Cover Image: The Girl Under the Flag

The Girl Under the Flag

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Member Reviews

This is a book that from the beginning is well written and researched. Captivating you from the beginning narrative sets a dark grim tone. The reader feels impacted by the events that took place in Paris. It focuses on showing that the French Resistance was a key player in WW2. The author Alex Amit does a remarkable job portraying the depth of what the people in Paris went through, that you go on an emotional roller coaster. The writing doesn't flow as smoothly in some areas, but that may be because the main character was supposedly speaking in another language than their first or that the author lives in Israel causing the book to potentially be translated to English. 

From the beginning this book has you drawn in and invested in the main character Monique. Amidst the chaos, heartbreak, darkness, and despair there is hope, perseverance, and bravery found in a young Jewish girl who just wants to survive. Set in WW2 Paris, France a grim telegram is received "Arrest all Jews of Paris". Monique is enjoying a quiet evening at home when the police arrive, knowing she and her brother must hide right away, unfortunately, her younger brother refuses to hide with her.  Hearing her family dragged away, she knows that she is now on her own and has no clue how she will survive, knowing that that soon they will be searching for her too. She escapes through the streets of Paris, searching for a place to hide.  Turned away by relatives she is forced onto the street and was it not for a twist of faith, she encounters a member of the resistance while running from the police. Her desire to survive no matter how and her knowledge make her a useful tool to the Underground Resistance. Philip, a man of the Underground Resistance, offers her a deal in order to save her life by changing her identity. In return, she needs to provide information about the Germans by becoming acquainted with them. Monique stays with a woman who accepts her no matter what and begins working at a high-end bakery that caters to German officers and soldiers. When the opportunity to befriend and have a romantic relationship with a German officer Oberst Ernest comes her way, she is forced to take advantage of it. She begins infiltrating even deeper than the Resistance has ever before. Torn between her feelings for Philip and her fear of Oberst Ernest,  Monique steps deeper and deeper into the war. Every day that passes, she knows that it is only a matter of time before any little mistake could lead her to her discovery by the Germans. Faced with constant fear, Monique questions if she is able to maintain her cover and survive undetected by the German officer, if she fails she is left to face the Germans and almost certain death for her role as a spy. 

What you would do if you were just trying to survive in a war zone? What would you be willing to sacrifice? These are questions that Monique answers for herself as we go on this emotional journey with her and find out the lengths she is willing to go. Monique deals with internal struggles as she is forced to maintain a certain composure. Monique grows as a strong character who is both resilient and careful, risking her life every day for the freedom of Paris.

Overall I loved the book even though the romantic relationship with Philip felt forced throughout the book I enjoyed their ending. I was so invested in Monique that I felt sad that we never truly knew what happened to her family, one could only assume. This book deserves to be read as it shows a powerful young woman fighting all odds just to survive.  I highly recommend this book to everyone who loves the WW2 era, women lit, and historical fiction. You will not be disappointed.

*Thanks to NetGalley I received this book for free for my honest opinion.
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Monique is a seventeen year old girl running from the Nazis, through the streets of Paris.
When she meets Philip a resilient man who saves her life.  He offers her a deal in return she needs to get information from the Germans.

Fighting her feelings for Philip and her fear of Ernest a German officer who wants to get to know Monique, she gets in deeper with the Nazis worrying that any day she could make a mistake and is found out by the enemy.

Monique is telling her story through her own eyes what it was like to survive in occupied Paris, as a young girl on her own and what she has to do to survive while the Germans March through Paris, and change everyone’s lives.

I love reading about the history of WWII and how strong people where to go on against all the sorrow they where put through that we are still learning about today.

I loved this book.  A great read for anyone interested in the history of sorrow.
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I loved this book the trauma she faced was real. She was so relatable and I loved that.

She was emotionally real and the people who helped her were there.
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An interesting premise, and a fast-paced story of a volatile and frightening time during the Nazis reign of terror. Told from a third person (present tense) narrative, yet the reader views the story through the main character’s eyes only. The main character, a girl youth, finds herself suddenly alone in the world and fighting just to survive. When she falls into the hands of a resistance group, she agrees to go undercover and join their movement.

