Saturday, March 23, 2024



Hannie and Sonja are inseparable best friends and they are living in Nazi occupied Amsterdam. The year is 1942 and the streets and canals that they loved are now constantly patrolled by Nazi soldiers.  Hannie’s life completely changes when she decides to join the underground resistance.  She must hide her bright red hair to avoid being seen by the Nazis. Her mission is to deliver fake IDs.  She vows to keep her best friend Sonja and her younger sister Maya, safe by hiding them from the Nazis.  Sonja and Maya are Jewish and Hannie will stop and nothing to keep them safe.  Then the unimaginable happens, Sonja receives word that members of her family are taken prisoner.  Hannie goes undercover as a nurse to find them, but when she discovers that they were taken to a concentration camp, she must risk her life to save them.  Then Hannie’s worst fear happens when Sonja is taken and Hannie is her only hope.

The Girl With The Red Hair written by author Imogen Matthews is a heartbreaking and emotional story.  This book had me flying through the pages as my heart pounded, I couldn’t put it down.  At the flip of each page I was completely enthralled with the story.  I had to get to the end as fast as possible to see how this great story would end.  Hannie was a wonderful and loveable character as was Sonja, and their friendship was amazing.  I was heartbroken when Sonja was taken and I was inspired when Hannie would stop at nothing and risk everything to save her friend.  This story pulled at my heartstrings and I cried many times throughout the book.  What a wonderful addition to The Dutch Girls Series.  All though it is part of a series it can be read as a standalone novel.  I loved this story and I highly recommend it.


Rating: 5 out of 5.


Author:  Imogen Matthews
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: March 20, 2024
Pages:  353
Buy on Amazon 

My heart thrashes inside my chest as I watch my best friend get dragged away by German soldiers. I run towards her, begging them to stop, but then I see the gun. ‘No, please!’ I shout as panicked tears stream down my face. ‘Don’t hurt her!’ I’m the only one left who can save her…

1942, Amsterdam. The Nazi occupation has shattered the lives of inseparable best friends Hannie and Sonja. The canals and rainy cobbled streets they once strolled down are now patrolled by soldiers day and night, who arrest people at will and beat those who resist.

Hannie can’t stand by and watch the lives of the innocent be destroyed by the evil occupiers. At great danger to herself, she joins the underground
 resistance, where she meets the charming and mysterious Jan. She covers her bright red hair to avoid detection by the Nazis while distributing fake IDs. And she makes a promise to Sonja and her little sister Maya, who are Jewish – she will hide them and keep them safe, no matter the cost.

But as the German grip on the country tightens with each passing day, Sonja’s worst fears come true when members of her family are taken prisoner. With Jan by her side, Hannie goes undercover as a nurse to try to free them. But she’s devastated when she discovers they’ve been taken to a concentration camp in the isolated far east of the country. Is she too late to save them?

And when Sonja goes missing, Hannie is terrified the worst has happened – has someone betrayed her best friend? Hannie knows her most dangerous task is now ahead of her. 
Can Hannie save Sonja, and will she have to make the biggest sacrifice of all to bring her home?


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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