May 14, 2016

Review: Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse




I couldn’t find a trailer so here’s a song!
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GabbyNewAs a reader who is always captivated by the setting of European countries during World War II, I was already giddy to get reading author Monica Hesse’s Girl in the Blue Coat. The novel’s premise promised mystery and an exciting, secretive storyline. I was certain that the novel would be palatable for me and, as fate would have it, I was right! Girl in the Blue Coat was a novel that kept me guessing, had me on the edge of my seat, and invested me in the plot.

              Hanneke is a Dutch girl performing small, illegal trades during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam. Specialized in getting anything from makeup to cigarettes to other goods, there is nothing that Hanneke can’t find. However, she finds herself pushed to her limits when one of her clients asks her for something she has never looked for before. Hanneke is asked to find a person: a Jewish girl named Mirjam who has vanished without a trace. Aware that Mirjam’s days in the streets are numbered, Hanneke embarks on a dangerous mission to find the girl before the Nazi’s do. In the process, she is forced to face the guilt-ridden secrets that she has been keeping, and uncover the ones that Mirjam has left behind.

              The one thing that had me sold on Girl in the Blue Coat was Hesse’s writing. There were so many pretty passages and perfectly described scenes that I was left elated at what a gorgeous read this novel is. Beyond this, Girl in the Blue Coat is a novel that is written in the first person and is done so masterfully. Being inside of Hanneke’s head was a joy and I loved every minute of it. Hesse reveals to the readers the many layers of her protagonist’s character and leaves readers wondering what the truth about Hanneke’s past really is.

              The story itself for Girl in the Blue Coat is great. While I did feel that the novel focused more on Hanneke and her character development as opposed to Hanneke’s mission to find Mirjam, the novel’s plot was still exciting. Girl in the Blue Coat keeps readers turning pages, eager to read more. With high-stakes and potentially considerable losses, readers will want to know what has happened to Mirjam and what will become of Hanneke

              The cast of characters in Girl in the Blue Coat were interesting and diverse. I was surprised by the amount of character development that occurred in the novel. In the end, it’s more than just Hanneke who ends up changed by the novel’s events. Characters who come off as filler turn out to be so much more and are revealed to be multi-faceted and original.

              All in all, Girl in the Blue Coat was a fun, genuine read that I would recommend to readers who are fans of historical fiction and the setting. Readers who are looking for a novel that has romantic elements and mystery elements should also give it a go. Lastly, any readers who want a novel that is well written should also give it a shot.


[about-author author=”Monica Hesse”]


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