Cover Image: The Girl from the Island

The Girl from the Island

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Member Reviews

A beautifully told story of 2 sisters during the Nazi Occupation of Guernsey.  This book is so well-written, so emotional, and completely engrossing. As with all war books, it has a few parts that are hard to read, heavy moments, but they're absolutely worth pushing through and remembering the hard and the good parts of history. 
A must read for fans of WWII fiction.
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Romance, heartbreak and bravery
This story has a dual timeline, weaving between the present-day and the German occupation of Guernsey during WW2. Lucy goes back home to Guernsey for the funeral of her distant relation. Her sister Clara still lives there with her husband and daughter. The two sisters have a difficult relationship. Their relative, Dido, leaves them her wonderful old house. While getting it ready for sale they discover Dido had a sister Persephone and over the course of the book they find out what happened to the occupants of the house during the German occupation.
The Girl from the Island is a great read for those who enjoy romance, family saga or historical fiction. Fact and fiction are blended with great skill by the author. It’s a great story, my first from Lorna Cook and will not be my last. Well-written, well-paced and with several great twists, I would recommend it.
Thank you to Avon Books and NetGalley for an advance copy in return for my honest review.
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Unputdownable, Passionate, Captivating, and Magnetic!! 
Lorna Cook has introduced us to a different glimpse into what life was like for others during the World War II. The Germans actually did occupy the area from 30 June 1940 until it was liberated 9 May 1945. Not only did the author incorporate informative facts, but the characters were so poignant and strong that they made the pages flip themselves. I even forgot to eat lunch and start dinner I was so engrossed in the storyline. I would definitely give this a solid five stars plus more if I could. 

The storyline flowed between two different time periods, but it was definitely no hindrance. Lucy & Clara were from the present and like all siblings they had differences that needed working out. Lucy found a box in the house of their Great-Aunt who left them the house and it seemed that they had another Aunt they never knew. 
Lucy was now determined to find out about this missing Aunt from the WWII era and a new neighbor man was going to aide her in the hunt. 
Things were going to heat up in more ways than one on this journey for all those involved to include the new neighbor because there are secrets from the past that are going to unfold! 

I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.,
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I’m pleased to say that this is another enjoyable historical fiction novel from Lorna Cook. This novel is based in Guernsey, a place I would like to visit after the Covid 19 pandemic has finished. It is only in very recent years that I became aware of how the Channel Islands had been occupied by the Germans during the Second World War.

This book looks at one family, who had to deal with the occupation, where neighbours were deported to prison camps, the wireless was banned and neighbours would inform on each other. How would Persephone and Dido cope with the challenges?

In this time slip novel, Lucy is back in Guernsey in 2016, after the death of her distant cousin Dido. When clearing out the house, Lucy becomes interested in some of the old papers she finds and sets out to solve the mystery about what happened to the residents of the house.

I enjoyed how the characters developed, the secrets revealed, the parallel sister stories and the historical details. As you would expect from a novel set during the occupation, there are some heartbreaking stories. But we also have happy and humorous moments too, when Lucy spends time with her new neighbour.

Happy to recommend to readers who enjoy time slip historical fiction nov
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I had not read any books by Lorna Cook previously,  but i absolutely loved this story.  Highly recommended. 

 The story is set in Guernsey during the second World war and now. Two sisters who lived in a house on the island during the occupation by the Germans and two sisters who inherited the house now.  It is a story of love, resistance,  coming of age and compassion.   It was easy to read and switched easily between the two time periods.  I couldn't put the book down as I just wanted to know what happened.   
The author wrote well,  feelings  experiences, the location and time setting were well described.   I was unaware how Guernsey had been treated during the occupation having heard more about the treatment of the inhabitants of Jersey.  It was clear that the author had done her research. 
I must now look for her two previous titles to read.
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If you look at the range of my reviews you will see that I am quite clear about which books I have liked and those which do not grab me or even on some occassions, I cannot waste time on completing. I will only give a book 4 or 5 stars if I believe it really deserves that rating for a variety of reasons as I do not want to give a false impression to other readers. Naturally everyone has to make up their own mind in the end. 

