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Publisher's Summary

Nineteen forty-four, Nazi-controlled Austria: For 13-year-old Ursula, life in her village remains almost as it was. But when Russian prisoners escape from the local concentration camp, her friend goes missing and her brother's allegiance to the Hitler Youth emerges in shocking ways, Ursula finds herself alone and surrounded by threat.

Ursula is forced to recognise that danger comes not only from the enemy at the door but from the enemy within....

©2015 Holly Müller (P)2016 W.F. Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"A powerful and absorbing novel that pulls you deep into the troubled war years of its young heroine. Love and loyalty are the book's real themes, and the manipulation of the innocent. Brilliantly done." (Esther Freud)
"A moving portrait of a girl forced to come of age in a world at war." (Sunday Times)

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  • hfffoman
  • 06-20-18

Painful but full of humanity

Without spoilers this is a combination of two perspectives: coming of age in small town Austria, including the grotesque Krampus tradition; and the end of the second world war as experienced by country women and children. It is disturbing and at times painful to read but sensitively written and full of humanity. To those (Amazon reviewers) who thought it was too nasty, I would say this: the characters, and the behaviour described, are realistic; Krampus was like that. If you want a feel-good read, where the warmth of human nature is put on a plate and nicely chopped up for you like sausages, perhaps you would do better to choose a book about something other than wartime.

4.5 stars for the novel, but it was ruined by the narration. I have listened to 250-odd books on audible and this is probably the worst narrator. She turns every comma into a full stop and frequently puts a full stop just before a verb. The result is bizarre. I don't understand how she could have thought it made sense, nor how the publisher failed to deal with it. Better to get it in paperback

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