Sarah doesn’t look like the Jewish girl that the Nazi’s want people to hate. With her blonde hair and blue eyes, she could easily pass for part of the ‘superior race’ that Hitler has planned for 1940s Germany. After a chance meeting with Captain while on the run, Sarah is given the opportunity to make a difference for all those like her, to become a spy. Locating herself within a Nazi boarding school for daughters of the elite couldn’t be more dangerous. Her fair appearance and fierce intelligence and ambition are what can make her the ultimate weapon, but can she survive?
It has been a long time since I’ve read a historical fiction novel but I am so glad I did. This is a debut novel by Matt Kileen and I can tell you now that he is one to watch. This was an incredibly well thought out, thrilling read. I immediately fell into the world that Killeen had created and cared for Sarah, I wanted her to win. I also enjoyed the relationship between Sarah and Captain and its no-nonsense approach.
One of the things I was most impressed by was the research that was clearly undertaken here. Details of Nazi boarding schools, the ways in which a spy could operate within the time and personalities of the young women really stood out to me. This is not a novel about wallflowers, from Sarah to Captain to the school bullies each and every one was incredibly well detailed and that, to me, is the sign of an excellent writer.
Were there points when I thought, well this is a little convenient, yes there were. BUT that said, I’ve read accounts of the Second World War where it is unbelievable that people were clever or kind on the worst situations, so I can’t be too harsh about that. This novel was certainly a page turner and weeks after reading I’m still thinking about it.
I gave this novel 4.5 stars. It really was an excellent debut and I’m already eagerly awaiting the next novel. I would really recommend picking this up if you have a love for historical fiction, it’s been a long time since I’ve found one that I devoured and Killeen is one to watch!