So coming to this book..... Lorna's writing has been one of my favourite books of the year so far! I chose it as the Channel Islands are my favourite holiday destination and I haven't been able to go there for over a year! However I realise that I am fortunate to not be living through the times back in the 1940's when this novel is set. I have visited the museum of Occupation on Guernsey myself and read true life accounts of those times. Lorna gives a realistic snapshot of life then and now (as this book is written in two time frames). A real mix of romance and drama/thriller, I was kept on edge until the end. I really wanted to know more about what happened to Lucy beyond the timescale we were led into but perhaps that is just left to our own imagination! 

I will be looking out for more novels by Lorna Cook and look forward to seeing where the next one is set.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Avon books for an advanced copy of "The Girl From The Island" by Lorna Cook.

It is 2016 and Lucy must return to Guernsey, her childhood home, to organise a funeral of a relative, Dido LeRoy, who she barely remembers. While she is staying at Deux Torrelles,  Dido's old house, she finds photos of Dido with her sister Persephone and friends Jack and Stefan taken as teenagers in the years before WW2 along with a shorthand letter.

She decides to look into the lives of Dido and Persephone and their activities under Nazi occupation in Guerney 

This books is a excellently written historical novel with a difference.  What happens when your house is taken by a German officer during WW2 but that German officer is an old friend from the past ?   How does the dynamic change ? 
How do you keep your activities a secret ? 
What are the consequences for all involved ?

All characters in the book are well developed and each have their own story during the Occupation that Lucy  discovers  giving a more complete overview of the Channel Islands during Nazi Occupation 

Would recommend.
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Lucy was desperate to escape Guernsey as soon as she could, she felt trapped, that life wasn’t going anywhere and she would be better off living her life anywhere but there.

But when an aged relative, Dido dies she is called back to the island of her youth, and to Dido’s home as plans are made to put it up for sale. As she starts to put the house in order she discovers, some old papers and photographs. One of these is of someone called Persey, who was she and why do the sisters know nothing about her. Now with Dido dead, it seems there is no one to ask and Lucy decides to piece all the pieces together herself. It is a story that will be heart breaking and heart warming and perhaps makes Lucy look at life in a very different way.

The dual narrative of this book takes us back on occasions to the 1930s, still on Guernsey and then to the 1940s during the occupation by the Germans. Here two sisters have spent their childhood days of the 1930s playing around the island with no care in the world with the housekeeper’s son, Jack and the German boy Stefan who visits relatives during the summer months.

When their mother dies the same day as the occupation life changes forever for these two sisters and it seems as if those carefree days are now going to cause them pain and anguish.

This is a fascinating book which gives a real insight into life under German occupation on the island and shows the conflicts and battles that the islanders had to face as well as the occupying German forces as well. The book certainly pushed your expectations to make you think of both sides during the war and for that I commend it.

The stories interweave distinctly backwards and forwards and with an added piece of romance just made the story more intriguing as it added another element to the puzzle that Lucy was trying to solve about the house and its occupants.

This latest from Lorna Cook, like her previous novels takes an element of history that is perhaps overlooked or not given as much page space and weaves the fact with the fiction to create a story to draw you in and care. Care about the characters, the places, the storyline and the conclusion so it becomes a joyous occasion to have read the book. This is very much the case with The Girl From the Island.
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This an exciting dual timeline novel set in Guernsey in 1940 and 2016. The historical story explores the lives of two sisters left alone to face the German occupation in 1940. Lucy reluctantly returns to Guernsey in 2016 to sort out the estate of Dido, a distant cousin, which forces her to reconnect with her sister Clara.

The historical timeline is poignant and illustrates what living with the enemy was like. Lucy and a neighbour explore what happened to Dido's sister, who disappeared in the war. The mystery is complex and full of danger and heartbreak.

Both timelines are of interest, and the story is an engaging medley of betrayal, courage, loss and love in a beautiful island setting.

I received a copy of this book from Avon Books UK via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
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Thank you to NetGalley, Avon Books UK, and HarperCollins for the opportunity to read and review this book before it's publication date! This in no way affected my review, opinions are my own.

I found the history of the Channel Islands (particularly Guernsey) to be very interesting, but I had a hard time connecting to the characters in this book. It's always a fine line to write about romances between the Occupied and the Occupiers, and sometimes it feels believable (and I'm sure it happened, and I'm also sure there were plenty of people in the lower echelons of the Wehrmacht that did not understand what was happening and/or did not agree with it) but something about the characters and their choices in this novel never clicked for me.

