The Girl From Huizen

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Pub Date 02 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 04 Jun 2023

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The German occupation of the Netherlands brings with it food shortages, harsh treatment for resistants and deportation of Jews. The changes dramatically affect Rosamond Jansen’s life on her family’s farm on the outskirts of Huizen. When she finds herself under constant surveillance and oppressive treatment in her government typist job and the Nazis deport her best friend, her resentment turns to fear and a deepening hatred. Verbal cruelty, belittlement and emotional turmoil take their toll on her until a man arrives at the farm who, along with her uncle from Amsterdam, enlist her father into resistance work. When her father does not return home, Rosamond, too, is drawn into resistance activity. As more people disappear from her life, her involvement goes deeper, bringing her to a villa in Huizen where a woman named Madelief has a secret. As Rosamond becomes close to Madelief and the secret is revealed, her life starts to unravel.

Based on actual events at the villa, The Girl from Huizen tells the story of how Rosamond, working with Madelief, dared to defy the SS and their collaborators. But this is no ordinary Resistance versus Nazi story, rather it is a story of a shocking and unexpected unfolding where flames of tension ignite the page, as loss and grief consume and drive the girl from Huizen. It is a powerful story about the trusting friendship between two women. Ultimately The Girl from Huizen is a homage to the brave resistance members who risked everything to fight against Nazi oppression. Their efforts saved thousands upon thousands of lives.

The German occupation of the Netherlands brings with it food shortages, harsh treatment for resistants and deportation of Jews. The changes dramatically affect Rosamond Jansen’s life on her family’s...

Advance Praise

One of Mahurin's best. HH

I didn't believe the facts presented were true until I did the research on line and viola, it's really. This events at the villa really did happen. Amazing. JJ

I can't stop thinking of Roz, the protagonist and what she went through to help others. Heroc female figure. Love her. DA.

Read this in two days. TM

Fast paced, compelling read. PM

One of Mahurin's best. HH

I didn't believe the facts presented were true until I did the research on line and viola, it's really. This events at the villa really did happen. Amazing. JJ

I can't stop...

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ISBN 9798393347765
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Featured Reviews

I've read many books based around the time of World War 2, but this was the first one showcasing the German occupation in the Netherlands. My grandma was a Jew living in the Netherlands and fortunately left before this occurred. The implications of what that could have meant for her never really dawned on me until reading this book.

Even though this book is nonfiction, it is based on a real person. Often times it read like a memoir, which I loved. I felt like the narrator, Roz, draws you into the story immediately. I really enjoyed reading about the brave souls that stood up for human lives while sacrificing their own safety. I admire their resilience, self-sacrifice, and determination. This story highlights what people will do in the name of love. Love for strangers, their families, their country, and themselves.

If you like historical fiction this a definite must read!

Thanks to Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Its very important before writing a book like this to also put in the time into researching. Both about the war itself and the people the characters are based on.

I applaud the author for doing the search needed to write this. She genuinely did justice to the topic of the story along with the book itself.

However moving on.

The writing in this is Stellar. Beautiful prose, elegant usage of vocabulary, I simply was immediately transmitted into the story from the very moment I picked the book up

The characters were so interesting as well, written so realistically I felt for them with each turn of the page.

Its Also worth noting that besides how short it is this book DOES deal with heavy topics making it very needed for the reader to take breaks at times.

Utterly soul shattering and an absolute reccomedation.

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"Kindness will bring gifts you can't imagine." Adrian

The Girl from Huizen is a very well researched book by Paulette Mahurin It is a fictional story based on actual traumatic events during World War II Nazi occupied Netherlands. The family of 18-year-old Rosalind Jansen, "Roz", are forced to give a substantial amount of their potato and onion crops to the Nazis. Her father Adrian, farmer and gentle soul, despite arguing with his wife Gerdi, has moved forward to resist the enemy and save the lives of Jewish children. He brings resistance member Karl into their lives. Roz requires the young man's help in the future. Although I liked his dedication, in all honesty this relationship felt 'off' to me.
I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley and this is my personal opinion about it. The opening is quite emotional. In my notes I take for writing a review I wrote, "could trigger trauma (memories)" perhaps from memories of a tragic event, death of a loved one, etc. The horrendous acts that victimized citizens of the Jewish people, their townsfolk and the country were, in part, depicted in the book. The author causes tension and anxiety for the children of the book along with their brave rescuers. The added stress of hidden human beings certainly increased the horror for those who risked their lives to help. Members of the Dutch Resistance are well portrayed. Ordinary people with a huge depth of bravery, cunning and sense of what is right. They were willing, and often did, sacrifice so much for the people who needed them. Madelief is a courageous member who is based on the real-life heroine Marion Pritchard.

