Today is my stop on the Blog Tour for The Outcast Girls by Shirley Dickson.
Germany, 1939: Eleven-year-old Frieda is boarding a ship bound for England with her little brother, Kurt. Life at home is perilous, with synagogues set alight and innocent lives lost to the Nazis, and they have no choice but to flee. But as Frieda stands on the deck crammed with frightened children, her brother jumps off, back to land.
England, 1939: After a devastating childhood at Blakely Hall Orphanage, seventeen-year-old Sandra longs to put her past behind her. But when war breaks out and her brother Alf is sent to fly bombers, she’s completely alone.
1943: When Sandra and Frieda’s paths cross in the remote countryside, each girl finds a home at last. Facing long, terrifying nights in bunkers, they huddle together as planes roar above them and distant explosions shake them to their cores. They console one another – Frieda, with no idea whether her family have been captured or if her brother survived, and Sandra praying that Alf will live to see tomorrow.
The darkness of war may shroud them but as long as they have each other, they can keep a little light in the world. Will Frieda and Sandra ever be reunited with their loved ones? And will the two handwritten letters bound their way hold news of happiness… or heartbreak?
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Title: The Outcast Girls
Author: Shirley Dickson
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 291
Date of Publication: January 24, 2020
My Rating: 5 Stars
During World War II girls Frieda and Sandra meet under difficult circumstances. Not only are they among the many evacuees of the war, having had to flee their homes, they both lost their brothers. In Frieda's case, it was her brother Kurt, and Sandra, her brother Alf.
A bit older than Frieda, Sandra takes her under her wing. Sandra refuses to give up hope of seeing Alf again, and looks forward to any correspondence she can get. Meanwhile, Frieda is heartbroken as it seems she will never see Kurt again.
Although safe from the Germans on the farm where both girls now reside, things certainly are not easy. Fortunately, their friendship gives both girls strength and they grow into young women over the next several years.
The Outcast Girls is a well-written historical fiction novel. For me as a reader, I will say it was rather fortunate that I was not reading of the horrid tragedies of the war with this particular book. I turned the pages quickly while reading, especially as my mind was reaching for hope for both Frieda and Sandra. This story definitely tug on my heartstrings.
Reviewer's note: I applaud Ms. Dickson for dealing with a sensitive issue revolving around one of the girls in this particular genre and time period in history. As it was during World War II, diagnosis and treatment of the particular ailment mentioned was not clear at all.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Shirley Dickson was born and grew up in the seaside town of South Shields. She left school at fifteen and can’t remember a time when she didn’t write. She entered her first short story competition in ‘School Friend’ when she was eleven. After Shirley retired from auxiliary nursing, she was able to devote her time to writing. After living in various locations, she settled under the big skies of Northumberland and has lived with her husband in the same house for over forty years. Shirley has three daughters and four grandchildren and likes nothing better than family gatherings.