Cover Image: An Island at War

An Island at War

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Member Reviews

A well written book set in Jersey when the germans took over  but not really much in the way of story lines. Some interesting characters but felt the ending was a bit rushed and didn't really find out what happened at to some of the people. An average read
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The German occupation of the Channel Islands during WW2. in 1940..The island was suppose to be safe from the Germans but they invaded. I read a lot of WWII novels as I want to be more aware of want can happen when evil takes over. The islanders learn to live with the german soldier"s but keep their distance.. The story is told in two parts with Estelle and her younger sister who is sent to London to live with her aunt. Estelle is on the island with her grandmother and father but her father is shot down the day before the german's land. I was unaware the Germany invaded so many countries. I think Deborah Carr gave us a great story that will enlighten you as to how far the german's went during WWII.   .
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This was such a great book that I got lost in the pages. A wonderful story that left me on the edge of my seat with what would happen next.  This was a brilliant read and I really enjoyed it.
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An Island at War by Deborah Carr

It is June 1940 and the people of Jersey are under no illusion – the British government has announced that the island has been demilitarised, effectively leaving Jersey open to conquest. Rosie Le Maistre is one of the lucky ones. The little girl is sent away on one of the last evacuation ships, heading to her Aunt Muriel in London. Estelle, her much older sister, is left behind to work on the farm with her father and grandmother. It’s not long before the German army arrives in force, a catastrophe for the men in Estelle’s life, her father and boyfriend. Life on the island changes entirely, everything from a conversion to German currency and time to the arrival of slaves who will turn Jersey into a fortress island. But it’s not just the island that’s occupied. Soon Estelle and her grandmother have a German office, Hans Bauer, billeted on their farm. Life becomes a struggle for survival.

I’ve always been fascinated by the German occupation of the Channel Islands during the Second World War and have read several novels on the subject over the years. I was therefore drawn to An Island at War. There is definitely something of The Guernsey Literary Pie Society about An Island At War, albeit on a different island, and that’s no bad thing. This is another very human story, focusing on the impact of war and occupation on the lives of otherwise ordinary people who happened to live in the only part of Britain that was occupied.

Most of the novel tells Estelle’s story on Jersey but there are a few extracts from Rosie’s journal, written in London. I found these tantalising and would have liked much more of Rosie’s life during the Blitz. It’s clear that tumultuous things are happening to her but it’s all in the shadows and all too brief.

I liked Estelle very much and enjoyed reading about her relationships with her grand mother, their friends and with the Germans on the island. It’s mostly black and white but there is some interesting grey as Estelle and Hans struggle to reach a compromise. But it is very difficult to have sympathy for Hans when the horror of the German occupation and what is happening on the continent to Jews and people from the east is such a big part of the book. In a way, there is a conflict between the fascinating historical detail of the novel and its emotional element. The author lives on Jersey and knows its history well and that adds so much to the book. I’m not quite sure that other parts of it – Estelle’s relationships, Rosie’s experiences in London – live up to that. My main issue with the novel, though, is its ending, which is far too abrupt and unsatisfactory.

An Island at War is an enjoyable light read, which shines with the author’s knowledge about her island and its history. I learned a great deal about the little details of life under occupation. I had no idea about much of it, and that is what I’ll take away from the novel.
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An Island At War reminded me of a holiday in Jersey when I saw the remnants of the German occupation. It is a reminder of how close Germany came to ruling over us, and how brave the Jersey people were in resisting them. Rosie and Estelle may be separated, but we are reminded how scary and dangerous life was in London.  It is hard to believe how recent all of the events were and it is important never to forget what happened.
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What a beautiful, moving historical fiction! I loved the setting, and the descriptive writing that really brought me to the island! I loved the characters, and I found myself connected to them! This was a wonderful story, and I loved it!
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A great WW2 story about life under the Nazi occupation of Jersey.   Estelle is a great character and it works really well with the letters from Rosie, her little sister who was sent to England for safety.   Definitely recommended for fans of WW2 books
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Thank you so much to One More Chapter and Netgalley with providing me with the ebook to read and review.

I was drawn to this as it sounded so much like Guernsey Literary Pie Society which is a book I’ve read multiple times and love. I didn’t really find it as similar to that as I’d hoped, it was it’s own story with its very own tone to it. 

