The Prisoner’s Wife

Maggie Brookes. Berkley, $17 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-0-593-19775-2
Brookes takes inspiration from a British POW’s account of his time being held by the Nazis in this page-turning story of love and survival. In the summer of 1944, five British military prisoners from the Lamsdorf POW camp arrive under guard to assist with the harvest on a family farm in Vražné, in Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia. One of the prisoners, bombardier Bill King, catches the eye of Izzy, the family’s unmarried daughter, and they fall in love. With Bill scheduled to return to the POW camp once the work is finished, he and Izzy plot to run away and join Izzy’s father and older brother with anti-German partisans. A sympathetic priest marries the couple; then Izzy cuts her hair and dons men’s clothes to attract less attention as she and Bill set out to find the resistance. Instead, they’re captured by German troops and sent to Lamsdorf, with Izzy still posing as a man. As Soviet forces rapidly gain ground, Izzy, Bill, and the rest of the prisoners are forced to march west during the bitter winter, a journey that tests their will to survive and threatens to separate the couple. Brookes demonstrates a fine command of historical circumstances and events but skimps on character development amid the nonstop action. In a crowded field of WWII fiction, this one doesn’t stick out. (May)
Reviewed on : 02/21/2020
Release date: 05/26/2020
Genre: Fiction
Library Binding - 500 pages - 978-1-64358-689-2
Book - 1 pages - 978-0-593-19776-9
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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