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  • Writer's pictureSelena | Beauty's Library

Hidden Yellow Stars Review




Rating: 5/5

Based on the true story of two World War II heroines who risked everything to save Jewish children from the Gestapo by hiding them throughout Belgium.


Belgium, 1942


Young schoolteacher Andrée Geulen secretly defies the Nazis in Belgium, who are forcing Jews to wear a yellow Star of David. Andrée is not Jewish, but she feels a maternal connection to her students, who are living in constant fear, and decides to take action. No child should have to suffer under such persecution. But what can one woman do against an entire army?


Ida Sterno is a Jewish woman who works with the Committee for the Defense of Jews in Belgium, a clandestine resistance group tasked with hiding children from the Gestapo. She wants to recruit Andrée because her Aryan appearance can provide crucial security measures for their efforts. Andrée agrees to join and begins work immediately by adopting a code name: Claude Fournier.


Together, Andrée and Ida, and their undercover operatives, work around the clock to move Jewish children from their families and smuggle them to safety through the secret channels established by the resistance. As each child is hidden, Andrée commits to memory their true name and history. Someday, she vows, she will help reunite as many of these families as she can.


But with the Gestapo closing in and the traitorous Fat Jacques who has turned from ally to enemy and is threatening to identify and expose any Jew he meets, Andrée and Ida must work even harder against increasingly impossible odds to save as many children as possible and keep them safely hidden—even if it might cost them their own lives.


 

I received a free copy of Hidden Yellow Stars through Austenprose PR for a book tour. Thank you so much for this opportunity!


This was my second read from Rebecca Connolly, last year I had picked up her novel, A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice, another historical fiction featuring a fictional story based on the Carpathia—the one ship and her legendary captain who answered the distress call of the sinking Titanic. I had loved that book and found it incredibly heartfelt, and knowing the amount of research that had gone into it, I knew I was in for a treat with Hidden Yellow Stars!


And it did not disappoint! I always find historical fiction novels set around wars captivating to read, especially around WWII. I always learn something new that I never knew before. And it’s even more fascinating when it’s based on or inspired by real events or people.


This story was so heartwrenching. We follow Ida, a Jewish woman who works with the CDJ,  Committee for the Defense of Jews, a resistance group set on hiding children. And Andrée who wasn’t Jewish, but a teacher and is recruited for her kindness towards her Jewish students, provided a good front using her Aryan looks to transfer children in and out of Belgium to get to safe houses. The two ladies put their lives on the line to help hide Jewish children.


I simply flowed through this read. I devoured every page. Following their stories, which I have no doubt showcase details that are likely close to the truth of what they experienced. It was simply beautiful the work these two ladies did in an attempt to save so many children. To provide them with a chance to live safer lives during such a horrendous period in history. And the amount of work the CDJ put into hiding these children, changing their names but using systems of codes to mark who is whose child and where they are hidden in hopes of reuniting them after the war is over. It truly pulled on my heartstrings.


If you’re like me and find historical fictions books set around WWII captivating especially when it’s inspired by true events, you’ll love this one! I highly recommend picking this one up! I can’t wait to see what Rebecca Connolly writes next!

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