Wednesday, August 31, 2022



Holland, 1944: Ilse is a nursing student in Nazi-occupied Holland.  A horrible famine and violence fills the streets from the German occupation.  Ilse meets Levi when his family is arrested and sent to a concentration camp. Levi needs Ilse’s help and she risks everything to help him survive.  She hides him in a tiny room in her attic.  He must remain hidden and if it is discovered that he is there, it would almost mean certain death not only for Levi but also for Ilse.  Present day London, Anna’s father passes away and leaves her a ticket to Amsterdam.  He wants Anna to return to the town he was born in and find out what happened to his parents after the war ended.  Anna never expected her journey to reveal to her the history of her family.

I love time slip novels, especially ones that are historical fiction and based on true family events.  This story of both old and new was an immediate attention grabber.  This beautiful story of courage and love begins during World War II in Holland and takes you through to present day in London.  The people that lived during the reign of the Nazi’s endured so much horror and so courageous. They risked their lives for each other and didn’t care what the outcome was, they took the risk anyway.  The effects of that horrible time followed them their entire life and affected generations of families.  This story was so inspirational, unbelievably heartbreaking, and unputdownable.   I was completely captivated from cover to cover and I definitely recommend this book.

Thank you Imogen Matthews for such a wonderful time slip novel.  I really enjoyed everything about this book and I highly recommend it.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Author:  Imogen Matthews
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: August 30, 2022 
Pages: 311 
Buy on Amazon 

Anna opened the letter with trembling hands. ‘My darling, if you’re reading this, I haven’t managed to unravel my parents’ secret. But you can. Will you finish the search for me, find out who they were, and who you really are?’

Nazi-occupied Holland, 1944. As soldiers patrol the streets, nursing student Ilse is only just surviving the terrible famine and increasingly violent German occupation. Though exhausted by her demanding work at a hospital far from home, she can’t help but notice Levi, the young man with the dark eyes watching the world silently from the abandoned house next door. 

Then, early one morning, she finds him terrified and trembling with cold on the back doorstep. Levi’s Jewish family have been arrested and sent to a concentration camp, their likely fate all too clear. And now he needs her help.

So Ilse makes the most dangerous decision of her life, and takes Levi in. Hiding him away in her tiny attic room, he must remain concealed or risk almost certain death. But as the war worsens, keeping Levi a secret becomes ever more difficult, even as their mutual affection grows. And when a local German soldier becomes obsessed with Ilse, they fear their time – and luck – has run out…

London, present day. When Anna’s father dies, he leaves her a ticket to Amsterdam, a bent silver sixpence on a delicate silver chain, and a note begging her to complete the journey he was never able to. To the town where he was born, to find out once and for all who his parents were, and to discover their wartime fate.


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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