Violence and sexual content

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The Girl from Huizen by Paulette Mahurin is breathtaking, heartbreaking and beautiful in its raw prose. It is obvious the author did meticulous research in the rich historical details and character portrayals, almost as she were there herself. Though it is fiction, it is based on real events and people. The book is about the Dutch Resistance in WWII and unbearable grief and hardships under Nazi occupation.

The Jansen family from the working village of Huizen, Netherlands, is directly affected by the horrors of war. At first 18-year-old Roz and her mother are horrified that her father joins Karl and other Resistance members to smuggle deported children. But they realize trying to stop them would be futile. Death, bartering, scarcity of food and anguish are constants. People disappear. The country is in turmoil. But the Resistance saves lives and brings hope.

Historical Fiction readers, do prioritize this one. It's simply and passionately written and doesn't gloss over difficult details. But that's what makes it so powerful. I am so glad to have read it.

My sincere thank you to BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for providing me with a digital copy of this engrossing novel.

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This was such a unique take on World War 2, I appreciated that Paulette Mahurin used the German occupation of the Netherlands. It does a great job in creating a great story and I enjoyed the way the characters going on. I appreciated how good this was.

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The Villa

A story of courage and fortitude during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands during WWII. Based on a true story of one young woman that decided to do her part against the evil Nazi invaders.

Roz lives on a farm and works as a typist in the government office. She hates her work and her evil Nazi bosses.

Roz's Uncle and a resistance worker named Karl talked Roz's father into working with the resistance. When Roz's father does not return Roz feels she needs to carry on her father's work helping the resistance. Karl helps pull some strings and she is assigned to work the farm in her father's absence instead of the typing job she hates.

As she carries on her work with the resistance much to the dismay of her mother who is frightened that she might also perish because of it, she meets a woman named Madelief. Since Roz's work with the resistance is important Madelief finds a young man to work on the farm and Roz begins to work at the villa in town with Madelief.

It is a story of two woman working against the odds to save the lives of Jewish children. They risk their lives so others may live.

I love how Roz never gives up her resolve to save lives and how she sometimes is scared and works through it. The friendship with Madelief is inspiring as both young women work together to save lives. The Romance between Karl and Roz is golden.

The story is sometimes sad, a bit suspenseful at times, but always inspirational. I loved reading this book it was a very good story.

Thanks to Paulette Mahurin for writing a great story, to Books Go Social for publishing it and to NetGalley for providing me with a free copy to read and review. All words in the review are my own.

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I used to be addicted to potato chips, but I cured myself of that habit. Ima, still addicted to WWII fiction.
The Netherlands was one of the hardest hit countries, overran by the Germans and plundered of every conceivable resource. The Dutch flight back, however and whenever they could.
Mahurin based her novel on real stories to bring about a solid story of one family’s involvement with the resistance, sacrificing, but wanting to contribute.
I often ponder how many would rise up today, if such a horrid occasion called for the similar type of action.

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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are my own.

The Girl from Huzan is a hard book to read. Not because it's badly written or dull, but because it is very well written and heavy. It is a very accurate read that carries with it many emotional moments.

I highly recommend The Girl from Huzan.

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I received a free ARC of “ The Girl From Huizen” from Net Galley in return for an honest review.
It is not difficult for me to honestly review this book because it was so good. . In fact , that I read it over a couple of days, the last one a day I sat inside because the air where I live was orange with smoke from Canadian forest fires.
MS Mahurin took the true story of a hero of the Resistance, Marion Pritchard, and used it to write a novel of what it was like to be a young woman in a town under the Nazi occupation. The heroine, is Rosamond Jansen, who is sixteen at the beginning of the story. Through the five long years of occupation, she changes from a frightened girl into a frightened, but courageous resistance fighter
Rosamond , Roz, lives on a farm with her father and mother . When her father is killed as he transported a “ package” as the Resistance fighters called a Jewish child, being smuggled away to a rural area where the child would safe , Roz becomes an active fighter. The novel describes the harrowing times she experienced : the searches and roadblocks, people dragged away to be interrogated or shot on the roadways. For years, in the darkest, hungriest and most dangerous years, Roz lives near home with a leader of the cause, Madeleif, who is hiding a Jewish family in a hidden room in the basement. Roz helps to feed and care for that family. who lives like moles in darkness.
MS Mahurin writes beautifully and expressively of those dark days, of the quiet courage of Roz and others of the resistance . She shows of the stress of Roz’s mother , who fears that she will lose her daughter as she lost her husband. Reading of Roz’s painful longing and despair when her lover Karl, another transporter, had to flee into hiding is a painful part of the sorrow and the pity of this war on in the shadows. Yet she, an d other brave neighbors a continued to fight, hope and wait until Liberation.
This is a book that is easy to recommend to all readers who love good fiction, well written;, with a tense story line.
Cautions. To sensitive types: Some as one should expect of a story that take place in wartime. My only criticism is that I do not recall the author ever really describing Roz . Maybe that was the author’s intent to make her an example of everyone who fought back in whatever way they could against the Nazis. There is also a love scene, not objectionable, which is part of the love story of “ The Girl From Huizen”
One last thought: the book cries out for adaptation into a dramatic series.

