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This is an audiobook review.
I’d heard this book was amazing, so I was very excited to listen to it, but I was definitely not prepared to love it so much. I think I was a bit sceptic of all the hype, but let me tell you it is well deserved.
These characters are so rich. They are lovely girls and an even better team. I loved learning about them and getting to know them. This story is a rather crude portray of World War II, and even if it isn’t too descriptive we know some of the characters endure terrible torture and have to face adverse circumstances. They are scared and in great danger the whole time, but it was refreshing to see how brave these girls are. Brave in a very real way and not in the fantasy type of heroine I also love. I’m not sure how old they are, but I guessed they were around 18-20 years old? So they were mature enough to make the decisions they did, but still young enough to allow us to feel the injustice of war.
The most beautiful thing about this story though, is that it focuses on these two friends Maddie and Julie/Queenie. It is one of the greatest love stories I’ve read about, but not in the romantic kind of love, but rather in the friendship transcends every barrier kind of love. They knew each other so well, and they were so smart. They each had their unique personality and it was fun to see how they combined so well.
As far as the storytelling goes, I most appreciated that everything connects. This story was so carefully woven. Every single detail of the story is relevant, and once we get both sides of it, I mean Maddie and Julie’s version of what is happening to them, it all comes together nicely, and let me tell you, it takes up a different shape than the one we were expecting. I love stories that can surprise me!
The historical part was excellently done as well. In the audiobook version, the author does a little debriefing of what is historically accurate and what not, but it is extraordinary the amount of research and detail she put into her work. I must say that everything felt plausible and I wasn’t bothered by any historical inaccuracy because you have to be too much of an expert on the subject to know. So as far as I’m concerned, this story was very well researched and fit together perfectly, plot wise and historical wise.
The narration was fabulous! This is one of the cases where the audiobook definitely enhances the reading experience by adding something extra. Both of the narrators are very talented, and I liked that we had two, one for each point of view, because it really helped to differentiate the girls from each other and they felt as unique as they were.
I loved to listen to the different accents; it was so pleasant to the ears. I’m by no means an expert but the Scottish accent was really well done, and even the French words were pronounced flawlessly. I tend to struggle when listening to a British person speak, because I’m not used to the accent, but had no trouble with these narrators, so I really enjoyed their sweet narrations with no trouble at all. Every voice was distinctive and the story really came to life.
In sum, I’m in love with this story. I can’t wait to listen to the companion novel, and anything else this author has or will write. She has incredible talent as a storyteller and a power to move the reader’s heart.