meticulously, almost lovingly, detailed. 
However, I remain ambivalent over Lotti’s character. At the start of the novel, she is a nine-year-old acting like a six-year-old. Having taught scores youngsters of that age , I know that is not how they behave. It does not fit. Even allowing for differences in a society some seven or eight decades in the past, it is highly unlikely that an intelligent nine-year-old would behave the way Lotti does, sometimes to the point ridiculousness, like standing on the railway tracks when she knows a train is coming, just because she’s been told not to move. By chapter fifteen I was still wondering whether she would ever begin to act like the bright ten-year-old we are led to believe she is. Half way through the novel, this finally happens. She acts like a regular ten-year-old. When the author, through introspection, shows the girl’s thoughts, they are again portrayed as totally immature for her age. Why when otherwise the characters are spot on?
I also found the ending was rushed. In contrast to the careful pacing of the rest of the novel, here the plot suddenly jumps ahead, without transition, to a year after the war and everything is quickly sewn up. I felt cheated.
However, let not that deter you from picking up The Girl with the Yellow Star. It is a fascinating read and a page turner.
Was this review helpful?
I thank you  netGalley for allowing me to review this ARC. All my opinions are my own.
 The Girl with the Yellow Star is a different view of the happenings during WWII.  It tells the story of the lives of Lotti a Jewish girl and the woman who cared for her during the war. I enjoyed how there was focus the everyday happenings and tragedies that happened to the farms and families on top of and because of the war.

The war did not stop pigs needing to be fed or cows needing to be milked. It does not control who you fall in love with, but does make life difficult depending on your choices.

I adored this book and highly recommend those who love historical fiction/romance (not really romance more forbidden courtship) to pick up this book and lose yourself in its pages
Was this review helpful?
This is a raw look at the devastation and challenges WWII brought to England. 
A tattered teddy bear that holds so many secrets.  A young orphaned Jew, traumatized by running from Nazis twice.  A young widow finally coming to grips with her husband’s true nature and death.  A German officer, now a prisoner of war trying to convince those around him that he is not a Hitler loving Nazi; but rather a German forced to fight for his country.  
The complexities of English farmers forced to produce enough to satisfy the government in times of war and needing the man power of POWs because their own men were off fighting.  
This story does tackle sexual tension and behaviors that might offend some. I felt the details were realistic and not justified as being morally correct.
Was this review helpful?
I have recently enjoyed reading some other historical novels set in a similar time period to this one, so I was pleased to be approved to read and review this.

I thought this was a very well-written historical WWII novel. I wondered initially if it would be a sad story, but it was quite comforting and heart-warming to read. I liked the characters, and the ways in which they connected with each other, and I liked the fact that it was set in Cornwall. I think I would recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction set during this time period.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for my opportunity to read and review this.
Was this review helpful?
A must read for fans of WWII fiction! 

Having lost her husband to the war, Gwenna Devaron agrees to open her English country home to a German Jewish refugee and her young daughter. When she arrives at the train station to pick them up, she discovers that the woman has been tragically killed and her daughter is standing by herself by the side of the train track. Welcoming this traumatized child in to her home is only one of the challenges that Gwenna must face as the war in Europe rages on. Lotti, the young girl, refuses to speak but dutifully follows Gwenna around the farm tending to the animals. When the government requisitions several acres of the farms land, Gwenna is handed another challenge…to meet the demands of the ministry or risk losing her farm. She knows she can’t manage this enormous task alone even with the help of her two trusted farmhands. When asks for land girls to help, German POWs are sent in there place. Gwenna now faces yet another challenge, how to keep Lotti safe from those who have tried to destroy her and get the job done. But…over time and with Lotti’s ability to trust one of the POWs in particular, Max….Gwenna is learning that not all Germans are bad. 

This story is wonderful. It is the first one I’ve read from this author and I loved it. I loved the characters and the way she brought them to life. It is very easy to become emotionally invested in all of them. It’s a side of war that I don’t think gets touched upon often and it’s a great lesson in not judging a book by its cover. 