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I thank BooksGoSocial and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC copy of this novel, which I freely chose to review.
This is the second novel I’ve read by Paulette Mahurin, an author who excels at historical fiction, and this book is a perfect example of it.
There are many historical novels set during the WWII period, and the best of them provide readers with an insight into what it must have been like to live at the time, especially important now that there are not that many survivors left to share their experiences. In this occasion, Mahurin chooses to focus on the experiences of those living in the Netherlands during the German occupation, and although most of us are familiar with Anna Frank and her diary, here the story is that of a gentile living in a rural area, with the advantages and disadvantages that entailed. The fictional protagonist of the story, Rosamond, Roz, an 18 y.o. girl at the beginning of the story, is an only child that lives on her parents’ farm (they grow onions and potatoes), and whose life (like that of everybody in her country, most of Europe, and a lot of the rest of the world) is totally disrupted by the war. This is not only a historical novel, but also a coming-of-age story, as she goes from a naïve and selfish girl to a brave and determined young woman by the end of the war and the narration.
The main character, Roz, works perfectly as a conduit for the readers, as she isn’t aware of the realities of life, politics, and the ins and outs of the historical situation when the novel starts. Her journey towards awareness and knowledge is followed by the readers, who get a chance to experience in the first-person (used throughout the novel) the trauma of loss, the fear of reprisals, the deprivation, hunger, and boredom at the limited supply of basic goods (and how wonderful it is to get access to the tiniest luxuries, like a bit of milk or an apple), the difficult decisions (keeping quiet and keeping safe, pretending not to know what is really going on, or doing what feels morally right), the horror at the collaborators, and the price to pay for one’s kindness and good heart. As the author explains, in a note at the end of the novel, although she has collected the experiences of many people living in Holland during the war to write the novel (and we see how Roz’s mother’s reactions and behaviour are quite different to those of her daughter, for example, and we also hear about many other people, both, working for the resistance, and Nazi collaborators), she based one of the main characters, who plays an important part in the later part of the book, on a real historical figure, Marion Pritchard. I will not go into a lot of detail (you can do your own research, or better still, read this story), but I must admit I had never heard about her, and I am pleased I have now. A remarkable and heroic woman, who comes across as such in the novel, without losing her human dimension.
The book is beautifully written, with lyrical descriptions of the scenery that go beyond the purely visual to include sounds, smells, and even textures. Although Roz is a young woman and the story is told from her point of view, it is clear from the writing style that this is meant as a reconstruction of how things were and felt at the time by the older Roz, a memoir and a somewhat nostalgic view, but not a less realistic one at that. These seem to be the reflections of a woman looking back at her youth, making sure that what she lived through is not forgotten, although that is never made explicit in the book. It is easy to see that Roz is a reflective and sensitive soul, one who feels more at home in nature and with the farm animals (her beloved horse Jongen) than in social situations, and one who hesitates and has doubts, but does what she feels is right, nonetheless. She might be annoying at times, but by the end, I really liked her and felt quite moved by her story and the events relayed in the novel.
Any warnings? At the beginning of the story, Roz tries to avoid bad news and any details of what might be going on, but later on, she learns about the real plight of the Jews and the fate of many who had tried to help them (and later, of those who collaborated with the Germans also), but this is not in lurid detail, and most readers of historical fiction of this period would know what to expect and wouldn’t take issue with it. There is also a romantic love story (as romantic as can be expected in the circumstances, but the character experiences it as such), which feels like a pretty natural part of the growing-up Roz is going through, and that includes a sex scene, not a very explicit one, but it is worth pointing out. Also, as I mentioned, the book is written in the first person, and although I felt it worked very well in this instance, I am aware some people prefer not to read books written in that manner.
I recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction, especially set during WWII and based in true events and real historical figures. It is beautifully written, and it makes us reflect and wonder what would we do if something similar happened again, a scenario that appears much closer nowadays than it did just a few years back. We all hope we would be brave and help resist, but things are never as simple and straightforward as we might think when reality hits. Thoroughly recommended.

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This was very good book. I really enjoyed the character development and I enjoyed the story. The characters were very likable and their stories I found to be very intriguing. The author did a great job on this story!

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My thanks to the Author publisher's and NetGalley for providing me with a Kindle version of this book to read and honestly review.
Beautifully written character driven story of a young girl coming of age during the Nazi occupation of The Netherlands. Historical fiction based on real people and events. Atmospheric descriptive and disturbing at times, a story of family love and loss, bravery betrayal the heroism of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.
Completely recommended.

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An unforgettable story. Wonderful WWII Resistance story comes to life. You can't go wrong with this book.

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