The Helsingør Sewing Club

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 31 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 31 Jan 2022

Description

Inspired by the incredible true story of how the people of Denmark saved their Jewish neighbours during WW2

Helsingør, Denmark, 1943

In the midst of the German occupation during World War Two, Inger Bredahl joins the underground resistance and risks her life to save members of Denmark’s Jewish community and help them escape to Sweden.

Copenhagen, 2018

Inger’s granddaughter, Cecilie Lund, is mourning her death when a mysterious discovery while cleaning out Inger’s flat leads past and present to intersect. As long-held secrets finally see the light of day, Cecilie learns the story of her grandmother’s courage and bravery, and of the power of friendship, love, and standing for what’s right…even when you have everything to lose.

An inspiring tale of the resilience of the human spirit and the power of community.

Readers love Ella Gyland:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘The characters are so well written they come alive…historical fiction at its best’ Abby

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘A superb storyteller and I was hooked from the very start’ Naomi

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘A contender for my top book of 2022! … Gyland is legendary when it comes to a double timeline. I’ve never seen one so well done’ Norma

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Ella Gyland writes with warmth and respect…it’s so moving and painful to read at times but it’s also impossible to stop reading!’ Natalie

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Skilfully written…truly inspirational’ Karren

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘ Amazing World War Two story which is so vivid and real that I thought I was there!’ Katie

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘I couldn’t put it down, it was captivating, gripping and engaging’ Aria

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘Above all it is a story of bravery, courage and heroism’ Karyn

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ‘An absolute gem of a book’ Angela

Inspired by the incredible true story of how the people of Denmark saved their Jewish neighbours during WW2

Helsingør, Denmark, 1943

In the midst of the German occupation during...


Available Editions

EDITION Ebook
ISBN 9780008519650
PRICE £0.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (MOBI)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 125 members


Featured Reviews

The Helsingor Sewing Club by Ella Gyland

In the midst of the German occupation during World War Two, Inger Bredhal joins the underground resistance and risks her life to save members of Denmark’s Jewish community and help them escape to Sweden.
Copenhagen, 2018
Inger’s granddaughter, Cecilie Lund, is mourning her death when a mysterious discovery while cleaning out Inger’s flat leads past and present to intersect. As long-held secrets finally see the light of day, Cecilie learns the story of her grandmother’s courage and bravery, and of the power of friendship, love, and standing for what’s right…even when you have everything to lose.
I love books like this and this one did not disappoint . A heartbreaking and heart rendering story of Inger , told through the eyes of her granddaughter Cecilia nearly 70 years later. Cecilia finds out things about her grandmother's life during the time of the war , and the struggles , and the lengths she went to to help the Jewish community. An absolute gem of a book.

Was this review helpful?

Inspired by the incredible true story of how the people of Denmark saved their Jewish neighbours during WW2..
This book is so well researched and all the more poignant as it is based on a true event .Written in two timelines 1943 and 2018 the story begins when Cecilie Lund is clearing out her late beloved Grandmothers home and she comes upon a mysteries parcel .This starts Cecilie to investigate and the story unfolds to tell how very brave her Grandmother really was during the War .This is truly a story of such courage ,bravery ,love and friendship .A very enjoyable read .Many thanks to the Publisher ,the Author and NetGalley for my free copy in return for an honest review .

Was this review helpful?

4+

In August 2018 in Helsingør Cecilie Lund is clearing out her grandmother Inger Jensen’s flat, a woman she sadly misses as her Marmor embraced life to the full. In the cellar Cecilie makes an astonishing discovery which makes her realise her grandmother was hiding a big secret.

By September 1943 Nazi Germany’s grip on Denmark is tightening. Whilst attending the synagogue in Copenhagen David Nathan‘s rabbi imparts worrying news that all Danish Jews are to be arrested. Meanwhile, in Helsingør young Inger Bredhal becomes increasingly involved in the resistance to the occupation and then in the endeavour to save Denmark‘s Jewish citizens. The story is principally told in the 1943 timeline but flashes forward to 2018 where the timelines connect beautifully with an ending that warms your heart.