I’m so grateful to NetGalley, Bookouture and Natalie Meg Evans for allowing me to read it before it hits the shelves!
Was this review helpful?
This book had me from the very first page. The courage of the main character was outstanding.  If you only read one book of historical fiction.  Make it this one. 
Excellent
Was this review helpful?
The Girl With The Yellow Star is a beautiful well told WW2 story. It was interesting reading about German POWs 
 and the beautiful, detailed description of the Cornish cliffs.
The Girl With The Yellow Star tells a story of courage, strength, heartache, love and forgiveness but also jealousy and sacrifice. A great read.
Thank you NetGalley for my ARC in exchange for my honest review
Was this review helpful?
A very emotional book but a lovely story that compels you to delve in.The story and characters go so well together and readers will love it 5*
Was this review helpful?
“We have to wear the yellow star! It’s the rules!” the little girl sobs. But her mother presses a desperate finger to her mouth. “Darling, today is different. We are going to leave our stars behind and go on a long journey. We must be very, very quiet, and pray nobody finds us until we are safe in England…”
Cornwall, England, 1943. When her husband is killed fighting in the Navy, grief-stricken Gwenna Devoran tries to fill the void in her life by offering shelter to two Jewish refugees in her farmhouse high on the Cornish cliffs. But at the train station, ten-year-old Lotti is waiting all alone in her neat red coat.
Lotti’s mother died protecting her on the journey. Now Gwenna is all this little girl has. Traumatised Lotti won’t speak a word: and when an order comes for German prisoners-of-war to work the farm she’s in more danger than ever. What will happen if the Germans find out Lotti is Jewish?
When Gwenna overhears Lotti chattering happily to German captain Max Reiner, showing him her teddy bear, her heart stops. Shocked to hear Lotti finally speak, Gwenna is terrified for the little girl she’s grown to love. But perhaps she can she trust the kindness in this German officer’s gentle voice and bright blue eyes…
As Lotti heals a little more each day, Gwenna risks everything to spend more time with Max, certain he doesn’t believe in the Nazi cause. But then a rumour starts in the village: Max himself fired the torpedo that killed Gwenna’s husband.
Devastated, Gwenna’s heart is torn between loyalty to her country, the memory of her husband, and love for the little girl she secretly hopes could become her own. With Max desperate to prove his innocence, does she dare to trust him? And should she fight for the three of them to become a family – or will the war tear them all apart?

—— —

I really enjoyed this story and found the addition of German POWs and their use as labourers on an English farm provided a different perspective of life in WWII and the conflicts their presence could bring to small rural communities. The cast of characters are well rendered and believable. From the likes of old farmhand Ezra, to Wiggy the Scouse land girl and the German POWs, particularly Max. The relationship that develops and evolves between Gwenna and Lotti is heartwarming against the backdrop of loss they’ve both suffered as a result of the war. 

A thoroughly enjoyable read - even if predictable at times - and I would highly recommend if you enjoy World War Two fiction. My only criticism is that, to me, the beginning, explaining Lotti’s back story was clumsy and rushed and could have had more depth and explanation. That said though I will look for other works by Natalie Meg Evans. 

I received a complimentary copy from #NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
The Girl with the Yellow Star, is such a sweet, emotional story; it really brings home that Love does triumph all in life. I enjoyed reading this one.
Was this review helpful?
A lovely book with a great cast of characters.  Beautifully written and I got really invested in the story.  I would highly recommend reading this one. A clever, engrossing story with fabulous characters. Loved Max so much!
Was this review helpful?
“But we have to wear a yellow star. It’s the rules. Papa said so. I always do as Papa says.”

It is 1943 in Cornwall, England and Gwenna Devoran who owns and runs a family farm agrees to help her friend Freda who resides in London. Freda has asked that she take in two German Jew refugees, a mother and daughter (the father is thought to be dead).  Filled with her own grief from losing her husband Edward to German enemies, she welcomes the idea of extra company on the farm. However, when she arrives at the train station to pick them up, Gwenna regrettably learns that there is only Lotti (Charlotte) waiting to be retrieved. Her mother has died protecting her. With no children of her own, does Gwenna have what it takes to care for and raise Lotti on her own?

Once Lotti arrives on the farm, Gwenna quickly learns she cannot be without her beloved bear Rumtopf (Lotti will not let the bear out of her sight). Also, she does not speak for quite some time after she arrives on the farm which worries Gwenna, but she chalks up to the trauma that Lotti has experienced (Freda told Gwenna that Lotti can speak French and English in addition to her native German tongue). She can tell that she understands what she is saying, so she makes sure to explain everything to Lotti each day, including all the work they do on the farm. Lotti’s first words are spoken in German with Max Reiner, who is a German POW who has been assigned to Gwenna’s farm as a laborer. 

In all of the WWII books I have read, this is the first book that involved German POWs who served as laborers. I was thankful to have this new insight and point of view. Gwenna was incredibly hesitant to have Max and other POW workers on her farm and rightfully so. It was interesting to see how her relationships with these men changed after she got to know them and figure out whether they believed in the Nazi cause. I thought that the author did a great job with character development and really embraced the feelings and thoughts of people during wartime, the local English residents and the POWs. 

I absolutely adored this story. It tells the tale of a woman who is yearning to be a mother and gets that opportunity. It also tells the tale of heartache, fear, adaptation, judgement, sacrifice, protection, forgiveness, and love. I enjoyed watching Lotti and Gwenna’s relationship blossom to one of trust, dependency and love. And Max, you stole my heart! 

I would highly recommend this book to those who enjoy WWII fiction. Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4.5 beautiful stars!
Was this review helpful?
A sweet read with an enjoyable plot and likeable characters. Despite being predictable, it was a fun read, with a lot of funny moments and well fleshed out descriptions of the settings.

Thank you to @netgalley for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A delightful read! I really enjoyed the storyline with its lovable characters. The plot was also enthralling even though the conclusion was for me predictable. However, the wit of the writing has made this book a real pleasure to read. I also loved reading the vivid descriptions of the countryside giving the story a beautiful setting.
I received a complimentary copy of this novel from NetGalley and I am leaving voluntarily an honest review.
Was this review helpful?