The Girl from the Channel Islands

Jenny Lecoat. Graydon House, $17.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-5258-0641-4
Lecoat’s U.S. debut draws on the history of Germany’s WWII occupation of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, where the author was raised. During the summer of 1940, Hedy Bercu is living on Jersey after having escaped Nazi-occupied Vienna. After the Germans invade, Hedy is forced to register with the new government as a Jew, and she’s later hired against protocol to do translation work, due to a lack of qualified applicants. Only the person who hired her knows she is Jewish, and while in the Germans’ employ, Hedy meets Lt. Kurt Neumann, who becomes infatuated with her and takes the fall for her over stolen petrol coupons. Hedy and Kurt begin a secret relationship after his release from jail, but Kurt breaks off their relationship when Hedy confesses she is Jewish, not out of his adherence to Nazi ideology, but because he is hurt by her earlier lack of trust in him. After Kurt agrees to help Hedy find her parents in Vienna, he learns about the horrors of the concentration camps, and their romance reignites. As the war continues, and Kurt discovers there are plans to deport Jews living on the island, his prime concern becomes keeping Hedy safe. Lecoat capably combines historical fact with the fictional narrative, and offers a cast rich with multidimensional characters. Readers will be riveted. Agent: Fiona Brownlee, Brownlee Donald Assoc. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 12/01/2020
Release date: 02/02/2021
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 304 pages - 978-1-5258-1149-4
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