The style was somewhat different—the way the characters spoke threw me sometimes. Like “I would be happy to invite you to see me again” or “Today I’ve arrived alone.” Much of the story read like it was translated into English; a bit stilted. This made it difficult for me to immerse myself in what was happening. There were some spelling and grammatical mistakes. Like 'she felt the smell of his body'? Some mild PG-13 material (talk and experiences of being a beautiful girl dealing with the attractions of men and her own attraction to the resistance leader who is training her).

NOTE: my review is only based on the first half of the book. Because of the above issues, it did not hold my interest enough to finish.
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Monique is a young Jewish girl fighting for her freedom (and life) in occupied Paris.

I definitely recommend this book for people who love books about WW2 and strong female protagonists! I could not put it down.
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Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review.

I must admit,  I'm a sucker for WW2 books,  particularly books about women and the resistance.  However,  this book missed the mark.  Just seemed repetitive and stilted.
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Monique is 17 when her family is forcibly taken from their apartment leaving her hiding in a cabinet in the kitchen.  Somehow she is not found and manages to stay in place until she is forced to come out to look for food.  She is seen stealing food and while running from the police ends up being rescued by a large man who hides her in his truck.

He sneaks her out of his apartment one day, tells her to wear a blindfold, and introduces her to the Resistance, who at first say they cannot help her.   The leader, Philip decides she may be useful when he discovers she is fluent in German and French.  Given a new identity, she is soon caught between the German soldiers, the resistance, and trying to remember her real identity. 
  
I was given the opportunity to read this book by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Rounded up from 2.5 to 3 stars because the book tells an interesting story and is fairly clean. 
Running for her life from the Nazis, Monique, a seventeen-year-old Jewish girl, escapes through the streets of Paris. A man from the French Resistance finds and saves her, then introduces her to Philip. As part of the resistance, Philip asks Monique to discover Nazi secrets as she works in a local bakery and listens to the German soldiers talk. 
But Monique also begins an affair with an officer, and this relationship could end her life. Monique is never sure if her boyfriend knows her secret identity and fears that he will kill her at any time.  
And everyone around her begins to die. Monique wonders if she's the one responsible for the death of her friends?
This book tells the story of life in Paris under Nazi occupation. I did like the interesting perspective. Also, Monique's inner dialogue reveals the horrors of occupation and the challenges people face as they survive. I didn't like the choppy writing style that didn't flow and kept me on edge.
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This story is simply amazing it starts with Monique and her family experiencing a raid on them because they are Jewish and her hiding and then goes onto all her wartime experiences in a terrifying Paris this is one which if you love historical fiction you can’t put down - I simply loved it and read it in 3 sittings ! A must read
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The Girl Under the Flag is Set in Paris during WW2. The main character is a young Jewish woman that escaped being taken by the Germans by hiding in a cabinet when her parents and brother were taken. After running and hiding, she meets with a man that connects with the resistance movement. She works at a bakery that is frequented by the German soldiers. She is fluent in German and uses this to listen to the soldiers conversations. She reports information that she heard to the resistance. She has a relationship with a high ranking German officer to obtain information. She takes many risks to obtain valuable information. This awesome book is a compelling read. It was hard to put the book down once I started reading it.
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Honestly, for me, I just didn't care for this book, for several reasons. I *almost* didn't finish it, but I pushed on, skimming over several parts, and still ended up not really liking it, which is unusual for me, since I am always intrigued by the resistance movements going on during WW2. If I had known this resistance fighter basically prostituted herself for the sake of information, I would have passed on it, but nothing in any of the blurbs indicated that this was the case.

The story had some good details, but there was no emotion, really.  Monique came across as very selfish, very shallow, and very childish. Even though she was 17 at the beginning of the book, she spoke and thought and acted more like she was a young child -- like, younger than 10. 

