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The Winter Orphans

—Book Review—

Title: The Winter Orphans

Author: Kristin Beck

Publisher: Berkley

Genre: Historical Fiction

Kristin Beck. If you don’t know this name, you should. Not only is she an awesome historical fiction author uncovering female stories that deserved to heard, she is also just a fabulous kind person! She met with the @bookfriendsbookclub not once, but twice last month! (To chat with us during our session at the @epigraphlitfestival and then again over zoom with our book club discussion!!)

The Winter Orphans has several brave characters you probably have never heard of. Maybe it’s Rosli Naf or Anne-Marie Piguet; both Swiss Red Cross volunteers. Or likely the young Jewish refugee children in the derelict castle, Chateau de la Hille of Southern France.

This story is told in two parts beginning with Rosli’s strong will and determination in safeguarding the Jewish refugees in her care. Once her mission feels impossible and the Chateau is facing unrelenting danger from the Nazi’s she feels she must get the children out. But how? After a series of events has her losing her position and being sent back to Switzerland she must pass the torch on to Ann-Marie.

“Follow your conscience and forget the rules.” Rosli sighed. “In France, your conscience may require much of you, but it’s the only guide you can trust.”

Ann-Mariet realizes she must trust her upbringing and knowledge of the mountains and forest and secrets paths and plot an escape plan for the children. You will be on the edge of your seat until the end!

Rating: My only complaint is I would’ve liked more of the book to be about the actual movement through the mountains. I loved the author’s research in this book. Top notch. I was fascinated that Rosli decided to live in Denmark, a country that did right by Jewish people during the war. She was an interesting and special lady. I loved that the author didn’t just write the book from the POV’s of Rosli and Ann-Marie, but added one of an older child too. It really worked and brought the book together.

Thank you again to @uplitreads for my #gifted copy and having me on the book tour!

One last quote: “But hope for anything more was dangerous. Because the second hope swam in, the world’s hatred crashed down like a wave and washed it all away.”

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