I have read two others by Lorna Cook and while I enjoyed both, I would say if you're looking to try one of Lorna Cook's novels definitely go with The Forbidden Promise - I loved that one!
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book by Lorna Cook. I’ve not read any of her books before but when I saw that it was set in Guernsey, a place I have sailed to a number of times and really love, I knew I’d be hooked. The dual timelines of present day and WW2 worked really well and the storylines were very good. Thanks to the publishers and NetGalley for letting me read this book. I can definitely recommend it!
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I really enjoyed reading this book.

The story is across two timelines: Persey and Dido during WWII and Lucy and Clara in the present day. Both of them sets of sisters but couldn't be more different if they tried. Very different times, very different relationships as well.

Persey and Dido lived in a large house in Guernsey when WWII started. It seemed in no time at all, their tiny island paradise was being invaded by Nazi troops, who turned their lives upside down. Both sisters tried to live life as usual but they both had secret loves which put them in danger.

In the present day, Lucy finds herself in Dido's home, not knowing very much about her second cousin at all, and needing to clear the house with her sister Clara, so they can prepare the house for sale. Her sister Clara has stayed in Guernsey and married a local boy, whereas Lucy left as soon as she could, and that has led to tensions between the sisters.

As this story unfolds, I found myself really tense at times, because I could just HEAR those Nazi jackboots marching down the streets and the curfews imposed by them which were strictly enforced. I can't even imagine having to live my life under those circumstances - in fact, I had no idea that Guernsey even had a Nazi occupation, so that was a real revelation to me.

This novel is terrific. The characters were so very real to me, in both timelines, and my heart hurt for all that Persey and Dido had to go through. I also understood the Lucy and Clara dynamic.

5 stars from me.

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon.
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The Girl from the Island is a beautifully written story of love and survival during the Occupation of Guernsey in the Second World War, which then brings hidden family history to the forefront two generations later.

The author has well-researched the historical facts of the Occupation of the Channel Islands and woven this alongside her fictional characters to create a marvellous story.  The mystery element of this story, along with the twists and turns in the plot had me gripped.  This is the first time I have read any of Lorna Cook’s work and I would happily read other novels of hers.

I highly recommend The Girl from the Island - the characters are wonderfully depicted, the pace is good and the story flows really well between the dual timelines and narratives.  The plot is really fantastic - so well thought out and all the elements put together beautifully.  Definitely a book I didn’t want to put down.

I am grateful to the publisher, Avon Books UK, via NetGalley for an advance digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I love the formula of Lorna Cooks books, two timelines intricately entwined make an immersive gripping read!
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The Girl from the Island is a dual timeline historical fictions, set in the Channel Islands, which I have to be honest intrigued me particularly as I’ve never read anything set in those beautiful places or heard the story surrounding the islands. 

The plot goes back and forth between:

the 1940s when the Germans arrived on Guernsey until the liberation by the hands of the Allied in 1945. So we see unfold all the events and restrictions and brutality that happened during those long 5 years. 

And 2016, Lucy and her sister, have been appointed by their dad to clear Dido’s estate after her death. Lucy becomes intrigued by this lady’s past and with the help of her neighbour tries to connect all the dots.

The dual timeline plot can be tricky if not well played, and I have to say that Lorna Cook has done a great job, they way the timeline intertwined left me completely and fully gripped by the story and just couldn’t stop until I finished the book! Plus as I said not coming across many book set in WWII on the Channel Islands I was super intrigued to know what happened there and get a bit of historical facts out of the book too. 

The characters are impossible not to like, and I completely and utterly fell in love with Persey and Stefan bravery and the way they tried to always protect the ones they loved. But I could on for ages and talk about every single character and what I liked about them, but then you probably wouldn’t want to read my review anymore 😂 so let me just tell you that you should absolutely read it! 