I also took issue with much of the language used in the story. Words like:  "Dad", "Mom," "Yeah," and a few others that I can't remember right now, but for a French girl to use these very American terms in 1945, when Americans still considered many of them slang . . . just, no. Not working, at all, for the story line. 

There were parts that were very course and crude, several semi-detailed encounters of an intimate nature, and, as another character put it, she allied with the Germans "horizontally in bed." Many of these details and scenes I skimmed through, and I didn't see much discretion used in which details were brought to the forefront.  

There was a lot of violence, that seemed to be there just for violence' sake, which was stomach turning at best -- and violence and blood doesn't typically make me squeamish. I understand the part of history we're talking about was a bloody, violent time . . . but we can share details tastefully and in order to move the plot forward, and this details didn't really do much. ((There was one scene at the end that was disgustingly realistic that DID move the plot forward, but a bit of discretion would have been great in the details related!!)) 

The romance between Philip and Monique seemed really forced, half the time I wasn't following along, and the other half the time I felt that a lot of the physical intimacies were just out of place. 

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher through Netgalley to read. I was only asked to honestly share my thoughts and opinions.
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This is the story of monique (17), who lives in Paris with her family. During a raid, her parents and her brother Jakob are taken away. Monique survived by hiding for days. Eventually she manages to flee and starts working for the resistance; eventually she she has to go into the lion's den in order to get information that can save the lives of so many others.

I grew up with stories about the war because my grandparents hid people in hiding and were active in the resistance, and it's one of the reasons why I normally like novels set during this period.

I had difficulty with this story however. It's is a personal account - narrated from Monique's point of view, who also comments on her own actions. I found it hard to identify with the Monique, and her hardship remains distant. I had a hard time getting used to the peculiar writing style that is used in the novel, so what could have been a 4 star rating, unfortunately stops at a mere 3.

Note: I received an ARC from Netgalley, in return for an honest review.
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I love how The Girl Under the Flag takes us into the mind of a young girl during the Nazi occupation of Paris, and how she must do all she can to survive. After losing her family, Monique becomes a heroine and a member of the Nazi resistance. What I found beautiful about this book was the way the author handled her thoughts. She moves forward with her mission in mind, losing her innocence and showing extreme bravery. It was a wonderful read and one more literary baby step toward relinquishing anti-semitism in our world. Thank you Net Galley, and thank you to the author Alex Amit, for a believable and moving historical novel.
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Thank you to Netgalley and BooksGoSocial for the arc of The Girl Under the Flag by Alex Amit.

4 star read- this follows a girl named Monique whom is 17 and Jewish. She hates herself for her religion so she ends up fighting with her family over this until being alone in the world when they get sent to Auschwitz..  But she very narrowly avoids capture due to her mums thinking at that time, so she is then forced to be homeless on the street for a while until she ends up running into the law, ends her up in the arms of someone called Philip and the resistance by extension...  with having no other option she joins up and she ends up having a new identity and she then ends up befriending a German soldier..  who is the person for the main sources of information... 

This was a great 4 star read, well written and I love the character of Monique! well portrayed and presented.

4 stars- ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Highly Recommend.
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I was able to read this novel before it was published. WWII historical novels are my favorite fun genre.  The French Resistance was the subject of my Master's Thesis and much of my doctoral research.  So I am always on the look out for a new book in the French Resistance genre.   I thought the story of a Jewish girl on the run provides an interesting twist to the Resistance female genre so popular now.  I think this book could also be marketed to high school girls as a great title under the YA genre. Also life under the German Occupation provides  a rich resource to mine for great heroic stories especially about women.  They were key especially in France where so many of the men were gone.  This story revolves around the character of Monique, teen on her own and on the run from the SS sweep of Jews in Paris.  Cut loose from the safety of her family and friends, she quickly learns the desperation of life on the run and no one to trust.  Quickly, Monique comes under the protection of a resistance member and keeps her safe.  He hides her and provides a new identity.  And now, with her work in the bakery cafe, she becomes a spy.  

