Monday, January 17, 2022



Holland, 1943 Sofie’s family is threatened by the German soldiers and so she and her family flee in the middle of the night.  They hide in a neighbor’s secret attic, but with constant threats of German raids their time hiding in the attic will be short.  Sofie’s parents make the hardest decision of their lives.  They decide to send Sofie away to a secret village hidden in the woods.  The village was built by the local town for the purpose of offering a safe place for Jewish families.  Being there is the only hope that they have of surviving.  But the Nazis have gotten word about it and they are looking for it.  Their determination and persistence in finding it is closing in on the families.  But when the unthinkable happens, Sofie has to decide if she should save the village or save herself.  This story was so heartbreaking and so inspiring I couldn’t put it down.  I absolutely loved this story.  My heart was pounding with the anticipation of what was going to happen next.  You can’t help but feel like you are hiding in the village waiting to take your next breath.  The author, Imogen Matthews has an amazing way of pulling you into the story from the very beginning and never letting you go.  This phenomenal story is one you will never forget.  My heart breaks when I think about the horrible things people had to endure during that time.  But I find hope in their survival.  I loved this story, I can’t recommend it enough.

Thank you Imogen Matthews for such a wonderful historical fiction story.  I absolutely loved that this story took place in Holland.  I really enjoyed this wonderful story, and I highly recommend it.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Author:  Imogen Matthews
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: January 17, 2022 
Pages: 352 
Buy on Amazon 

A Nazi soldier slams his rifle into her father’s head. From her hiding place, Sofie stifles a scream as tears roll down her face. Suddenly she can’t take it any more. ‘Stop, stop!’ she sobs, rushing out and pushing the soldier away. And then freezes, as he snarls and whips the gun round to point at her…

Holland, 1943: the Nazis are in occupation. German soldiers patrol the streets, and each week more families disappear without trace, never to be seen again. So when armed soldiers storm Sofie’s house and threaten her father at gunpoint, she knows their time – and luck – has run out.

Fleeing in the middle of the night to hide in a neighbour’s secret attic, the constant threat of a German raid means they can’t stay long. So Sofie’s parents make the heart-rending decision to send their daughter away. Concealed in the woods is a secret village, built by the town as a haven for Jewish families like Sofie’s. Remote, cold and bleak, yet filled with the hopeful laughter of children playing, it is the one place Sofie has the chance to live.

But rumours of the hidden village have been swirling, and the Nazis are determined to find it. As soldiers patrol the woods in ever-greater numbers, snow cuts the villagers off from the outside world and starvation sets in. Sofie knows what she must do, even though it means putting herself in danger. And when the worst happens, Sofie is faced with a terrible decision – save the village, or save herself…


Imogen Matthews is an Oxford-based, award-winning author and journalist with an interest in forgotten stories from WW2 Holland. Imogen was born in Rijswijk, Holland, to a Dutch mother and English father who moved the family to England when Imogen was very young. All her life, she listened to her mother’s stories about her life in Holland, in particular the hardships she faced during the Hunger Winter in 1944-5, which has had a profound impact on her writing.

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