by Barb Foulke: I just loved this book – from page one to the very last page. I am rarely so taken by a book. It is a really great story, well written and I learned something about WWII as well. A triple hit! When I first received the ARC I saw that it was nearly 500 pages and immediately worried that I would not have the time. Also it feels like a big commitment if I happen to not like the book. For that reason I read the first 10 pages, just to see if it seemed reasonable. At page 10 I thought that I might read just a little bit more as the book is clearly “a good one”. At page 50 I decided that maybe I would just put the book at the head of my reading list and by page 75 I admitted to myself that I could not put this book down. This book is the story of Fenna, and her character development is outstanding. The book follows her growth and maturity in the various backdrops of her environment. I felt so much compassion for her as the book begins with her tragic, but very realistic lonely childhood in a Midwestern mining town in the 1920’s. Socially in the 20s children were not valued, not recognized. Surrounded by neglect during her childhood Fenna learns to become invisible. She learns independence, stamina, perseverance at a very young age. She also learns to successfully hide – often in plain sight through an introduction to Houdini and his ability to escape various predicaments. Her story moves with her interest in Houdini and her skillful mastering techniques of hiding. She is so accomplished that she is picked up by the English war office M-19 and recruited for an operation infiltrating the Netherlands. She is the perfect operator as she is an independent, strong, skillful woman. I found this section of the book particularly interesting. I did not know how involved the Dutch were in WWII, and how much they participated in the resistance. I found it particularly interesting how paranoid they were of their own neighbors and fellow Dutch. The mistrust and angst that the Dutch experienced was palpable – something I was never aware of. Of course the book includes a great romance inserted into this history of social America in the 1920s and a fresh look at WWII in Europe. Also as a conclusion, to finish Fenna’s fine character is a wonderful ending where she doggedly works, against all odds of success to save a young girl from the very circumstances that she faced as a child. Arie saves Fenna abandoned by circumstances and Fenna saves Evelien. What a great read!