Review 1787: The Girl from the Channel Islands

I selected this book mostly because of its setting. That it is based on a true story sounded intriguing, too.

About a hundred pages in, I began to think about not only why I wasn’t buying this novel but also why it it made me uncomfortable. Perhaps this is a politically incorrect statement these days, but for me to accept the idea of a Jewish girl having a romance with a German officer during World War II, I had to feel the love. But I wasn’t feeling it or reading about it. I was reading about sex, and I didn’t think a Jewish girl who knew what was going on in those times would risk everything for sex.

This is down to the author, I’m afraid, whose writing is merely workmanlike. I didn’t believe this story, true or not, so I stopped reading it.

Salt to the Sea

To Bed with Grand Music

Lilac Girls

11 thoughts on “Review 1787: The Girl from the Channel Islands

    • whatmeread January 18, 2022 / 12:37 pm

      Yes, a failure on the writer’s part, I believe.

  1. historicalfictionisfiction January 18, 2022 / 5:53 pm

    Since I am currently reading “the Correspondents” by Judith Mackrell, I would have to say that the premise is just not very realistic. I have done plenty of nonfiction reading about WW II–both primary sources written at the time, and secondary reporting–and the Nazi propaganda re: the Jews as less than animals was widespread and very deeply believed by both the Nazis and the German people as a whole.

    I, like you, also cannot buy the idea that a Jewish girl would be so besotted with the idea of a transcendent sexual experience with a Nazi soldier that she would pursue such a relationship.

    Besides which, there could be NO happy ending for this relationship. Both parties would be severely punished by their respective groups, if not outright killed. AND I no longer read books with unhappy endings!

    So, thanks for the warning. Another book I can safely avoid.

    • whatmeread January 18, 2022 / 6:02 pm

      I don’t know if it had a happy ending, because it was a DNF for me. However, it is supposedly based on a real situation. It seems to me that the only way a Jewish girl would have an affair with a German officer was if she was trying to save her life or someone else’s.

  2. Davida Chazan January 20, 2022 / 4:41 am

    This is what my friend calls “Holocaust Porn” and it angers me NO END. How terribly disrespectful to the millions of people that the Nazis murdered in cold blood! It is even disrespectful to the women who were forced to have sex with the Germans, and those who did so to try to save others. No, I will not read this book. Thanks for the review.

  3. Davida Chazan January 20, 2022 / 4:46 am

    Also, “based on a true story”? Well, I’m sure that there were some women who were collaborators who had affairs with German officers, but the rest doesn’t ring true to me. By the way, have you heard of “The Girl with the Blue Star”? That one is about a girl who was hiding from the Nazis in the Krakow sewers, who befriends a Polish non-Jew on the streets. Well, I have to tell you that I knew a man who actually survived the Krakow sewers and the whole premise of her being found out by looking out of the grate is, according to what he said, ALL WRONG! So, I’d avoid that one as well, if I were you (because I am avoiding it like the plague).

  4. Marg January 25, 2022 / 5:08 am

    I listened to some sessions at a historical novel society session a while ago and there was lots of disdain towards this kind of plot and yet it is getting published more and more.

    • whatmeread January 25, 2022 / 11:20 am

      Well, maybe people should stop buying them. I might have if I’d known what it was about.

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