The story is based on the authors own history of occupation time period on the Channel Islands, we read about Estelle who’s running her dads farm with her gran, her first relationship with Gerard and the take over of the nazi’s on her island including having one come live in their home. We also read the story from young Rosie who got sent to mainland England to live with her aunt, dealing with air raid sirens daily, all wants was to be home with her sister.

This book was great, I didn’t love it but it was a good read and offered up a different insight to WW2 and how the residents of Jersey dealt with it. The story was written in a pretty tame way, it was a slow read, but I can see this being enjoyed so much by the right demographic. 

I do recommend this book as I can see this being a very loved book by so many, I liked it a lot and know members of my family that would love reading this.
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Deborah Carr knows how to weave a great story! This book relates the hardships of war, the spirit of the people who lived through it and gives the reader much to consider, yet also enjoy, as the story weaves along, taking the reader on a journey of hope.
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I have literally just finished this wonderful book by Deborah Carr. My first novel by this author and it did not disappoint. What a wonderful  style of writing. Very easy to immerse  yourself as if you were on the channel islands with the community through the war. I easily  Imagined myself as if I was right there. Wish I could give it 6 stars.  Excellent.
Thanks to#NetGalley for the advance copy in return for an honest review
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Told in an epistolary format, with letters and real-life experiences from family members adding to the story of Estelle, left behind after her little sister is evacuated to Britain for safely before the German Occupation of Jersey.  If you’ve ever visited Guernsey or Jersey, you’ll soon see that the islanders are less British than unique, even as these two islands are dependent on the Crown. Both are uniquely and strategically poised for access to both Britain and France, being plunked down in the English Channel.  So, during the war, evacuations of citizens was not uncommon, nor were those who decided to stay and fight the enemy by simply being.  Now, I’ll admit that The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society book (and film) were a large reason I was drawn to this story, but the two are different in feel, if not in the attitude of the locals toward the invaders, and both provide a unique view to the war years from people who are (or were) there, and how they overcame the dangers, the threats and maintained their own individualistic ideals and attitudes.  

During the war, Britain decided that the islands in the channel were not strategically important enough to defend, and Estelle’s twelve-year-old sister Rose was among one of the few to leave before the island was occupied. Left to help her grandmother on the farm, while Rose is staying with an aunt in London, things have changed for everyone.  Rose is given a journal to ‘write her feelings” and we see letters from her back to her sister.  But Estelle and her grandmother are quietly existing until they are required to provide a room to an officer, Hans Bauer.  While things are difficult, and Estelle and her grandmother don’t feel as if they can relax or that the home is their own anymore, her little sister is surviving air raids and desperate to just go home. As the war continues and conditions worsen, the regulations and restrictions on the island increase, everything becomes scarce, and we are seeing that everyone is experiencing hardships – from missing home to loved ones, to shortages in food, clothing and necessities.  

Carr has interspersed the story and both Rose’s and Estelle’s inner thoughts and worries with letters, many from her own family history that detail with a sense of time and truth, the realities of the situations and the strength that ordinary people showed in extraordinary times.  A wonderful read that brings yet another perspective into the allied fight – passive and active – during World War II.  

I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review; all conclusions are my own responsibility. 

Review first appeared at <a href=” /” > <a> I am, Indeed</a>
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Set in WWII Jersey, the arrival of German troops disrupts the lives of all islanders, especially that of Estelle and her grandmother.  Having a German captain billeted in their home is only one of the indignities inflicted on them, and the effects of the Nazi regime on the Channel Islands is well described and depicted in the many colorful characters in this historical novel.
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Thank you net galley for the advance reader copy of this novel.  This was a WWIi novel set in the channel islands.   This story was ok to me.   It didn't have a lot of unique plot lines though and felt kind of like Guernsey Literary Society.   Maybe another title by this author might do better for me.
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The fact Deborah Carr was born and bred in Jersey shines through in this novel, which is impeccably researched, apparently with the aid of family records.

The story is one of the German occupation and starts just a few days before the troops arrived and ends as they leave. I loved the fact that the passage of time and the events in the characters' lives seemed so natural and it allowed Estelle’s story to unfold at just the right pace. The characters are wonderful too, and I came to really care about what happened to them, particularly enjoying the sensitive portrayal of how war can change everything, even the things we think are written in stone, about ourselves and about other people.

