Saturday, January 29, 2022



East Prussia, 1944, Agnes is just 12 years old when everyone in her village is forced to fight for the Nazis while all the women and children are forced to leave their homes.  But when tragedy strikes her family, Agnes and her brother Dieter, are completely alone.  Agnes takes care of her brother the best that she can.  Cambridge, present day, Freya is devastated at the loss of her grandfather.  Not only did he raise her but, she loved hearing his stories of when he was a pilot in World War Two.  Now he is gone and so are his stories.  Soon, Freya meets her new next door neighbor, Agnes and there is something very familiar about her.  Agnes has stories of her own and some of them, if told would change everything Freya knows about her own family.  

This book was so captivating, I was on edge while flipping through the pages as fast as I could, to find out what was going to happen.  I felt a connection with Agnes, and I admired her courage, determination, and will to survive.  Her bravery and dedication to protecting her younger brother was truly heartwarming.  This was an emotional, heartbreaking and engrossing read.  I loved this story and it is a must read for every historical fiction fan.

Thank you Ann Bennett for such a wonderful story.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved that it was a time slip novel.  The storyline of 1944 and present day was really amazing and kept me totally interested.  The connection to the characters was really heartwarming.  I enjoyed this story from the beginning to the end.  I highly recommend it.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Author:  Ann Bennett

Publisher: Bookouture 
Publication Date: January 28, 2022 
Pages: 325 
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1944, East Prussia. When the war comes to twelve-year-old Agnes’ village, she finds herself stuck between two terrifying armies. Everyone in her town has been forced to fight for the Nazis, and as the Red Army approaches every innocent woman and child is made to leave their home. Then tragedy strikes and Agnes and her brother Dieter find themselves completely alone in a vast, isolated woodland. Though she is terrified, Agnes knows that she must protect her brother, no matter the cost…

Cambridge, present day. When her beloved grandfather dies, Freya is distraught. Not only has she lost the man who helped raise her, but she knows the story of his time as a pilot in World War Two, and her family’s history, is gone forever. But then Freya meets her new next-door neighbour Agnes, whose accent is just like her grandfather’s. She has a framed picture of a snow-covered castle that looks strangely familiar, and a weather-beaten image of a little blonde boy in braces and boots.

Agnes vowed never to tell the painful story of the young boy who risked everything for her, even if Freya believes Agnes may hold the key to unlocking her own family’s secrets. But what Freya doesn’t realise is that Agnes’ past has the power to change everything she ever thought she knew about her family…


Ann Bennett was born in a small village in Northamptonshire and now lives in Surrey. Her first book, A Daughter’s Quest, originally published as Bamboo Heart, was inspired by her father’s experience as a prisoner of war on the Thai-Burma Railway. The Planter’s Wife (originally published as Bamboo Island) a Daughter’s Promise and The Homecoming, (formerly Bamboo Road) are also about the war in South East Asia.

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