Thank you Avon Books and NetGalley for the free copy.
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I gobbled up this book, it was a delicious read and a very relatable story. Jumping backwards and forwards from WW2 to the present day, we could immerse ourselves into the story, it was beautifully linked and each timeline was given the same thought and attention on detail of the plot and the characters. Some books have lead characters that you don't really like but each person in this book was beautifully thought out.  The book flowed beautifully and when you thought you had sussed out the story line a little nudge was given in a different direction, capturing you again and immersing you back into the trials and tribulations of the characters.
It was a pleasure to read you didn't want the story to end.
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I don't normally read historical fiction, but this advance copy was my opportunity to. Set in Guernsey during the second world war, it was interesting to read what happened then the island was occupied by the Germans to this family. We also had another time line set in the present (2016) when a further generation continued the story. It is  an emotional book, which is very well researched and written.
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The Girl from the Island is the third book from the fantastic author that is Lorna Cook. If you haven’t read anything by this talented writer before then you are really missing out. Lorna has a natural gift for storytelling that truly impresses me and I have been a fan of her books ever since her brilliant debut. Once again right from page one you are drawn into this dual timeline storyline set on the island of Guernsey and you become completely invested in the eventual outcome for the main characters. Imagination is blended to perfection with historical fact and I felt I was given a glimpse into another aspect of World War Two that I had not previously known about, that of the German occupation of the Channel Islands. A fascinating time in history is explored and I have read lots and lots of books set during this time and at some stage you begin to think you have read all you can on the subject that the impact these books are meant to have on you begins to fade but then along comes this book which is an inspirational story. One full of bravery, courage, dedication and love in the face of hardship, cruelty, angst and endless rules and regulations imposed by a mad man.

Spring 2016 and it’s been so long since Lucy visited Guernsey even though her sister Clara still lives there. But now the death of a distant relative Dido sees her returning to make funeral arrangements on behalf of her father who is now living abroad. Lucy barely remembers Dido or the house she lives in, Deux Tourelles, but when she reaches the house she finds it void of any personal mementoes or photos her interest is piqued. Dido from what she learns was an active member of the community but why is there nothing of any personal note on display on the house? When Lucy locates a box of old newspaper clippings, notes and photos so sets in motion her quest to learn more about Dido and even more so when there is a photo with names on the back - Dido, Jack, Stefan and Persephone. Who were these people and what happened to them? Lucy knows the island has a deep history since its German occupation during the war and she wonders what part, if any, did Dido and the people named in the photo have to play in it.

I did enjoy reading about Lucy in the present day and how she navigates through her relationship with her sister, which is very fragile, and then how she wants to find the answers to connect the past to the present. Clara views Lucy as being very predictable in that she always chooses the easy way out of things or else she gives up entirely. Lucy wants to prove Clara wrong and decides she will dedicate herself to getting the house ready for sale and showing that she can stick at one thing. That she doesn’t always run away from things. In doing so she uncovers a remarkable story of fortitude, daring and fearlessness in the face of opposition, hatred and destruction. 

The plot twists that occurred in the present towards the end of the book were just brilliant, so cleverly woven into the overall plot and they leave you reeling in surprise and gasping in shock. But for me the strongest part of the book were the chapters set back during the war. I couldn’t wait to get back to them after reading about Lucy in the present. It’s not that Lucy’s aspect of the story wasn’t well written, it was . I just became completely fascinated by the story of the two sisters who when confronted with a face from the past who has now become the enemy find their lives changed and being lived on a knife edge of tension. I found Lucy in the modern day served to bridge the gap and connect the dots between the island of the past and the island as it was in the present and it was all brilliantly written but my interest really was piqued reading about how the islanders coped with having their tiny patch of paradise invaded and their lives as they knew it changed forever. 

On the day the Germans arrived on the island of Guernsey, Dido and Persephone’s mother passed away. No sooner had this occurred than there was a knock on the door of Deux Turelles and a face from the past was waiting on the doorstep. Stefan, a German, had spent summers on the island previously and struck up a friendship with the two sisters and Jack, the son of their housekeeper who was like a brother to the pair. But Stefan left one summer and never came back and nor did he write. Now he is back on the island in a different capacity and one in which Persey never thought possible. Stefan is billeted at the house which causes endless tension amongst the residents. Persey wrestles with past events and so many emotions come to the surface. Stefan, who was once a friend but now is a foe, surely can not be viewed in the same manner as he once was but yet Persey has these feelings that connect back to an incident on a cliff that last fateful summer. 

Throughout the course of the novel we see her wrestle with her conscience as she knows what her heart is trying to say and she just can’t reconcile the fact that Stefan is the one to watch, to be careful around. No misplaced word or drop of information can be uttered especially as Jack who had enlisted finds himself stuck on the island as the work he was carrying out all went wrong. It’s such a complicated situation for everyone to be in and the characters all dance warily around each other in fear of doing the wrong thing that could see disaster befall them all. The development of Persey’s story, and that of her family, was superbly executed with an assured pace, increasing tension and plenty of crafty twists. Lorna Cook is an expert at bringing the past to life and I felt I was right there with Persey as she balances so many balls in the air. If one dropped her whole world and that of the people she so dearly loved would come crashing down.

