Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Book Review: The Viennese Girl by Jenny Lecoat

Firstly, I hope that you are all doing well in these uncertain and challenging times.
It hasn't been easy but I am hoping that it won't be too long before things return to the way they once were. I have been busy helping my three daughters with their distance education, but I have tried to make sure that I make a little bit of time for myself each day to read, even if it is just a few pages here and there.

I have just finished reading The Viennese Girl by Jenny Lecoat, which is released today through Allen & Unwin.
It is based on the true story of a woman named Hedy Bercu.
The story begins with Hedy, who is of Jewish background and originally from Vienna, fleeing to what she believes to be the safety and isolation of Jersey in order to escape the Nazis in 1940.
She only has one friend in Jersey, a young man named Anton.
All of Hedy's family were left behind and she is unsure if they escaped or are still alive.
As the story progresses in time, Anton begins dating a young woman named Dorothea. Anton and Dorothea quickly fall in love and marry, however, Anton is forced to join the army and leave a heartbroken Dorothea behind.
Although Hedy has initial reservations about Dorothea, it isn't long before the two become firm friends.

Meanwhile, as desperate times call for desperate measures, Hedy hides her racial status and takes a job that is run by German authorities. It is there that she meets German lieutenant Kurt Neumann and the two soon fall for each other. But they both know that their relationship is a dangerous one, and the consequences of being caught together are a matter of life and death.
It is a risk that they are both prepared to take, but at what cost?

This was a quick and easy read, with a beautiful message of hope and love intertwined. Both Hedy and Dorothea were admirable, strong, brave and determined female characters, and this was captured beautifully by author Jenny Lecoat, who was born in Jersey herself.

The Viennese Girl is available through Allen & Unwin, RRP $29.99. 

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