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The Prisoner's Wife

by Maggie Brookes

The Prisoner's Wife by Maggie Brookes X
The Prisoner's Wife by Maggie Brookes
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  • Monica P. (Cleves, OH)
    Surprisingly Good
    I wasn't expecting to like this one as much as I did. It took me a good while to get into The Prisoner's Wife, but once Bill and Izzy we're captured I couldn't put it down. The brutalities of the POW experience were graphically described, especially for Izzy. I do feel a bit dissatisfied by not being able to find out what happened to Izzy's family and to Ralph but otherwise, I totally recommend this book.
  • Colleen L. (Casco, ME)
    An Unusual Holocaust Story
    The Prisoner's Wife by Maggie Brookes is an unusual book. There are many true stories available about people who survived the horrible Nazi concentration camps. This one, however, is a unique view of someone who married a British soldier who had been captured and actually joined him in the concentration camp. Brookes does an excellent job describing the various challenges faced by the couple. And what makes it so interesting is that it is based on a true story!

    I rated the book highly because of the author's writing. It was especially vivid and kept me intensely interested until the very last page. Once I started the book, I could not stop! I kept thinking throughout the book that it would make an incredible movie. I sure hope someone options it to do so.

    The author states that she was told this story by a third party and has never met the actual couple. She is hoping that someone reads the novel and lets her know what happened after the war. I, too, am extremely curious and would love to read a sequel if the author would find out additional information. I'd buy that sequel in a heartbeat.

    I strongly recommend this book. It's a different type of Holocaust story and it's riveting. The author did intense research making the history come alive to the reader. Brookes writing is engaging and she writes beautifully. I predict this book will be a best seller. It will be perfect for book clubs.

    I wish to thank BookBrowse for the ARC. This was an amazing book and I loved it.
  • Becky H
    The Prisoner's Wife
    Based on a true story, THE PRISONER’S WIFE tells of a Czech farm girl who falls in love with the British POW assigned to work on her family’s farm. When it becomes apparent the POW’s will be moved to another area, Izabela and Bill decide to marry and then have Izabela pose as a mute British soldier. The privations and terror of prison camps, hard forced labor, fear of discovery and then a forced march ahead of the Russian Army as the German’s face defeat make up the whole of the book.
    The characters are well defined and grow and change as time passes. Each of the POW’s is a complete and complex person. The guards are more “stock” characters. The situations are believable and grab your attention from the first pages.
    My one complaint is – I want to know the outcome of all the characters we have become so intimate with, what happened to them when the POW camps were disbanded and they returned to civilian life, were they able to achieve their desires as war’s end? My desire to lnow more confirms the writer’s ability to draw me in to each character’s story.
    Book groups might discuss the decision’s that were made, the morality of various deaths, the culpability of civilians, the actions of the guards, the treatment of POW’s in time of war, the endurance of the human spirit, etc.
  • Crumb
    Haunting and Mesmerizing
    This book was engrossing. I could not put it down. It transported you into the era of WWII. The writing was masterful. I would read anything by this author. A definite page turner.
  • Mary Jane D. (Arlington Heights, IL)
    Unbelievable Tale
    The Prisoner's Wife is quite a story about a Czech farm girl and British POW who fall in love, secretly marry, run away together, are captured and suffer many hardships ... and is based on a true story. The characters are well developed and come alive. The extensive research adds authenticity to the details. I found I wanted to keep reading to find out what the next day would bring for them.I was hoping the end notes would reveal who the characters were but unfortunately they are not known. I join the author in hoping someone comes forward to collaborate the story. This a good fast read for those interested in WW2 POW camps and for anyone longing for a good love story.
  • Judi R. (Jericho, NY)
    A Story of Love and Devotion
    Set against the backdrop of war, in the most devastating and dire conditions, mistreatment by sadistic guards, harsh weather and near starvation, Maggie Brooks tells a love story of maximum proportion. It is almost unbelievable, yet, this novel is based on a true story. To support this love story, Brooks conducted thorough research through interviews, documents, visits and tours to give us another World War II story from yet another perspective. Bill is a British POW and meets a young Czechoslovakian woman. They fall in love, marry and run off to join the Partisans. They are captured by the enemy and thus begins their harrowing experiences as prisoners. The author writes with increasing tension, sometimes from Izzy's point of view and sometimes from Bill's. This heightens the emotion for the reader as you are able to feel what each of the main characters feels. Brookes also draws out some of the experiences a little long but the effect on the reader helps to understand the despair that the characters experience. The book is full of characters that the reader is rooting for.
  • Virginia M. (San Antonio, TX)
    Fiction based upon fact
    This novel takes place from June 1944 to March 1945 during WWII. It concerns a 20 year old Czech girl who, as a result of love at first sight, runs off to marry an English POW who happened to be assigned by the Nazi's to work on her family's farm. It is a novel based upon the true story of this young wife her husband was recaptured and, disguised as a fellow male prisoner she accompanies him to a POW work camp. During the remaining 2/3 of the novel, the readers discover the unimaginable hardships of her daily life as a prisoner at what the author's research discovered was a "hell camp" because of overcrowding, malnourishment and hard work." She personally had to first live as a mute unable to speak a word or even let out any other type of sound in order to maintain her disguise as a male; plus, second, she endures the terror of being discovered during the necessary moments of urinating and taking care of her monthly menses.

    I think the author does a wonderful job of telling this dramatic story by switching from first person to third person during alternating chapters of the book so that readers are able to understand not only her strength to undergo daily trials but to also gain the perspective of some other prisoners with whom they have shared her secret. Bearing in mind that this is based on a true story, the fact that those other prisoners were willing to sacrifice even their own lives to protect her makes this novel even more than poignant.

    In the Author's Note at the back of the book, we learn that she never was able to discover the names of either the POW or the young Czech girl so, unfortunately, the story ends abruptly and we can only use our own imagination to know what happens following March 1945.
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