Alex Amit knows the nuances of the Occupation well. He accurately portrays the interaction between the differing levels of the resistance and the role of the Communists in the resistance.  Amit paid attention to detail regarding how secretly the resistance had to operate.  The author included some very good plot points that you don't often see-- the Allied bombing of France, that not all Germans were evil incarnate, and that women did what it took to survive.  As for female collaborators, Amit did not vilify the women who sought solace in German arms to survive.  The reality of trying to survive at all costs forced women to do things they regretted. 

In spite of all the attention to detail about the resistance, Amit's attention to detail slips in certain places.  I found it a little hard to believe that the women collaborators  never bothered to  learned the soldiers last names even after two years.   This seems a little weird because German soldiers were regularly addressed by their rank and full name in public.  So for Monique to never learn Ernst's last name just didn't ring true especially since she's reading documents in his brief case in her work as a spy.  
I know I sound like I am nitpicking but I did catch some other things that just did not ring true.  It has to do with language not plot points.  Monique refers to her father as dad-- a very American term.  A French girl, especially a Jewish girl , would have used the term Papa or Papan, not dad.  It was a few little things like that which bothered me such as the term tank top.  Other than that, Girl under the Flag is a good quick read.  I finished it in two hours.  Amit does a good job of creating life under the occupation and the difficult choices people, especially young women, had to make and the prices they paid for those choices.
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I can't stay away from books about this period of history and The Girl Under The Flag did not disappoint. I fell into the story within the first few pages and I was hooked on following Monique's journey. Quite a heavy ready, although. that is to be expected from this genre and it only serves to deepen the impression left by the story. I am definitely interested in reading more from Alex Amit now
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I love historical fiction! WWII is an especially intense time. This story opens up in Paris right when the first deportation of Jews occurs. The story then follows Monique as she tries to survive as a girl in that time. The plot and history are wonderful. I learned a !ot about France and the German occupation. I felt the story had a few too many undeveloped\forgotten characters. It also feels in the end the entire debate is whether she is truly French or German and the entire idea that she is Jewish has vanished! I think there were many good ideas that needed to be fleshed out more and others downplayed (why the obsession with smoking or the odors of men?) I also was a bit confused by the ending -it felt jarring and put of character. Why did she love Phillip? I feel like that entire romance was empty. 
Overall, an interesting story and view of Paris during WWII. If you stick through the slow parts its a good 'pass the time' read!
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Monique is a 17 year old Jewish girl in Paris who hides when the Germans come to deport her parents and young brother. She escapes and goes for help to her aunt who rejects her. She is taken in and helped by a man and becomes part of the underground resistance. The fear that she faces during this time is well written about. The lengths she has to go to to fight for her life. A well written debut novel
Received this book from Netgalley and publishers in exchange for an honest review
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This was a DNF for me simply because the writing was so poor in my opinion. It was choppy and disjointed, leaving me trying to figure out what just happened from one sentence to the next and rereading sections because it would just change course or skip major scene details. The flow was really difficult to wade thru, and the majority of the characters’ conversations didn’t include who was speaking which made it very confusing. The grammar and structure was also off, as if it was translated from another language. 

I tried to get thru it simply because the story line was interesting and I love WW2 fiction but it was just so difficult to read and felt so forced, I lost interest. 

Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my review.
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I love WWII stories and this one is no exception! Paris when the Nazi's are all over the city are ordered in 1942 to round up all Jews and have them transferred to camps. Everyone who didn't get out in time,are trying to hid,where to hid and is it safe and then for now long? Monique's parents and brother are gone,she's hiding while she listens to the soldiers take them all away!  They will be back for her they told the soldiers she was at the store. Monique takes off trying to find somewhere safe to hid and finds a man with the resistance but for her to stay safe she has to spy on the German and get information. Follow this crazy and dangerous plan,where she's just a German French girl not a Jew to be able to stay out of the camps but at what cost of they find out she's spying on them? Wonderful adventures and scary and dangerous follow Monique's life as it unfolds and the question is,will I ever see my brother and parents again?  Alex Amit did a outstanding job in bringing this story alive!
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