Title: Girl in the Blue Coat
Author: Monica Hesse
Synopsis: Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion.
On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person–a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.
HUGE thank you to The Novl for sending me an ARC for review!
Omg I LOVED THIS BOOK! This year I’ve been trying to mix up my genre’s and I’ve been reading a lot more WWII fiction. As I’ve said in a previous review, I generally don’t read WWII stuff because it’s usually about someone in a camp. Not that those stories aren’t important and powerful in their own, they are just WAY. TOO. SAD. for me to read that often. So I like that I’m seeing books that have different angles on the war and what it was like to live in Nazi occupied Europe.
This book takes place in The Netherlands and it’s about a non-Jewish girl who works for the black market. She finds things and sells them, but she’s not a formal member of the resistance. Hanneke, our MC, takes care of her family and keeps her head down. But when one of her customer’s asks her to help find a missing Jewish girl Hanneke can’t help getting involved and one thing leads to another and before she knows it she’s entrenched in the resistance and risking her life for a girl she’s never met.
I loved the history of this, but I also loved the accessibility. There were times that the writing felt rather modern, but by the end I actually liked that. It’s easy to read and doesn’t feel too dense, which is another reasons I generally steer clear of historical fiction. I also loved that I learned so much! So often the focus of WWII stories is on Germany. The setting in this was refreshing and I loved the author’s note!
The end of this book really got me and I was in tears by the end of it. SEE SAD. But also hopeful. The twists and turns at the end I did NOT see coming and I was breathless with them.
Make sure to pick this book up even if you aren’t a huge fan of historical or WWII stories! You wont regret it!