Many thanks to Mindbuck Media for getting in touch with me to read and review “Victoria’s War”, I’m so very glad to have had the opportunity.
Telling the story of just some of the situations women faced in occupied Poland and Germany during the second World War, this hard hitting and at times out right harrowing book really doesn’t hold back. The language used is somewhat simplistic, and while in some situations that would be a criticism, in this case it actually works in the book’s favour; it gives more power and responsibility to the actions discussed rather than the words.
Victoria is getting ready to start university on the day that war is declared in Poland. Life changes in an instant, as it does for the other women we meet throughout the course of the novel. There are some situations that can be read about as pure facts without absorption, but when applied to characters you feel a connection to, the impact of what you know changes.
What is particularly clever as a writing technique about this novel is the use of German as a tactic to get across just how overwhelming the language barrier would be. To not only be treated in the way these women are, but to be shouted at in another tongue, where you know only the bare minimum.
Catherine A. Hamilton touchingly includes the family inspiration for this novel at the beginning, and this stayed with me as I read the book; people I’ve never met, but real people, undergoing the situations and treatment I was reading about.
This book manages to tread the delicate line of high impact and easy reading, which is a difficult balance to achieve. I read this book in a day, because I simply couldn’t put it down, and needed to know what happened to everyone involved. As always with stories of war and terror, it isn’t a pleasant read as such, yet manages to be enjoyable whilst breaking your heart. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a war fiction novel, or a story of how women have been mistreated. We so often feel the brute force of war without being on the front line, and this is just one story of how.
I don’t normally use star ratings on my blog, but I rated “Victoria’s War” 4/5 stars on NetGalley and GoodReads.