The Hidden Village- ARC Book Review

The Hidden Village: An absolutely gripping and emotional World War II historical novel (Wartime Holland Book 1) by [Imogen Matthews]

Title:- The Hidden Village

Author:- Imogen Matthews

Date published:- (already published 2017) will be published on January 17th 2022

Publisher:- Bookouture

No. of pages:- 352 pages

Genre:- Historical Fiction


A Nazi soldier slams his rifle into her father’s head. From her hiding place, Sofie stifles a scream as tears roll down her face. Suddenly she can’t take it any more. ‘Stop, stop!’ she sobs, rushing out and pushing the soldier away. And then freezes, as he snarls and whips the gun round to point at her…

Holland, 1943: the Nazis are in occupation. German soldiers patrol the streets, and each week more families disappear without trace, never to be seen again. So when armed soldiers storm Sofie’s house and threaten her father at gunpoint, she knows their time – and luck – has run out.

Fleeing in the middle of the night to hide in a neighbour’s secret attic, the constant threat of a German raid means they can’t stay long. So Sofie’s parents make the heart-rending decision to send their daughter away. Concealed in the woods is a secret village, built by the town as a haven for Jewish families like Sofie’s. Remote, cold and bleak, yet filled with the hopeful laughter of children playing, it is the one place Sofie has the chance to live.

But rumours of the hidden village have been swirling, and the Nazis are determined to find it. As soldiers patrol the woods in ever-greater numbers, snow cuts the villagers off from the outside world and starvation sets in. Sofie knows what she must do, even though it means putting herself in danger. And when the worst happens, Sofie is faced with a terrible decision – save the village, or save herself…

An absolutely heart-breaking and gripping WWII historical novel based on the true story of an entire town who put themselves in danger to keep strangers safe. What happens will restore your faith in humanity. Fans of Fiona Valpy, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Choice will never forget this incredibly moving tale and the real-life heroes who inspired it.

After reading, The Girl Across the Wire, I got this as an ARC from the publisher, although this book was published before.

The story takes place during the WWII in Holland in 1943. One night, Sofie flees to a hidden village named Berkenhaut. The Germans have no idea about the existence of this village.and Sofie lives in this village, away from her family and friends. Meanwhile, Jan, a small young boy comes across an American pilot known as Donald and befriends with him. The story is told from the multiple perspectives, where many Jews hidden in this village. Eventually, with the rumors of the village being circulated around, the Germans would do anything to find the village.

This is an emotional read. The book is beautifully written and the author has done a good job, captivating the reader into the story, making the reader feel like they are also a part of the story. There were some heart wrenching moments, the sense of OMG moments when the Nazi soldiers roam through the woods where the hidden village is located. I do like how the whole community in this village will get together and help out each other, which shows the unity. I do like all the characters in the book though.

Overall, this is an emotional and heartbreaking ride that will captivate you as a reader–worth five stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

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