Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse
4 out of 5 stars.
Release Date: April 5th 2016
“When things come to an end in a way you don’t expect, in a way you never could have imagined, do they really come to an end? Does it mean you should keep searching, for better answers, for ones that don’t keep you up at night? Or does it mean it’s time to make peace?“
Goodreads Description: Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days procuring and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, her nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the Germans invaded. She likes to think of her illegal work as a small act of rebellion. On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person–a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such dangerous work, but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations that lead her into the heart of the resistance, open her eyes to the horrors of the Nazi war machine, and compel her to take desperate action.
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I’ve always been interested in reading about the Holocaust, Nazis, and the war. I love how Monica took real events and turned them into a fiction book. The characters are a work of fiction, but based off stories that Monica researched and heard from others. Names of places in the book were real places from that time, but the timeline for certain things are slightly different. For example: a nursery that closed in the book actually closed in real life months later than mentioned in the book.
I actually really enjoyed every single character in this book. I love that they were based off real people from the war in real life. All of these young kids in a resistance against the Nazis is scary, but these kids were so brave to do the things they did. Hanneke was asked to find a missing Jewish girl and bring her back into hiding. When trying to discover where this Jewish girl vanished to, she uncovers so many other secrets and things get so dangerous for her and later her friends.
Hanneke is also going through a lot in her own life still struggling two years later after her boyfriend was killed. She’s also the sole provider for her family. She works to bring them money and food. Part of her job also isn’t kind of illegal. Not to mention having to live every single day with curfews and German soldiers roaming the streets. It was a tough time to live and at times I was so scared for her and all her friends.
I love how well written this book was and I loved the story so much. It kept me on the edge of my seat the entire time and it even had me teary eyed at times. So many mysteries and things to uncover. So much danger, but still wanting so badly to help locate this missing girl. I think Hanneke really grew throughout the book and in the end helping to locate this missing Jewish girl ended up helping Hanneke herself. This story had lots of secrets and truths. I liked that Monica researched everything so well to make this as real as it could be. I highly recommend this book.
“Maybe we can’t barter our feelings away, trading good deeds for bad ones and expecting to become whole.”
Have you read Girl in the Blue Coat? If not, do you think you’ll be adding it to your TBR?
I hope you have an amazing day!