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ARC Book Review: The Prisoner’s Wife by Maggie Brookes

Title: The Prisoner’s Wife

Author: Maggie Brookes

Length: 396 pages

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Synopsis: 1944, Czechoslovakia. In the dead of night, a Czech farm girl and a British soldier creep through abandoned villages. They were never mean to meet, let alone fall in love. But when Bill was brought to work on Izobela’s family farm as a prisoner of war, their chemistry was undeniable. Before they could be torn apart forever, they marry in secret and go on the run. Their only hope for safety is to reach Izobela’s father and brother, fighting deep in the countryside as partisans. But when their luck runs out, they are delivered straight into the hands of the Nazis. But they still refuse to separate, and have prepared for this moment. Izobela’s hair has been shorn and she wears men’s clothing, posing as an escaped and mute British soldier. The secret lovers are transported to a Nazi POW camp deep in German territory, and if Izabela is discovered, a fate far worse than death awaits both her and Bill. The gravity of the their situation soon becomes chillingly apparent, and it will require the help of their fellow POW to maintain their deception, and all their love, devotion and strength to withstand the trails to come. Because should they fail, Izobela and Bill will have put far more than just themselves in danger…

In The Prisoner’s Wife we follow the story of Izzy, a Czech farm girl and Bill, a prisoner of war. As they fall in love and begin an epic journey and a fight for their survival.

This book turned up at my door as a surprise and I’m so glad it did. It was a thrilling, heart wrenching yet beautiful read. I couldn’t put it down, but I didn’t want it to end.

The love story between Bill and Izzy is one for the ages. It was so tender, passionate and generous. They sacrificed so much for each other. It was beautifully written as well, it was understated and it made more believeable. They never give up fighting for each other. You are willing them to survive, so they can have wonderful life together.

I absolutely loved how the fellow British POWs helped protect Izzy as she hid in Bills camp to stay close to him (see I told you it was a great love story). It gave the novel a real uplifting feel. I also loved how Bill, Izzy, Max, and Ralph became such a team. It was a joy to read. I wanted them all to survive and stay together. They way the all looked out for Izzy and each other was absolutely fantastic. It was the highlight of the novel for me. It really captures the tenacity of the human spirit. Maggie managed to create some tender moments for them amongst the brutality.

This historical fiction novel has been researched meticulously and it adds so much to the story. Maggie has made the story so detailed and accurate, it was outstanding. There are many books out there set in this period of history, but I haven’t read any from the British POW point of view and I loved it. It was so refreshing to see a different side to this story.

The fact that is book is based on a true story makes it all the more heartbreaking. Maggie perfectly captures the horror these POWs had to go through yet when you finish the book, you are somehow filled with hope. It’s a testament to the great writing.

I can’t recommend this book enough. It’s everything you want it to be. I’ve read a lot of historical fiction novels this year, and it’s definitely one of the best. You won’t to miss this one.

This book is being published on April 16th, in time for the 75th anniversary of VE Day (May 8th) and the end of WWII.

Thank you so much to Penguin Random House for sending me this book in return for an honest, unbiased review. It’s out April 16th (now).

Until the next review

JTH

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