📚World War Two #HistoricalFiction. Rosie’s #Bookreview Of Night Angels by @WeinaRandel #WW2

Night AngelsNight Angels by Weina Dai Randel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Night Angels is a World War Two historical fiction tale based on the real life of Dr. Ho, Consul General of the Chinese Embassy in Vienna.

The book begins in 1938; much of Dr. Ho’s work involves developing good international relations, as the Chinese are currently at war with Japan. The Chinese diplomats are keen to negotiate promises of weaponry from the Germans, but they are led on a long political dance.

Meanwhile Dr. Ho witnesses the horrors as Vienna’s Jewish community is terrorised; money and businesses stolen and the people forced to leave or are taken prisoner. Dr. Ho’s wife Grace was even arrested for sitting on a park bench. As tensions rise, Ho might not be able to stop the madness, but he can try to save lives; he begins issuing travel visas to China.

I had not heard of this aspect of the war and the complexities around travel visas was interesting to read about. My historical knowledge was also lacking about the war between China and Japan, I hadn’t realised that they were already fighting before Pearl Harbor. I’m glad that I read this and got a glimpse into the life of a humble diplomat who made a difference to thousands of lives.

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Orange rose book description
Book description

From the author of The Last Rose of Shanghai comes a profoundly moving novel based on the true story of a diplomat and his wife who risked their lives to help Viennese Jews escape the Nazis.

1938. Dr. Ho Fengshan, consul general of China, is posted in Vienna with his American wife, Grace. Shy and ill at ease with the societal obligations of diplomats’ wives, Grace is an outsider in a city beginning to feel the sweep of the Nazi dragnet. When Grace forms a friendship with her Jewish tutor, Lola Schnitzler, Dr. Ho requests that Grace keep her distance. His instructions are to maintain amicable relations with the Third Reich, and he and Grace are already under their vigilant eye.

But when Lola’s family is subjugated to a brutal pogrom, Dr. Ho decides to issue them visas to Shanghai. As violence against the Jews escalates after Kristallnacht, and threats mount, Dr. Ho must issue thousands more to help Jews escape Vienna before World War II explodes.

Based on a remarkable true story, Night Angels explores the risks brave souls took and the love and friendship they built and lost while fighting against incalculable evil.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS (Due for publication on Feb 1st)

📚#WW2 #HistoricalFiction. Rosie’s #Bookreview of Goodnight From Paris by @HealeyJane #TuesdayBookBlog

Goodnight from ParisGoodnight from Paris by Jane Healey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Goodnight From Paris is a World War Two story based on a the real life of American actress Drue Leyton. Drue married a Frenchman and was living in Paris when war broke out. Her husband went away to fight and Drue began working for a French radio station. Drue had the night shift and was broadcasting to American listeners, trying desperately to gain support from a country reluctant to get involved with the war in Europe.

When the German’s occupied France, Drue used her married name to avoid arrest. However, she was still determined to help fight the oppressors. She continued throughout the war to aid the Resistance while supporting networks that moved airmen to safety.

Although this is a fictional story, the author used many of the details of Drue’s actual life which she found during research for her writing. This story really intrigued me, especially how Americans in France were treated before and after their country’s entry into the war. Drue’s story is one more example of brave men and women who did so much for the war effort.

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Book description

In Nazi-occupied France, an American film star takes on the most dangerous role of her life in a gripping novel about loyalty and resistance, inspired by a true story, from the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of The Secret Stealers.

Paris, 1939. Hollywood actress Drue Leyton, married to Frenchman Jacques Tartière, lives as an expatriate in love. But when her husband is dispatched to Brittany to work as a liaison for the British military, Drue finds herself alone with her housekeeper, adrift and heartsick in her adopted city. With her career and fame forty-five hundred miles away, Drue accepts an opportunity that will change her life forever.

Befriended by seasoned wartime journalist Dorothy Thompson and urged on by political operative Jean Fraysse, Drue broadcasts radio programs to the United States. Her duty: shake America from its apathy and, as Nazis encroach and France is occupied, push for resistance and help from the US. As Drue and Jean fall under suspicion, Hitler sends his own message: when Drue’s adopted country is conquered, she will be executed.

