Reviews for The Girl I Left Behind, by Andie Newton

robint60's review

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Ella and her very dear friend Claudia are part of a unique group of youths during the terrors of World War II. They have joined the German Resistance and do their best to help those chased by Hitler and his people to escape imprisonment, cruelty and death.

They experience some hair-raising experiences and Claudia disappears after being captured by the Gestapo. Ella will do anything she can to find Claudia and to save her life. This includes defying her aunt and uncle, who she has lived with since the death of her parents.

Ella must do the unthinkable, she must infiltrate the Nazi Party, and work at selling secrets. In so doing, she hopes to draw closer and closer to whatever information that will help her to locate Claudia.

These World War II stories are so hard to read. Yet they are utterly compelling and impossible to put down. Usually when I read one of these, it is from the viewpoint of the Jews, the largest group of people targeted by Hitler. This is the first time I read a story that contained German sympathizers. Despite the tragedies I read about in this book, it was enlightening to learn that such groups existed during that despicable time in history. I applaud Andie Newton for her impeccable research.

Many thanks to Aria and to Historical Fiction Book Tours for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.

kmeyer's review

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Enjoyable, ending left me wanting, I like a tidier conclusion.

sloth34jc's review

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I am a huge fan of historical fiction, particularly those centred around the role the resistance played in ww2 across Europe. Despite having read many books with this as the theme, I had not read one which focussed on German resistance fighters, so I was excited to read from this point of view.

You get to know Ella Strauss quickly, discovering that she is brave and fearless and disagrees with the Nazis, despite being part of the youth league. I was hooked from the second she decided to join her friend as a ‘falcon’, hiding Jews and helping them to escape. Throughout, the book had me wondering what I may have done in this situation, and if I may have been as brave as Ella (probably not is the answer!) I was also intrigued by how young most of the characters are, making this a possibility to recommend to my students when we cover this history topic.

The friendships and family relationships described in this book are complex and heartwarming, you get a sense of how people pulled together and cared for each other in the face of such dangers.

I stayed up late to finish, and though at times I felt that it was a little rushed towards the end, I still enjoyed finding out what happened to Ella.

All in all I definitely recommend this book, it kept me interested and there were a number of tense moments throughout which, amongst other things, kept me hooked.

Thank you so much to the author, netgalley and the publishers for gifting me this arc in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.