Wednesday, July 06, 2022



Amsterdam, 1941; Betty is a nursery school teacher living in the heart of the city.  When the Nazis arrived in the city, they began to take the children away.  One by one the children were taken away from their familiar environment, and the protection of their teachers, their families and their friends.  Betty hears of an underground network that helps save the children, Betty knows she must sacrifice everything to save the children she loves.  

This is the first story I have read by this author.  I found her writing style to have a wonderful flow.  This story drew me in at the very beginning, and held my attention to the very end.  This heart-wrenching story was inspirational and hopeful.  The sacrifices people made to survive such horrible times continues to amaze me.  Their selfless acts to save those around them, was incredible, leaving you contemplating for days and days.  When I discovered this story was based on true events, I was heartbroken.  There are so many stories of courageous people that must be told so that we can learn from them.  Their experience and the heart breaking things that they have overcome is sure to encourage us all.  This is a wonderful must read for all historical fiction fans, but make sure you keep the tissue box nearby, because you will surely need it.

Thank you Elle Van Rijn for such a stirring and heartbreaking story.  I look forward to reading many more of your stories. I loved it and I highly recommend it.



Rating: 5
Author:  Elle van Rijn
Publisher:  Bookouture
Publication Date: July 5, 2022
Pages: 350 
Buy on Amazon 

Amsterdam, 1941. My hands are so shaky I’m fumbling. Where to hide? I pull open the dresser, throw aside the blankets, put the baby in and push the drawer shut, just as the nursery door swings open. The German officer marches into the room, yelling over the crying downstairs: ‘You! Grab all the children – now!’

Based on the heart-wrenching true story of an ordinary young woman who risked everything to save countless children from the Nazis.

My name is Betty. Until a few months ago, I was just like every other nursery teacher in the city… then the Nazis came and began to take our children away. Now, the nursery is part of a German deportation centre. Little ones and their families are being forced across the border, to a place called Auschwitz. No one comes back.

So when I hear there’s an underground network to save the children, I know I have to help. Sometimes the parents won’t be parted from them, and sometimes we can’t get to them in time – there are spies everywhere. But each time I smuggle the warm, innocent bundle of a sleeping baby past the Nazi guards and into the arms of the resistance, I know it’s worth the risk.

Tonight, in the pitch black, we are readying five little ones to escape ahead of a transport tomorrow. We don’t know where they’re going, and they may never see their parents again. As I button their coats and smooth their hair, my hands trembling, I hear the nightmare sound of heavy army boots on the stairs. My breath catches and my blood runs cold…


Elle van Rijn
 is a Dutch actress, screenwriter of series and films, and author of columns, although her greatest passion lies with writing novels. 

No comments:

Post a Comment