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Publisher's Summary

Germany, 1939. A tumbledown farmhouse, on the outskirts of a close-knit village in the heart of the rolling hills of Bavaria. A once happy family home torn apart by Nazi rule. And one young girl who refuses to give up on what she believes in.... 

London, 2018: When 94-year-old Imogen receives a letter addressed to her in neat, unfamiliar handwriting, she notices the postmark is stamped from Germany - and it sends shivers down her spine.... 

Germany, 1939: Thirteen-year-old Magda is devastated by the loss of her best friend, shy and gentle Lotte, cruelly snatched from her and sent to a concentration camp – the Star of David sewn on her faded, brown coat. As the Nazi’s power takes hold, Magda realises she’s not like the other girls in her German village - she hates the fanatical new rules of the Hitler Youth. So Magda secretly joins The White Rose Movement and begins to rebel against the oppressive, frightening world around her.  

But when an English bomber pilot crashes in a field near Magda’s home she is faced with an impossible choice: to risk the safety of her family or to save a stranger and make a difference in the devastating war that has claimed the lives of so many. Little does she know, her actions will have the power to change the life of another girl, on the other side of enemy lines, forever.... 

Inspired by a true story, this is a heart-wrenching, gripping and absolutely unforgettable tale of the strength of human kindness in a time of unimaginable heartbreak. Fans of Orphan Train, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Book Thief will be utterly gripped by this beautiful, sweeping, World War Two novel.

©2019 Debbie Rix (P)2019 Audible, Ltd

What listeners say about The Secret Letter

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  • Book Nerd
  • 06-01-20

Compelling

We often say if we were in certain situations we would do "this, that or the other." We really don't know though, do we? In the face of war, in the face of unimaginable circumstances this story takes place. We often hear so much negative about the German people during World War II, and in many cases, what we hear is warranted. However, what we don't often hear, or hear enough is the courageous stories of those Germans who risked everything to stand up against tyranny. Nor do we hear enough of the courageous women of that era, be they British, German, American or otherwise. This story ties all of that together in a compelling human drama set against the backdrop of one of this world's greatest moments of peril, tragedy, and triumph. Well worth reading!

80 people found this helpful

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  • Jean
  • 08-03-20

Based on a true Story

This is a historical fiction based on the wartime experiences of the author’s parents.

The book is well written and researched. The story takes place during WWII and is about two girls: one English, Imogen, and the other German, Magda. The stories of the two girls are told separately and only unite at the ending. This is a different but dramatic approach in telling the story. Imogen and Magda grow up during the War and both hate the Nazis. It is a story of bravery and hope. It is an easy to read story. This is my first experience with both the author and the narrator. I highly recommend this story.

The book is twelve hours and twenty-one minutes. Jacqueline King does a good job narrating the book. King is a British actress and audiobook narrator.


69 people found this helpful

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  • Deborah Chavez
  • 10-01-20

Incredible story based on true life events

The narrator is exceptionally talented and the author beautiful winds the lives of two young girls, one English and one German, together during WWII.

A story of bravery, compassion, love and loss. You will be touched and inspired to be more like these two strong women, who despite the nightmare their countries, families and friends were involved in, did not wallow in self pity or despair, but fought to save the lives of others regardless of the danger it put them in.

It makes one wonder at the difference in character between the youth of today and those during the great wars and leaves the reader wanting and hoping we would be able to find and act with that same strength if we are ever directly involved in a world war again.

An Inspiring and beautiful love story based on the lives of real heroes and heroines. Listening made me want to be a better, less self absorbed, less selfish, braver and more generous person.

47 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-12-19

Complete and amazing

This was a great book revealing the courage that some exhibited under terrible hardship and risk. I found the lead characters, two strong women, inspiring and only hope that I could have demonstrated such bravery, dignity, and strength under such awful circumstances. I was so pleased to learn that this was loosely based on real events. Listen and let the story and characters envelop you.

34 people found this helpful

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  • Jennifer
  • 27-12-19

Well researched and beautifully narrates

I really enjoyed this story. It wasn’t rushed, but rather allowed to evolved throughout the entire war. So often in this genre there isn’t enough time given to telling a complete story. Loved this book. I very much enjoyed the strong female characters and that the author resisted the trend to make them bright yet frustratingly naive.

29 people found this helpful

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  • Henwhisperer
  • 22-01-20

So so

Story wasn’t too bad. A little overly dramatic. Magda’s mother annoyed me with her whining and complaining. Jacqueline King did a good job with all the different accents.