I knew the incredible story of how the Danes saved the bulk of their jewish friends and neighbours but this novel personalises it very well. If you don’t know anything about it then this well written novel is a very good place to start. The Danish attitude to its integrated Jewish citizens is a lesson in humanity and this comes across strongly in the narrative. Solidarity, strength of character, bravery, ingenuity and the power of right is very moving. This is demonstrated by several of the characters.

The wartime situation is done very well, the dangers and the pressures felt throughout Denmark but especially here in Helsingør (the Elsinore in Hamlet). There are some excellent characters especially in 1943, as well as Inger there is her cousin Gudrun and her friend Bodil and all their storylines are good ones. It builds so well as the Gestapo net closes, its tense, exciting (in an awful way obviously), almost breathtaking and there is heartbreak.

Finally, in the midst of the tragedy of World War II this story is a beacon of light.This is a very good historical novel which is based on a true story and one which I recommend.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to HarperCollins, One More Chapter for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

The Helsingor Sewing Club is a novel of historical fiction that is set during the WWII German occupation of Denmark. While we follow the story of a band of courageous Danes, we also flip forward in time to learn about some of the ancestors of the principle characters in our historical story.

This book was really well done. So many books have been written about WWII and this is one of the best. The storyline is engaging and enthralling. Just when you get excited about a development either in the past or present timeline, the author switches to the other story. There is a healthy dose of anticipation and it keeps the story moving right along.

This story is primarily about how a group of Danes were convicted to save not only Jewish people in their town, but also people who fleeing Copenhagen. Get your hankie out, because parts of this story are truly brutal. But don't be worried, their writing is not graphic even if some of the content is disheartening and disturbing.

My one criticism is I feel like this could have used a better title. There is only one slight mention of the "sewing club" that almost seems added in as an afterthought. I don't have suggestions for an alternate title, but it really needs one.

All in all, I heartily recommend this book.

Thank you NetGalley and HarperCollins UK for the complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

Was this review helpful?

This was an amazing book and I like that it was inspired by true events and true stories. I couldnt put it down, it was captivating, gripping and engaging. the writing was good and the characters were developed well. A really good read perfect for any historical fiction fans.

Was this review helpful?

This will definitely be a contender for my top book of 2022!

The Helsingor Sewing Club was inspired by the true story of how the people of Denmark saved their Jewish neighbours during WW2. Gyland highlights ordinary people performing extraordinary acts of bravery fueled by the simple humanitarian principle that we must help those in need.

This is the first historical fiction set in Denmark where I’ve read about how the Danes regarded the Nazi occupation and what life was like at this time in history. Rather than tell us, Gyland writes about her protagonist, Inger Bredhal, being brought to tears at the kindness of her employer sharing a cup of real coffee with her as she’d almost forgotten what it tasted like. Gyland reveals the guilt the young Danish girls felt at being excited about going to a dance when there were so many who’d lost so much. She could have stated it, but rather chose to show readers through the girls’ actions in the dress shop.

Not only is Gyland a master at showing not telling, she is also highly skilled at immersing readers in her narrative. Her vivid descriptions and her attention to detail are outstanding. It allowed me to read and have the narrative play out like a movie reel at the same time. This simple statement about a coffee shop visit reveals what I’m trying to say: “she was nursing a rapidly cooling cappuccino on a wet October day.”

As if having superior skills at showing not telling and being able to immerse readers in her narrative wasn’t enough, Gyland is legendary when it comes to a double timeline. I’ve never seen one so well done. What stands out is that she is able to keep readers in the dark about how the two timelines will eventually mesh. In fact, one skill she used was not naming one of the characters until it had the biggest impact. I really felt like the author respected the intellect of her readers….a skill few employ. I’m giddy with excitement at finding a new author who sets the bar high for historical fiction.

This five-star historical fiction needs to be on your book pile come January 31st, 2022.

I was gifted this spectacular advance copy by Ella Gyland, Harper Collins UK, One More Chapter, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

Was this review helpful?

The Helsingør Sewing Club is inspired by stories of the Danes helping Jews to safety during the German occupation of Denmark in WW2. Gyland is a superb storyteller and I was hooked from the very start - the book bounces between 1943 and 2018 and its not immediately apparent how the two timelines are connected. The main characters - Cecilie, David and Rafi, Inger and her family and colleagues - are beautifully portrayed and their relationships develop throughout the book.
I loved this book and will definitely be recommending it to others.
With thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in return for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: