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The Prisoner's Wife

by Maggie Brookes

Books of the Month Historical Fiction Relationship Stories Star Books

LoveReading View on The Prisoner's Wife

Set in one of the most harrowing times in history, this powerfully beautiful relationship and friendship story shines a blazing torch on the very best that humanity has to offer. When British prisoner of war Bill, while on work duty from a labour camp in the depths of Czechoslovakia in 1944, meets farmer Izabela, love blossoms. They secretly marry, go on the run and determine that they will never be separated, not even if captured by the German army. Based on a true story it feels as though Maggie Brookes was destined to meet Sidney Reed who told her this tale, and that as a historical documentary researcher and producer for the BBC she was perfectly placed to write this as a novel. The prologue starts with the couple on the run from the German army, Izabela has disguised herself as a man, and by pretending to be mute when finally captured, is taken with Bill to a prisoner of war camp. Setting the scene so thoroughly heightened my emotions as chapter one then took me back to their first meeting. I’ve already read a number of novels and non-fiction books relating to this time, including one of the books Maggie Brookes mentions as further reading. My prior reading and knowing what was to come from the prologue, still in no way prepared me for what Bill and Izabela were to face. This intimate, vivid and compelling account reaches through the nightmare and finds true love and friendship, all of which is written beautifully by the author. The Prisoner’s Wife meets horror head on, so prepare yourself, but it also filled me with hope, and this comes as highly recommended by me.

Liz Robinson

The Prisoner's Wife Synopsis

Their love is a death sentence. But can it keep them alive?

Czechoslovakia, 1944. In the dead of night, a farm girl and a British soldier creep through abandoned villages. Secretly married and on the run, Bill and Izabela are searching for Izabela’s brother and father, who are fighting for the Czech resistance. They know their luck will not last.

Captured by the German army, it seems they must be separated – but they have prepared for this moment. By cutting her hair and pretending to be mute, Izabela successfully disguises herself as a British soldier. Together, they face the terrible conditions of a POW camp, reliant on the help of their fellow POWs to maintain their fragile deception.

Their situation is beyond dangerous. If Izabela is discovered, she and Bill – and all the men who helped them – will face lethal consequences.

The Prisoner's Wife Press Reviews

The phenomenal story of an incomparably brave and formidable woman, this is perhaps the most unique World War II story I've ever read...Romantic, perfectly observed, inspiring, and thrilling - The Prisoner's Wife is impossible to put down - and when I did, I was teary-eyed. A complete winner. - Sarah-Jane Stratford, Author of Red Letter Days

You will be spellbound by this stellar debut. So richly imbued with sensory details you'll be feeling every anguished moment and every golden ray of hope. What a beautifully wrought tribute to the real prisoner's wife, wherever she may be. - Susan Meissner, Bestselling author of The Last Year of the War

A powerful page-turner... Based a breathtaking true story, the novel explores the indomitability of one woman's spirit, and offers a unique perspective on a lesser-seen side of war. - Marie Benedict, New York Times bestselling author of Lady Clementine

The Prisoner's Wife is a powerful love story that exquisitely depicts the courage and strength of the human spirit in the face of the tremendous cost of war...A wonderful book! - Chanel Cleeton, New York Times bestselling author The Last Train to Key West

A deeply moving and compelling read, The Prisoner's Wife tells of an epic journey, not only across war-torn countries but deep into the heart of what it is to be human. The story is beautifully written and closely observed so that I felt I walked every mile of Izzy's long march alongside her. A heart-rending story beautifully told. - Judith Allnat, author of The Poet's Wife and The Silk Factory

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781529124286
Publication date: 16/04/2020
Publisher: Century an imprint of Cornerstone
Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781473578142
Publication date: 16/04/2020
Publisher: Cornerstone Digital
Format: Audiobook

Book Information

ISBN: 9781529124286
Publication date: 16th April 2020
Author: Maggie Brookes
Publisher: Century an imprint of Cornerstone
Format: Hardback
Genres: Books of the Month, Historical Fiction, Relationship Stories, Star Books,
Collections: Our Favourite Books of 2020, 40+ Novels That Feature Friendship,

About Maggie Brookes

Maggie Brookes is an ex-journalist and BBC TV documentary producer, turned poet and novelist. She's also an associate professor at Middlesex University, and an advisory fellow of the Royal Literary Fund. The Prisoner's Wife is based on a true story told to her in a lift, by a World War II prisoner of war. Maggie visited Czechoslovakia, Poland and Germany as part of her research for the book, uncovering largely forgotten aspects of the war. Although the story can be harrowing at times, it's also about the power of friendship and of love.

More About Maggie Brookes

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