Wednesday, July 24, 2019

BLOG TOUR - The Secret Letter

Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix.


For readers of Orphan Train, The Tattooist of Auschwitz and The Book Thief comes an unforgettable novel inspired by a true story about the power of human kindness and bravery in a time of unimaginable heartbreak. 

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 realizes she’s not like the other girls in her 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 RAF pilot lands in a field near Magda’s home she is faced with an impossible choice: to risk the lives of her family or to save a stranger and make a difference in the war she desperately wants to end. 

England, 1939: Fifteen-year-old Imogen is torn from her family and evacuated to the Lake District, a haven of safety away from the war raging across Europe. All she has to connect her to the bombs and the battles are the letters she writes to her loved ones. Little does she know, on the other side of the enemy line, her fate rests on the actions of one girl who will change her life forever…

Introspective quote:

‘War is vile; men are vile. War is initiated by men, to satisfy the ambition of men. They don’t think about the human beings at the centre of it, of the women and children who suffer. You are as much a victim of war, Magda, as the Jews in the concentration camps.’


Title:   The Secret Letter
Author:  Debbie Rix
Genre:   Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Bookouture
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:   444
Date of Publication:  July 22, 2019
My Rating:  5 Stars

Debbie Rix has written a hard-hitting emotional tale about how World War II affected the lives of two young women, one in Germany and one in England. Although hundreds of miles away, Imogen and Magda were both severely affected by the war. As a matter of fact, they had very similar views, although it was hardly likely that the two girls would ever meet.

For Magda, living in Germany, as a thirteen-year-old teen was not easy. Magda was completely devastated after witnessing her best friend Lotte and her family being snatched away and forced into a concentration camp. This made it impossible for Magda to ever understand the strong political leanings when thousands of young people were being forced to accept Hitler's views. Magda has her own mind about matters, even at risk to herself and her family. When a boy Magda grew up with, Otto, not only rises high in Hitler's army, while at the same time pursues her romantically, things become increasingly difficult for her.

Imogen is fifteen-years-old and living in the country in England when the war begins. She witnesses many tragic and difficult things, including witnessing bombs being dropped. Writing letters to those she loves is as much as she can do to show how she feels about things. Little does she know that a young German girl would one day affect her very life.

I have read a lot of historical fiction over the past year, but this book certainly hit me the hardest. For example, I knew about the bombings that occurred, but in this story the devastation was so very hard hitting for both Imogen and Magda. Tears flowed freely while reading of some of these occurrences. Also, with the situation involving Magda's brother Karl, as well as her helping those in great need was done very well, and showed her incredible resilience.

I really felt for Imogen as her very future lied in the hands of others, and this included her heart's desire. She may not have had the same experiences as Magda, but her story was equally compelling. I savored this story and all that these girls went through. I cried happy tears at the ending because it was something that I kept hoping for the entire time I was reading this book.

This is my second read by Debbie Rix and I had a similar experience when I read The Photograph by her. She is a fantastic author who knows just how to pull the heartstrings with the wonderful ability to connect readers to her characters.

Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Debbie Rix has written five novels, the latest of which - 'The Secret Letter' - will be published on July 22nd 2019. The novel, set in World War II, tells the story of two girls - one German the other English whose lives eventually intertwine through the noble actions of one RAF pilot. Set in the UK and Germany, the novel is a slight departure as all Debbie's previous novels have been set in Italy.

The Photograph - set in Sardinia - crosses generations and continents as Sophie, desperate for a child of her own, uncovers the extraordinary secrets of her grandmother, Rachael, fifty years earlier. Like her other novels, it reached the No.1 spot in Amazon's Italian category. The Photograph will be published in Italy on June 6th 2019.

The Silk Weaver's Wife - published 19th July 2017 - was shortlisted for the RNA's Historical Novel category and is about a silk designer named Anastasia from Verona whose life is almost destroyed when she is forced into a marriage to a Venetian silk weaver. In the present day Millie visits an old villa near Verona and uncovers a lost painting. Who is the woman in the painting and how will her experiences affect Millie's life? 

Daughters of the Silk Road topped the historical fiction charts in 2016, reaching No.1 in Italian, Women's fiction and Mystery, Thriller & Suspense and spent many weeks in the top 100 best selling lists. It follows the fortunes of a family of merchant explorers who bring a Ming vase back to Venice from China in 15th century. 

'The Girl with Emerald Eyes' was published in 2015 and also reached the No.1 spot in Amazon's Italian category. Set amidst the world of medieval Italy, it explores the creation of the most famous building in the world - the Leaning Tower of Pisa. 

Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and the setting of the novels reflects her knowledge and passion for the country. She lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, sheep, chickens and cats. When not writing, she is usually to be found in the vegetable garden. She began her career with the BBC- initially as the news reader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt, and has also written about gardens and gardening - one of her private passions.


  1. Great review. I'm hit and miss with historical fiction. The book really needs to capture me and take me back to the time period for me to love it. This one sounds adorable.

    1. When I began reviewing, I had a difficult remaining engaged with these books in this genre. The author did a great job with this one, especially with how she wrote the girls’ lives and how they ran parallel.

  2. I'm glad you liked it. Historical fiction isn't my thing but it seems to be yours and thats great.

  3. This looks like it was gut me, but I still want it

  4. Looks like an extremely emotional read. I'm sure it will gut me but it does sound really awesome.

  5. I love books set in that era. Great review.

  6. Great review in glad you enjoyed the reading experience.
    Gemma @ Gemma's Book Nook

  7. thank you for this intro. I know I will be reading this soon....