The Girl from the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I would not have typically read this novel, as I don't read many World War II novels (and I've already read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which is a similar story during the same German occupation of British islands) but there are a few reasons this surfaced:
trying to finish reading a book from every country in Europe this year.
I realize Jersey is not exactly a country but it's also not exactly a
part of the UK. (The internet says it is part of the "British Islands."
author was actually born on Jersey and her parents lived on Jersey
during the occupation, so she has more direct experience to speak of. I
think this comes across in the novel, both from the research and the
placeness of it.
-The four central characters are all based on real
people, and so this issue of an Austrian (Jewish) woman escaping to an
island that ends up occupied by Germans is a frightening and true story.
the very famous book club book I mentioned above is about resistance,
this novel looks more at the people who collaborated/were forced to
collaborate/were seen as collaborators. One woman works for the Germans
because she is fluent in German and English. One woman marries a man
living on the island who fled the mainland but ends up conscripted into
the German army, and suddenly she's a collaborator and her family won't
speak to her. And this is only the beginning of the complicated and
difficult situations the islanders find themselves in, not to mention
Churchill's resistance to sending them much needed food and supplies.
is a place I'll probably never get to visit, so I spent an hour last
night poking around on Google maps and looking around. Apparently most
tourists that go there these days are interested in the war history so
they've really emphasized those locations on the island. When you see
the British Islands on a map, Jersey is practically enfolded in a French
bay, so it makes visual sense that the Germans would have seen it as an
easy defenseless place to conquer.
I received a copy of this
book from the publisher through NetGalley. It came out February 2nd but
I came across it after that somehow.
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