Not My War - Book Review

Not My War

Author: Valerie Anne Hudson
Genre: Romance - Historical
Publisher: Independently published
Date Published: July 1, 2023
ISBN-10:
ISBN-13: 9798850490089


GoodReads Rating:
3.82

Book Review of :  Not My War



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Valerie Anne Hudson has written a well-researched historical novel, Not My WarThe year is 1937. Louise Bellingham, a seventeen-year-old boarding student in Britain, returns to her mother's home in Paris, France, as the world is cast into World War II. Louise was born in Switzerland with a German/French heritage. She thinks that the impending war doesn't involve her. She is fun-loving, feisty, immature, and impulsive, not recognizing the imminent danger to her family and friends as German Nazis invade France and occupy Paris. Louise's familiarity with the French, German, and English languages enabled her to be hired as a barmaid in a posh hotel.

Louise's captivating coming-of-age tale delves into her personal and intriguing experiences, including a significant issue over the death of a German Officer and witnessing the arrests of her Jewish friends. The horrors endured by French citizens are vividly portrayed, evoking a deep sense of empathy. Louise's actions are both irresponsible, reckless, and unpredictable, from the challenging bread lines to the tense encounters with young Nazi soldiers demanding her documents during curfew. However, these traits draw the reader in, investing them in the growth and development of this richly crafted character.

The complexity of Louise's personality and her inner conflicts create drama with her friends and family as the grueling realities and tensions of war escalate. Louise is attracted to a handsome Nazi officer, Hans Hartmann, whom she meets in a bar. She soon "fell unequivocally, unconditionally, head-over-heels in love" with the enemy. Her inner wild child is thrilled by his attention, his overwhelming desire to court her with fine meals while her family starves, and with gifts to prove his love.

Louise grapples with the unsettling truth about the man she loves – an enemy of her people. Behind his charming facade lies a deeply ingrained bigotry and acceptance of violence towards Jews. However, Louise attempts to rationalize his behavior, attributing it to his military indoctrination rather than his own beliefs. Blinded by love and the kindness he shows her, she is finally awakened to the horrifying reality. She uncovers Hans' true intentions and Germany's plan to eradicate what it deems as "despicable" Jews and "inferior" French. Moreover, Louise discovers that this plan involves populating the confiscated French land with German peasants, with the intention of creating an ideal Arian society. This astounding revelation forces Louise to confront the dark underbelly of the man she thought she knew and raises unsettling questions about the true nature of love and loyalty.

Louise finds herself arrested and deemed a murderer. As she grapples with the terrifying reality of her situation, she can't help but draw parallels to the plight of her Jewish acquaintances. Amidst her desperation to escape, a Nazi officer bangs on the door to the interrogation room, sending her heart pounding with fear. The question remains: where will they lead her next?

In a moment of clarity, she comes to terms with the flawed nature of the excuses she once made for Hans and his actions. Her friends had warned her that he was manipulating her, and her realization of this truth fuels her determination to turn the tables and instead use him, and hopefully bring him down. With great courage, she boldly becomes a double agent, collaborating with the Nazis while secretly working for the Resistance. In a bold and dangerous move, she puts her own life on the line to fight for what is morally right.

WWII history is told from a unique point of view,  "Whose side are you on?" This suspense and intrigue-filled novel is packed with historical details. Readers will be enthralled, and enamored by the author's focus on lesser-known stories of the Resistance in Nazi-occupied France. 


Reviewed by: carole

About Valerie Anne Hudson


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After teaching for 25 years, Val is now retired and happy to spend her time writing. Ideas for stories are constantly running around in her head, which can be somewhat of an interference when she?s working at her other job: writing press releases for business owners. Based in Ontario, Canada, Val is a truly awful cook and a voracious reader. Find out more at valerieannehudson.com.




Visit https://valerieannehudson.com for more information on Valerie Anne Hudson


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