The one thing I was unsure about was the ending, but all the same I applaud the author for it. To say anything more would spoil the book and I wouldn’t want to do that, because it’s one you should read for yourself.
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A splendid novel of living on the Channel Island  under German occupation during WW II. Two sisters, Rosie and Estelle Le Maistre live on the family farm with their father and grandmother.  As the German war machine conquers more of Europe, the danger to the Channel Islands escalates, culminating when Churchill announces they will not receive military protection.  The LeMaistre family sends the younger Rosie to wait out the war while Estelle remains behind to help with running the farm.  Interspersed with pages from Rosie’s diary, the reader lives through both the horror of the London blitz and the hardships of life under Nazi rule.
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An Island at War by Deborah Carr is a new book published by Harper &Collins telling us, magistrally well the thematic of war: in this case the latest world war conflict, and the consequences that had on a family of people living in the Channel Islands. Inspired by the real facts experienced by the relatives of Deborah Carr, in this book there is a mixture of diaries entries and real life.
The story starts when Rosie is sent to the UK and Estelle Le Maistre remains in Jersey for assisting her old grand-mother: the grand mother had a farm and hands were indispensbile in a daily base for chores. 
In London aunt Muriel in the while, at a depressed and "lost" Rosie donates a journal, thinking that maybe it would be helpful in a moment so stressing to her, because distant from her family.
The purpose of this notebook the one of writing down every possible thought of her Londoner's existence, for later sharing it with her sister Estelle and the rest of her family.
Devastated from a tragedy in their family, Rosie will write down her first important thoughts....
Estelle must undertands pretty soon the new important guidelines brought by the war.
It was difficult to keeping animals without registering them to the enemy, and every part of the common existence was severely altered by the war.
Two different perspectives: the one of Rosie, in London, in the capital, missing of course the countryside and the one of Estelle in a farm surrounded by nature, animals, trees. The perfect portrait of war, as we knew very well. While I was reading this book I thought in fact at the existence spent by my aunt Adriana in the center of Rome, while the rest of the family lived in our area, a countryside. I discovered a lot of similarities.


I thank Harper & Collins and Netgalley for having suggested me this book by Deborah Carr.

Anna Maria Polidori
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This is a WWII story about another family being separated because of the war.  Estelle stays in Jersey with her grandmother while they send Estelle little sister to London to escape the horrors of war.

This is a well told story in alternating POV's.  Rosie's (the little sister) entries are in the style of diary/letter entries.  

Many thanks to Netgalley and One More Chapter for this advanced readers copy.  This book released June 25, 2021.
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I loved that this book was real, it told of normal daily life in occupied Jersey. Not daring acts of resistance, or prisoner of war stories but a human point of view and how one family was affected by World War Two. Twelve year old Daisy is evacuated to her aunt in London just in time, but Estelle remains behind to help her father and grandmother on their farm. How their lives change during the course of the war is to be expected but the normality was what I found so compelling. The act of shopping, trying to make ends meet with food, the relationship with the Officer billeted on their farm, while trying to hide a secret radio, and think of small ways to be defiant becomes Estelle's life. She doesn't seem to realise that her grandmother is hiding things too. Although we saw the brutality of the German occupation, we also saw some humanity and real people with real feelings. A lovely read. #netgalley #anislandatwar
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One of my all-time favorite books is The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society so I was excited to read this book and I loved seeing more of the island and learning about its occupation by the Germans in WWII.

This book is based on the author's family members and I'm so glad Deborah Carr decided to write it. We mostly follow Estelle, who lives on the island with her Grandmother. Estelle is left without much help to care for the farm as well as her grandmother. I liked seeing the various characters, and how they dealt with the privations and restrictions. It really brought out both the good and bad in peoples' characters.

We also see some letters from Estelle's little sister, who was sent to London during the war to live with an aunt. They experienced the Blitz, loneliness, and worry about their family.

I would have loved to see what happened after the end of the book. I have a lot of questions. But I suppose that make it even more realistic - because in live, things never really come to an end with everything wrapped up :)

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher and the author for the book. I'd recommend it!
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A mesmerizing story of a island captured by the Nazi's in World War II and the people who suffered because of the occupation. Estelle and her Gran ran the family farm and did their best to hold out hope to see Rosi her younger sister again. Her dad had sent Rosie away right before the island was captured. The Jersey island was under siege for five long years. 
This is just another example why I love historical fiction. There is so much to learn of this time. Each book is just another glimpse into this devastating war. The author talks about the island with authority and you just know its a personal story. This was a great book and I hope others see its magnificent too.
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