23 people found this helpful

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  • Creations
  • 05-02-20

Innocents in war

The Secret Letter immersed us in wartime lives and how families tried to survive , showing both German and British sacrifices. There are continued struggles to hang onto optimism in the presence of very real cruelty. The characters are so real and so brave. I didn't want to put down the book.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Esther Mccallum
  • 16-01-20

The Secret Letter

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were interesting and I enjoyed how the two girls lives surprisingly intersected. Well done!

14 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
  • P Hendrickson
  • 24-02-20

The Secret Letter

Wonderful book, giving such compassion to families caught in the horror of Nazi domination. The reader was great at showing passion to all the members of the family.

13 people found this helpful

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  • paula wright
  • 08-01-20

All and all a pretty good story

Several times in the first couple of chapters I almost returned the audio.
I found the English girl silly and girlish and not having a clue. Just real boring the German girl the same age was so interesting and very brave and courageous. I continued because of her story I may try another book by the author

13 people found this helpful

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  • Joanna Pycock
  • 04-06-20

Brilliant

Very compelling listen right from the start. Having the two narratives, one German, one English was a great way of comparing the different views. Possibly a pro Hitler view point may have been more interesting and less explored view especially how they coped when the war ended. It was a very good listen.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 30-07-20

A memorable story of living during wartime

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it hard to take a break from listening to it. A delightful story and I highly recommend it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sigrin
  • 07-04-21

German and British saga during WW2

I do like a war book, and even more when it’s based on true story.

This is a great book with a fascinating plot, written from both the German and British sides.
I particularly like to know more from the German side as there is so much that we didn’t know about the resistance groups in Nazi Germany and what life was like for the normal German citizen during the Nazi regime.

I would also recommend People like us by Louise Fein as a great book written about WW2 from the German perspective of a young girl growing up in the 1930’s

Jacqueline King’s narration was exemplary her accents and male and female voices were extremely good. She made that link between book and film screen in my head, which is the makings of a talented narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Helen
  • 13-01-21

Rollercoaster of Emotions

Not many audiobook experiences have me in actual tears but this one did in two places, quite unexpected too so sort of caught me off guard somewhat, I was grateful it was at night and I was alone not on a train or something with headphones.

Two teenage girls similar ages, one in Newcastle upon Tyne England the other on a dairy farm in rural Germany, both experiencing the war with their family, one gets evacuated and we follow her journey as she does her education elsewhere then goes on to a career in the naval intelligence unit, the other has to stay put with her family working on the farm.

Their lives are very different but intertwined in a beautiful way.

I loved how they come together towards the end of the book.

Beautiful narration throughout, the different character voices are fantastically done.

Looking forward to more from Debbie Rix.

Five stars from me.

1 person found this helpful

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  • karen sinclair
  • 18-05-20

Enjoyable...

I liked the way the book moved between characters. The characters weren’t stereotypical and I was thankful for that. Accents were good in general. Would recommend.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sophie Lacey-Anderson
  • 06-05-21

Loved it

I was looking for a good story and found it. I have been lost in it for a couple of days now.

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  • mosses farmhouse
  • 29-04-21

Excellent ...I only listened to the "German half"!

LOVED this book ...

It was beautifully written, and narrated.

However ... I only listened to the German half; as I have read the "English side of the story" so often before ...

SO! For the HALF book I listened to (without EVER MISSING the other English half) I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book!

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  • dotty
  • 23-04-21

Would not recommend

found the story very bland and superficial. compared to other wartime stories it lacked substance and depth, The narrator was too jolly and upbeat creating characters that I found unconvincing. A novel I won't be recommending.

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  • Joleen Tobias
  • 17-04-21

Moving well told story

A beautifully told story of ordinary art people in wartime told with great warmth and compassion. It left me with a great feeling of hope for humankind

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  • Anne
  • 31-03-21

Excellent

A brilliant story, so interesting to hear about how people lived and coped in the war

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-06-20

Amazing book

I loved this book from the young German girl Magda’s perspective and also the young English girl Imogen. Fascinating reading all about the war.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-05-20

Lovely story

This was a lovely story of an English girl and a German girl set in WW2 but I almost didn’t finish the book because the narrator did such a terrible job of some of the character voices - a shame because she actually a lovely voice

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-05-20

Great book

I very much enjoy insights into the dreadful wartime experiences of families. This book is of good pace and gripping from start to finish.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-02-20

enjoyable

An easy story to listen to ,loved the storyline linewith excellent narration. shows how people can overcome lifes dramas and come out with a positive ending. Good people always win out.