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The Prisoner's Wife: Book summary and reviews of The Prisoner's Wife by Maggie Brookes

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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Book Summary

Inspired by the true story of a daring deception that plunges a courageous young woman deep into the horrors of a Nazi POW camp to be with the man she loves.

In the dead of night, a Czech farm girl and a British soldier travel through the countryside. Izabela and prisoner of war Bill have secretly married and are on the run, with Izzy dressed as a man. The young husband and wife evade capture for as long as possible—until they are cornered by Nazi soldiers with tracking dogs.

Izzy's disguise works. The couple are assumed to be escaped British soldiers and transported to a POW camp. However, their ordeal has just begun, as they face appalling living conditions and the constant fear of Izzy's exposure. But in the midst of danger and deprivation comes hope, for the young couple are befriended by a small group of fellow prisoners. These men become their new family, willing to jeopardize their lives to save Izzy from being discovered and shot.

The Prisoner's Wife tells of an incredible risk, and of how our deepest bonds are tested in desperate times. Bill and Izzy's story is one of love and survival against the darkest odds.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The Prisoner's Wife is a powerful love story that exquisitely depicts the courage and strength of the human spirit in the face of the tremendous cost of war. Historical fiction lovers will be immersed in the rich detail and impeccably researched setting. A wonderful book!"—Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author The Last Train to Key West

"A powerful page-turner, The Prisoner's Wife shares the inspiring tale of a courageous historical woman as she risks her life through a countryside ravaged by World War II and suffers through the dangers of living as a man in a POW camp to stay with her beloved husband. Based a breathtaking true story, the novel explores the indomitability of one woman's spirit, and offers a unique perspective on a lesser-seen side of war."—Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of Lady Clementine

"You will be spellbound by this stellar debut. So richly imbued with sensory details you'll be feeling every anguished moment and every golden ray of hope. What a beautifully wrought tribute to the real prisoner's wife, wherever she may be."—Susan Meissner, bestselling author of The Last Year of the War

"The phenomenal story of an incomparably brave and formidable woman, this is perhaps the most unique World War II story I've ever read. If it's wrong to say a story about prisoners of war is gloriously captivating, I don't want to be right. Romantic, perfectly observed, inspiring, and thrilling – The Prisoner's Wife is impossible to put down – and when I did, I was teary-eyed. A complete winner."—Sarah-Jane Stratford, Author of Red Letter Days

The information about The Prisoner's Wife shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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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.

...13 more reader reviews

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Author Information

Maggie Brookes

Maggie Brookes is a British ex-journalist and BBC television producer turned poet and novelist. She is an advisory fellow for the Royal Literary Fund and also an Associate Professor at Middlesex University, London, England, where she has taught creative writing since 1990. She lives in London and Whitstable, Kent and is married, with two grown-up daughters. She has published five poetry collections in the UK under her married name of Maggie Butt.

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