We Had To Save Them – ARC Book Review

Title:- We Had To Save Them

Author:- Elle Van Rijn

No. of pages:- 339 pages

Date published:- will be published on 5th July 2022

Publisher:- Bookouture

Genre:- Historical Fiction


Plot:- 5/5

Writing:- 4/5

Overall:- 4.5/5

Amsterdam, 1941. My name is Betty. Until a few months ago, I was just like every other nursery teacher in the city – singing silly songs with the toddlers, sharing lunch with friends, smiling at the handsome stranger on the rickety tram ride home to my family each evening. Until the Nazis came and tried to take our children away…

Now, our humble nursery is part of a Nazi deportation centre for little ones and their families. My heart pounds when I hear the rumours about what awaits them at the end of the forced transports across the border, to Auschwitz.

My eyes fill with tears when I see my old friends and neighbours turn their faces away, pretending not to see. None of them want to risk themselves, even to save a child’s life. So, at the nursery we form a plan, though I know it’s horribly dangerous. The Germans shoot anyone who crosses them and there are spies everywhere. But each time I smuggle the warm, innocent bundle of a sleeping baby past the watchful guards and into the arms of the underground network, I know it’s worth the risk.

What I don’t know is if – when the Nazi soldiers discover what I’m doing and come for me – I’ll be able to save myself from the same, terrifying fate…

Based on the heart-wrenching true story of an ordinary young woman who risked everything to save countless children from the Nazis. A heartbreaking and gripping read that will have you reaching for the tissues. Perfect for fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, We Were the Lucky Ones and The Nightingale.

This is a story of a courageous woman named Betty who managed to save babies from the Nazis and is based on the true story.

Anything that is based on Holocaust is appealing to me. So when I heard that this is based on the true story of an actual woman who saved babies from deportation. We all know that Nazis deported the children and the Jewish people to the concentration camps. I was mesmerized this character and it was actually emotional and heartbreaking as some parts of the story. The author must have done tremendous research about the Holocaust and about the woman in general that it actually felt realistic while reading the story and did a good job of making the reader feel like they are part of the story. Reading about how Jewish people suffered under the Nazi rule was too heartbreaking and emotional to read.

If you like a historical fiction based on the true story, then this book is one for you–worth five stars.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC.

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