The Girl With No Name

The most gripping, heartwrenching page-turner of the year

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Pub Date 29 Jul 2021 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2022

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Heartbreaking. Gripping. Terribly captivating.

'Read it in one sitting!' ***** Madeleine, Amazon reviewer

She may not remember her name – but her body knows.

1940. When a French family is forced to house a German soldier in their spare room, young Noemie finds herself drawn to the enemy living under the family roof. A forbidden romance unfolds with life-changing consequences.

1946. In the aftermath of the war, a little girl is found sitting on a bench with no memory of who she is - not even her own name. Justin, a young gendarme, takes her under his wing. He is desperate to unravel the mystery surrounding her sudden appearance.

Who is the little girl?

And what happened to her family?

The truth he discovers is spine-chilling.

Heartbreaking. Gripping. Terribly captivating.

'Read it in one sitting!' ***** Madeleine, Amazon reviewer

She may not remember her name – but her body knows.

1940. When a French family is forced to...

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ISBN 9781529384222
PRICE £9.99 (GBP)

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Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed this historical read. It was an interesting story and I loved that it had a dual timeline with several characters point of view told throughout the book. I loved the idea behind the story and it was gripping, I read it really quickly

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I was not part of occupied France in World War II. Nevertheless, I felt like I was surrounded by the light, the smells and the sounds of the era. The author did a superb job of putting up the wallpaper to support the plot. The plot centers on a young girl who appears in a French village with no idea of her name or how she arrived, beyond running through a wood. A police officer is tasked with discovering her name and her story. We discover it along with them, though we glimpse parts of the picture before it all emerges.
The author makes abrupt changes in time and view with each chapter but the titles help keep it straight. The characters are largely sympathetic and believable, with a few stereotypical cutouts.
The ending left me disappointed, not in the facts of it but its abruptness. I felt that the author wanted to wrap it up and do it quickly. Maybe the richness of the earlier threads just made the end taste thin by comparison. Maybe I was just not ready to say goodbye to these characters. That said, I heartily recommend the book and will look for future titles.

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The Girl With No name has a wonderful premise which caught my attention when I saw the book for review on NetGalley. It is a shame that the English language publication didn't share the novel's French language title - Solveig's Winter being more enigmatic and tempting for me than yet another 'The Girl ...' title. Aren't publishers weary of that gimmick yet? Titles aside, I did enjoy reading Solveig's story, discovering what becomes of her and her family as well as what had already happened to leave this ten-year-old child with amnesia.

The Girl With No Name switches between three timelines and several narrators so I found I had to concentrate on each chapter heading in order to remember whose voice was currently speaking. Some characters do have distinctive voices, but others are less easily recognisable. The mystery element of who did what and why is satisfyingly complex and nicely dripfed to readers so I was kept pretty much glued to this book over the two days in which I read it. I could not help but feel for Solveig through her story and especially when she realises the full extent of the 'if only' denouement towards the end.

I did sometimes feel though as if The Girl With No Name could have benefited from fewer narrating voices in order to make space for greater depth in the storytelling. As a young adult Second World War novel it is more aligned with the works of Ella Zeiss than, say, Ruta Sepetys, but was an enjoyable and rewarding read all the same.

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An interesting book set at the end of WW2 when a young girl is found in a French village, but she does not know her name or how she arrived. A young police man is concerned about how she came and why no one has reported her missing. her story then goes back to show what happened to her and her family. Enjoyed this story and had to keep reading to find out what had happened.

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