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May 17, 2020

The Prisoner's Wife by Maggie Brookes ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

I love historical fiction based during WWII and my favorite stories are based more on fact than fiction. So when I saw The Prisoner's Wife by Maggie Brookes, I knew I had to read it. It has been one of my most anticipated reads on my TBR list.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

May 2020;  Berkley; 978-0593197752
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); historical fiction
Brookes's background as a documentary producer and journalist serves her well as she brings to life the story of a British POW and a Czech farm girl. The small details of prisoner life that she includes adds a richness to the story.

Before you discount this as just another POW/local girl romance novel, let me tell you it is not your typical WWII love story. When we are first introduced to the Czech farm girl Izabela who falls in love with a British POW soldier who is part of the work party sent to her family's farm, I feared that it would be more of the same. But the writing was so good that even a tired trope would be enjoyable. Thankfully, the story quickly diverts from the romance aspect to a story of courage, loyalty, and the unbreakable human spirit.

While I enjoyed the characters of Bill and Isabela, I think I liked the secondary characters more. I became particularly attached to Max and Ralph.

Though Brookes was unable to identify the couple that stars in her debut novel, their story (at least partially) was conveyed to her by someone who claimed to have first-hand knowledge. It would be really cool if someone reads this book and can identify the couple.

I was really drawn into the story as Brookes builds the tension. As the danger of discovery grows, I found myself compulsively checking the date of each chapter and counting down the days until the end of the war.

I was a little disappointed that the story ended with the liberation of the camp and did not have an epilogue to give an update of what happened to the characters. I was so invested in the characters that I needed to know that they not only survived but they thrived after enduring all the deprivations of being POWs.

The Prisoner's Wife held my attention as few books have in the last few months. I stayed up way to late a night or two because I didn't want to leave the characters in the danger they were facing. If you are looking for a story that makes your stomach clench and your heart ache, then you need to get this book.

Buy The Prisoner's Wife at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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