Book Reviews

The Hidden by Mary Chamberlain

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List Price: £14.99

 

Hardcover: 336 Pages.

Published: 07 February 2019 by Oneworld Publications

ISBN: 1786075059

EAN: 9781786075055

Dora Simon and Joe O’Cleary live in separate countries, accepting of their twilight years. But their monochrome worlds are abruptly upended by the arrival of Barbara Hummel, who is determined to identify the mysterious woman whose photograph she has found among her mother’s possessions.

Forced to confront a time they thought buried in the past, Dora and Joe’s lives unravel – and entwine. For, trapped on the Channel Islands under the German occupation in the Second World War, Dora, a Jewish refugee, had concealed her identity; while Joe, a Catholic priest, kept quite another secret...

Reviews

5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars5.0 Stars  by Debra Found

Evocative

Dora lives a quiet life in London where no one knows her past. In the Channel Islands live Geoffrey and Joe on a quiet farm. All are living out their retirement years giving as little thought as possible to the past. Enter Barbara Hummel. A German woman who seems determined to discover the stories of the Occupation of the Channel Islands. The past becomes disturbed and Dora, Joe & Geoffrey must face the past - the terrible times & the better ones.

I have previously read books on the occupation of the Channel Islands - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society springs to mind. This book takes the story a little deeper. There are some terribly dark times for the people in the story, especially Dora, during the war. In places it was quite difficult to read. The standard of research was high and the book detailed.

Dora, Joe and Geoffrey are caught up in  a whirl of events which they thought they had some control of but which disappeared rapidly. Dora was of German Jewish descent but claimed to be Swedish. This was accepted and she seemed quite happy (as the circumstances allowed)  as a midwife and also seeing Geoffrey. Joe was a doubting Irish Priest who taught young boys boxing and took a German occupying nurse birdwatching. Unfortunately, they became part of a bigger plan which tore them apart and which they only fully began to understand when Barbara appears on the scene. I can't explain more as I am avoiding spoliers - I suggest you read it yourself!

This was a well written book with three dimensional characters. The author pulled no punches in her descriptions and the book was better because of that. I am glad that I read it.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley.

 
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