With the German’s arrival new rules and regulations were imposed and I just couldn’t comprehend how the islanders must have felt. I couldn’t imagine myself facing all these changes not knowing was this to be my life forever. Not to mention the island became so cut off from the outside world, that even to hide a wireless became an offence. They must have felt so abandoned and lived in constant fear of doing the wrong thing. Something which up until the occupation would have been deemed normal but now it could have been a criminal offence and seen you taken away. Persey despite emotionally wrestling with what she was dealing with with regards to Stefan always showed such resilience. She was constantly thinking of the bigger picture and of others less fortunate then herself and her family. The new laws affecting Jews throughout German occupied territories also came into play on the island and I found this strand of the story intriguing and gripping. Loyalties are constantly questioned and Persey and the islanders do remarkable things which form the backbone of the overall plot. I find it incredible to think that the people living on a tiny island where every move was scrutinised by those who had taken power were able to carry out such heroic deeds in the face of so many burdens to be just incredible and their story definitely deserved to be told. Persey’s story was intense, riveting, inspiring and heart wrenching but it only served to highlight the grit and determination she had deep within her.

If you haven’t previously read anything by Lorna Cook make sure you also check out her previous books, The Forgotten Village and The Forbidden Promise. They are just as good as this new book and I envy those who have yet to discover this wonderful author. The only disappointment I now have is the time I will now have to wait until the next book is published and that’s my own fault as I read The Girl from the Island far too fast. I should have taken things more slowly but really it was just too good to put down. A brilliant storyline, a superb sense of place, strong believable characters and those brilliant plot twists that I didn’t see coming all make for an excellent read that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommended. Lorna Cook is definitely an author who has secured her place on my go-to authors list.
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Absolutely loved this book had read Forbidden Promise recently which I enjoyed, but this was certainly better.  This is a perfect holiday book about family secrets and love during a time of German occupation in Guernsey.  Loved the way it is written with the two timelines and how the life of the main characters Dido & her sister Percey  are revealed by their present ancestor.  Plenty of surprises along the way, essentially a love story.
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Many thanks to Net Galley, Avon Books UK, and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

Historical fiction works best for me when there is a dual timeline story and secrets to be unraveled. I had read The Forbidden Promise by Lorna Cook and fell so much in love with it and here again, I am in awe of the author’s writing. Guernsey comes alive with this incredible tale of sisterhood, bravery, and love.

The Girl From The Island talks about the historical NAZI occupation of the Channel Islands, a thought that by itself is so terrifying; Hitler’s army residing so close to Britain for 5 long years. Actual historical events are woven thru the story thereby giving a vivid image of the circumstances endured by the people of Isles living with the Germans for such a long time.

Dido and Persephone in the 1940s and Lucy and Clara in 2016 show the different faces of sisterhood. Lucy and Clara are not having the best of relationships, Clara having issues with Lucy’s no-care, no-responsibility attitude towards life and it becomes evident as the resentments bubble over with a resounding slap. I loved how the author has used Dido’s and Persey’s past to smoothen the bond between Lucy and Clara. Both segments have romance and what an awesome feat by the author to differentiate the changing times. The love that develops between Lucy and Will is a reflection of how we are today, the banter between them cute and open, their approach more friendly and warm. However, Persey and Stefan have hundreds of things playing the villain in their love for each other, the major hurdle that of Stefan being a member of the invading army and Persey refusing to see her childhood friend beneath his uniform. The unacknowledged love is beautifully conveyed by the author that it tugs at a reader’s heart for the miserable time they lived in.

The setting of the story is captivating and Lorna Cook transports the readers to the turbulent times during the war brilliantly. Persey’s love for her sister and her adopted brother Jack forcing her to make some hard choices and even then Dido paying a hard price for going against the rules imposed was heartbreaking.

I am in love with the inhabitants of Deux Tourelles in both the timelines but it would be Dido who would have my heart in this saga of finding strength during adversity.

This review is published in my blog, Goodreads, Amazon India,, and Twitter.
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