A captivating, heartfelt and rewarding debut based on true events that began in 1940 when Nazi Germany invaded Jersey …. a stimulating, emotional, and engaging novel, that has been chosen as one of our Debuts of the Month‘LoveReading.com
Today the streets of Jersey should be thronged with people remembering Liberation Day, 75 years ago. Just as the UK marked VE Day under lockdown yesterday, so Jersey marks Liberation Day today, the day when finally they were set free from occupation at the end of World War II.
Stay at Home parties and brightly decorated houses are taking the place of the grand celebrations planned. The Bailiff of the island issued bunting to every house over the past week and encouraged all to fly the Jersey flag. Commemorative coins and pin badges are being given to the old and the young. And many of the planned celebrations have moved online. Islanders have been encouraged to join in by Zoom and Skype and Facebook.
Our author, Jenny LeCoat was expecting to be on Jersey today as she celebrated the launch of her book. Hedy’s War is based on a true story from the island’s period of occupation. Jenny was born in Jersey, just fifteen years after the Nazi Occupation of the Channel Islands came to an end. Known throughout the world as a stand-up comic, presenter and magazine contributor, she became a full-time TV writer in 1994. Her feature film Another Mother’s Son, telling the story of her family’s resistance activities during the war years, was released in 2017. Instead of celebrating on Jersey, she is at home in Hove but connecting with the islanders online. Watch an online interview for Jersey Literary Festival here.
This time she has turned to fiction to tell the story of one woman caught up in the occupation. Hedy’s War, follows a young Jewish woman who has fled from Vienna only to find herself once more trapped by the Nazis on the island of Jersey. Concealing her racial status, she finds work with the German authorities as a translator and embarks on acts of resistance. But she falls in love with a German officer a relationship on which her life soon comes to depend. And, as the secret police grow more suspicious of Hedy and her lover, they must take increasingly desperate measures to evade capture and stay alive.
Jenny has captured the human side of the occupation and already the book has been hailed by LoveReading as ‘a captivating, heartfelt and rewarding debut based on true events that began in 1940 when Nazi Germany invaded Jersey …. a stimulating, emotional, and engaging novel, and has been chosen as one of our Debuts of the Month‘.Through this novel she reveals the individual’s need to stay alive, the desperation and torn loyalties that many islanders must have faced, the bravery and wisdom of many and the sacrifice of all. The novel is to be published in America and Australia under the title The Viennese Girl.
Over the last week Jenny was fortunate enough to be able to move the launch of Hedy’s War online with the Jersey Literary Festival. You can hear her talking about the novel and the characters here. And read about the book in the Bailiwick Express. Arrangements have been made to get stock of the novel to the island in time for the anniversary, available through Fetch.