China, 1941. With Japan’s declaration of war on the Allies, Elspeth Kent’s future changes forever. When soldiers take control of the missionary school where she teaches, comfortable security is replaced by rationing, uncertainty and fear.
Ten-year-old Nancy Plummer has always felt safe at Chefoo School. Now the enemy, separated indefinitely from anxious parents, the children must turn to their teachers – to Miss Kent and her new Girl Guide patrol especially – for help. But worse is to come when the pupils and teachers are sent to a distant internment camp. Unimaginable hardship, impossible choices and danger lie ahead.
Inspired by true events, this is the unforgettable story of the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher, in a remote corner of a terrible war.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Fiction – Harper Collins in return for an honest review.
Stores inspired by true-life events are always engaging. This book tells of the courage, hardship and strength of schoolchildren and their teachers who became prisoners of war in China during WW2. This historical fiction is well researched, from the recorded war events to the human experience.
This is an emotional, character-driven story told from Elspeth, teacher and Nancy, a school child’s viewpoints. It explores the atrocities, depravations and inhumanity of war. The darkness balanced by the children and their teachers’ courage, friendship and fortitude.
This book delivers a rich reading experience with intimate portrayals of relatable characters and vivid sensory imagery.
Hazel Gaynor is an award-winning, New York Times, USA Today, and Irish Times, bestselling author of historical fiction, including her debut THE GIRL WHO CAME HOME, for which she received the 2015 RNA Historical Novel of the Year award. THE LIGHTHOUSE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER was shortlisted for the 2019 HWA Gold Crown award. She is published in thirteen languages and nineteen countries. Hazel is co-founder of creative writing
events, The Inspiration Project, and currently lives in Ireland with her family, though originally from Yorkshire.