Mrs Alexander does an excellent job with research, causing the reader to feel like they have been picked up and set back down in a different era. The attention to detail allows you to hear the violin as little Josef plays, smell the scones at Minivers, brush the rain from your shoulders as you rush with Alison from the car to the house and even feel the despair as Ian makes a decision to take a life in order to save another. These characters were so real, the book would be excellent made into a movie, that at times I felt like I knew them.
One of my favorite aspects was the history. I had heard of the Dutch Resistance but I never realized all it detailed. What went into the rescuing of Jewish children, hiding them and forging the passports, while risking their own lives to do it. Also the hiding of art from the plundering of the Germans. I found myself going to the internet and searching for more information, especially about the artwork being hidden in caves. All in all it moved me like no other story has yet this year. Brilliant writing that draws the reader into that time period, steadily moving along on a ride of ups and downs. My heart ached for Ian and Alison, so much in love and yet held apart by more than just distance. The secondary characters were just as much a part of the story, including young Libby (a refugee in her own right), Ian's sister Trish, and even Theodor, the German in love with Alison. My only complaint? the story just ends, leaving you with a teaser! Definitely not right! My fingers are crossed for a second installment shortly. Again, an amazing book that I would urge everyone to pick up and read, even if WWII is not your favorite genre. A+!
**DISCLOSURE: I was given a free product in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given, and all thoughts are 100% mine. Please read my full disclosure policy HERE.**