Thursday, 11 February 2016

Supporting the Library - Book Review: I Can't Begin to Tell You by Elizabeth Buchan

Synopsis - Denmark 1940. War has come and everyone must choose a side.  For British-born Kay Eberstern, living on her husband Bror's country estate, the Nazi invasion and occupation of her adopted country is a time of terrible uncertainty and inner conflict.

With Bror desperate to preserve the legacy of his family home, even if it means co-existing with the enemy, Kay knows she cannot do the same.  Lured by British Intelligence into a covert world of sabotage, her betrayal of Bror is complete as she puts her family in danger.

Tasked with protecting an enigmatic SOE agent, a man who cannot even tell her his name, Kay learns the art of subterfuge.  From this moment on, she must risk everything for the sake of this stranger -  a stranger who becomes entangled in her world in ways she never expected.

Caught on opposing sides of a war that has ripped apart a continent, will Kay and Bror ever find their way back to one another? (Quoted from the fly leaf.)

Review - Before I get down to the review I wish to alert you to a NEW FEATURE on the blog 'Supporting the Library'.  As some of you may know I moved to a new area before Christmas and as soon as everything opened up again in the New Year I paid a visit to the county library and signed up.  I took this opportunity to check out their shelves and pulled this title which I am ashamed to say has taken me nearly six weeks to read.  I have hardly had time to read with getting both ourselves settled into a new place and the house sorted and liveable.

My thoughts.  A great story.  I chose this book because it was partly set in Denmark, a country that I love.  Kay, an English lady is married to Bror, a Dane. They live on a country estate on Zealand and have invaluable help both inside and outside the house. Their two children are older and live in Copenhagen.  Set in the time of WWII and the Danish resistance is fighting to bring down the Germans who are invading their small country.  With the help of Britain and their coding experts these brave Danes do what they can to defeat their enemy.  Kay becomes involved causing turmoil and distrust within her family relationships.

We are given a glimpse into life in Britain for the women who tirelessly worked on the messages being sent from the agents in Europe.  Ruby, a very bright young lady whose talent is recognised becomes a key player in recognising discrepancies in the agents skeds.  However, she has to fight the male bureaucracy to become heard.  Fortunately, there is one man who does listen.

This is fiction interwoven with fact and it makes for a great story which I loved from beginning to end.  Betrayal, love, it has it all.  4*

ISBN 978-0-718-17891-8
Published by Michael Joseph (an imprint of Penguin Books) 2014

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