The Girl from the Channel Islands by Jenny Lecoat

Disclaimer: I received this e-arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: The Girl from the Channel Islands

Author: Jenny Lecoat

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 3/5

Diversity: Jewish main character and side characters

Recommended For…: historical fiction fans, ya readers

Publication Date: February 22, 2021

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, racism, genocide, war, slight gore, sympathy to a German officer)

Publisher: Graydon House

Pages: 304

Synopsis: The year is 1940, and the world is torn apart by war. In June of that year, Hitler’s army captures the Channel Islands—the only part of Great Britain occupied by German forces. Abandoned by Mr. Churchill, forgotten by the Allies and cut off from all help, the Islands’ situation is increasingly desperate.

Hedy Bercu is a young Jewish girl who fled Vienna for the island of Jersey two years earlier during the Anschluss, only to find herself trapped by the Nazis once more—this time with no escape. Her only hope is to make herself invaluable to the Germans by working as a translator, hiding in plain sight with the help of her friends and community—and a sympathetic German officer. But as the war intensifies, rations dwindle and neighbors are increasingly suspicious of one another. Hedy’s life is in greater danger every day. It will take a definitive, daring act to save her from certain deportation to the concentration camps.

Review: For the most part I liked the book. I thought it did well to bring historical facts pertaining to the island to light and to show what happened in a country left to fend for itself after Germany took it over and it was forgotten by the rest of the world. I liked that the book stuck to linear events and the plot was really intriguing to me. I liked the character development and the world building as well.

However, I am a bit confused as to why there are two titles to this book on Goodreads and I didn’t really like how slow the book was. I also have a problem with the book having a sympathetic German character. While I believed that there were some German officers who thoughts twice about what they were doing, I don’t think it’s right in a story about a Jewish girl to have sympathy on a German officer. It sends a little bit of a racist message and gives the undertone of that their pain and suffering compares to a German officer of privilege having second thoughts.

Verdict: It was good and historical from what I could see and research, but it rubbed me the wrong way.

Immortal Divorce Court: A Sirius Education Q&A with the author Kirk Zurosky!

  1. What’s your book about?

The Immortal Divorce Court series features Sirius Sinister, an immortal vampire assassin that together with the help of his vampire Maltese, Garlic, is trying to make his way in the world, but he gets into some disastrous relationships with a bevy of women that are also immortals that bring him under the jurisdiction of Immortal Divorce Court.  And, when an immortal woman says she is never ever going to forget something, she really, really means it!

2) What got you interested in writing this story?

I have enjoyed writing from an early age, crafting stories that always had a healthy dose of fantasy.  But, then life and my career as a lawyer got in the way, and I never seemed to find the time to sit down and write.  I was also not in the right mental place to be creative.  I am a big believer that if you are not where you should be in your life, the universe has a way of making that happen.  You may not like it, or even realize it, but I do think you end up where you are supposed to be, and with who you are supposed to be with.

So, after twenty plus years as a lawyer, I went through a divorce which ended up being the best thing for me.  Not only did I eventually meet the love of my life, but I also was in the right place to be creative once again.  I also realized that I was pretty good at writing love scenes.  I guess it is true that you write what you know!

3) If you could describe the main character with 5 words what would they be?

            Loyal, Courageous, Snarky, Impulsive, and Fun.

4) What research did you do for this book?

            Since Immortal Divorce Court is set all over the world over hundreds of years, I loved the process of researching exactly what things were happening at the time in history that I was setting the story.  It was especially cool to learn new things about places that I had already visited in my travels.

5) Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

            I hope to be the executive producer of the Immortal Divorce Court series which will be streaming on Netflix, Hulu, HBOMax, or another medium.  I have a very visual writing style, which lends itself to audiobooks and the TV screen.

6) What do you do to set the mood for writing?

            I usually pick a time and place where I know I will have absolute quiet.  And, then, once I get going, time literally flies by.  I also set the goal to write a least 1000 words at a sitting.  Having an outline of what scenes I want to cover helps, but the most fun is going off on a tangent when something just pops spontaneously into my mind!

7) What can you tell us about yourself?

I have practiced plaintiff’s personal injury and workers’ compensation law in North Carolina and South Carolina for over twenty years.  I find working as an attorney and helping those that have been injured to be incredibly rewarding.  I have enjoyed writing poems, and fiction stories, since I was a child.  In my spare time I enjoy traveling the world with my wife, Susie, hanging out with my wanna be vampire Maltese, Daisy, world history and cultures, fitness, and experiencing all the wonder that life has to offer!