Blog Tour: Review of The Prisoner's Wife by Maggie Brookes

by - April 16, 2020

I recently re-organised my book cases at home, categorising them by genre and then alphabetically and then chronologically by author - yes, there's a little geek in all of us! And this is where mine lies. I'm telling you this because it was here that I really discovered how much I love a bit of historical fiction (or non-fiction), with a large proportion of my shelves now dedicated to this genre. This is why when I was offered the chance to review The Prisoner's Wife I just couldn't resist.

About the book:

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1944, Czechoslovakia. In the dead of night a farm girl and a British soldier creep through abandoned villages.

They were never meant to meet, let alone fall in love. But when Prisoner of War Bill is brought to work on Izabela’s family farm, their chemistry is inescapable. Before they can be torn apart forever, they marry in secret and go on the run. Their only hope for safety is to reach Izabela’s father and brother who are fighting deep in the countryside as partisans. But when their luck runs out, they are delivered straight into the hands of the enemy: the Nazis.

Still refusing to separate, they have prepared for this moment. Izabela’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. It will require the help of their fellow POWs to maintain their deception, and all their love, devotion and strength to withstand the trials to come. Because should they fail, Izabella and Bill will have put far more than just themselves in danger…

Based on a true story, and researched extensively by the author on location in Eastern Europe, this is a story that takes the reader deep into a rarely-explored side of the Second World War.

About the author:

Maggie Brookes is a former journalist and BBC TV historical documentary producer, turned poet and novelist. She’s also an associate professor at Middlesex University, and an advisory fellow of the Royal Literary Fund.

Maggie has written several poetry collections in the past, but has pursued her dream of being a published novelist since the age of eighteen. Almost forty years later, her dream became a reality when she discovered the story of the real life Bill and Izabella. Maggie lives in Southgate, North London, only a few miles from the family home her father bought after surviving the war and returning to England.

My thoughts:

What a story! Based on a true story, The Prisoner's Wife delves into the dark and horrifying past of war time Czechoslovakia, but erupts with moments of passion, devotion and pure determination that somehow quiet the devastation for a moment.

The narrative is so beautifully and delicately written and it captures every feeling throughout the Izabela and Bill's story. You cannot help but fall in love with the characters as you watch them grow individually and together. The risks they are willing to take to be together are enough to leave you reading on the edge of your seat with your heart in your throat. This is only intensified as you remind yourself that it is based on a true story, 

I very quickly found myself lost in Bill and Izabela's story, finding it hard to put the book down. I don't want to talk too much about the actual story as I want you to be able to experience the story for yourself. What I will say, is that if you love historical fiction like I do then what are you waiting for? This is definitely one to read. 

We may not be in war zone, but during a time where our world is a very strange and unfamiliar one, I found this book to be a little reminder of sacrifices people have made for us to live in a better world. The sacrifice we are making now by 'staying home' instantly is made to appear but a small one in comparison, and this story therefore reminds us what we are all capable of when we are faced with adversity. 

If you've read The Prisoner's Wife, leave a  comment below to let me know what you thought. 

Chat soon beautifuls,

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  1. Amazing! Sounds so good. Loved your insight. I loved Tattooist of Auschwitz and feel this book will have a similar vibe. Definitely the next book I will read.


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