In a Paris that is no longer safe, Drue’s political passion is ignited. She’s prepared to risk anything to fight the enemy no matter how dangerous it gets—for her, for everyone she loves, and for everything she’s fighting for.

AmazonUK | AmazonUS (Due to be published March 7th 2023.)

📚#WW2 #HistoricalFiction Rosie’s #Bookreview of Ashes In The Snow by Oriana Ramunno @HarperCollinsUK #TuesdayBookBlog

Ashes in the SnowAshes in the Snow by Oriana Ramunno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ashes In the Snow is World War Two historical fiction. The book is set in 1943 in the Auschwitz prison camp.

German criminologist Hugo Fischer is brought to the camp to investigate the murder of one of the SS doctors. The body was discovered by a young Jewish boy who accurately drew the scene soon after it happened.

Hugo normally works in Berlin; he’s heard rumours about the prison camps but he is shocked by what he sees all around him. There is an irony that the death of one SS officer is considered of such importance when hundreds of murders and deaths happen daily in the camp.

This is a dark and disturbing tale; the horrors of the camp and the medical experiments are not brushed over. Seeing the events through the eyes of a German was different from many war stories and it worked well. The story twists and turns, as Hugo suspects first one person then another.

I didn’t quite manage to get a clear image of all the important secondary characters which was my only complaint; just a little more detail to help me differentiate between them would have helped.

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Orange rose book description
Book description

A beautiful, moving detective story set in Auschwitz in the Christmas of 1943.
A young Jewish prisoner…
Auschwitz, 1943. It’s snowing outside and Block 10 looks even bleaker than usual. Gioele Errera, a young Jewish boy imprisoned in the camp, finds the body of an SS officer.

A detective with everything to prove…
Hugo Fischer is sent to investigate the unexplained death of the renowned Nazi. But Hugo is hiding a secret – he is suffering from a degenerative disease. The only way for him to survive is to give his support to the Reich and hide his condition.

A confrontation with pure evil…
In Auschwitz, Hugo comes face to face not only with a complex murder, but with a truth – that of the Final Solution. And he is forced to decide what is most important to him – and who, if anyone, he should try to save…

AmazonUK | AmazonUS 

Rosie’s #Bookreview Of #WW2 #HistoricalFiction THE ROSE COSE by @KateQuinnAuthor

The Rose CodeThe Rose Code by Kate Quinn

4.5 stars

The Rose Code is a World War Two historical fiction tale based around the codebreakers of Bletchley Park.

There are two timelines: 1940 when three women from different backgrounds join the secret codebreakers, and 1947 during the preparations for Princess Elizabeth’s wedding.

The story opens in 1947 with a coded message sent to two women who were once good friends but are now estranged, their common factor being the one who sent the message; Beth discovered a spy at Bletchley but she can do nothing about it on her own.

Back in 1940, Mab, a working class girl who was top of her class at secretarial school, is on a train with Osla, a young debutante who is determined to do her bit for the war. They have both been recruited to work at Bletchley Park, but they have no idea why. The two girls are billeted with a local family and they befriend the daughter, Beth, a young women with a mind that can see patterns, but who is stifled by her overbearing mother. Osla is quick to spot Beth’s sharp brain and gets Beth enlisted to Bletchley where she soon proves how capable she is.

Back in 1947 time is running out. It is only days before the royal wedding; for all three women it means very different things and not everyone is about to celebrate the royal nuptial.

I thought that the storyline was fantastic, I lost myself for several hours reading all about life as a codebreaker; the highs and lows, the frustration and jubilation. I liked how the author portrayed the characters, showing how they were brought together from diverse lifestyles. The second timeline added lots of tension for its own reasons which I won’t spoil by explaining here.

Told from the perspectives of Osla, Mab and Beth, this tale is primarily about friendship and secrets and how these two themes were tested to the extremes. I’m a fan of historical fiction from this era and the spy theme especially worked for me. Bletchley park holds a fascination for me and I hope to visit one day. I would happily recommend this to readers who enjoy well written World War fiction.

I reviewed an ARC of this book from Netgalley.

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Book description

1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart. 1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter–the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger–and their true enemy–closer… 

AmazonUK |AmazonUS