Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Book Review: The Secret Messenger

Happy Tuesday! I am so glad I have therapy tomorrow, I can always tell when I must be getting close to an appointment because it always feels like things in life all pile up right before. I've already connected with two friends this week and I am so happy about it. It's just good to connect with people. 
The Secret Messenger - Mandy Robotham

Venice, 1943
The world is at war, and Stella Jilani is leading a double life. By day she works in the lion’s den as a typist for the Reich; by night, she risks her life as a messenger for the Italian resistance. Against all odds, Stella must impart Nazi secrets, smuggle essential supplies and produce an underground newspaper on her beloved typewriter.

But when German commander General Breugal becomes suspicious, it seems he will stop at nothing to find the mole, and Stella knows her future could be in jeopardy.

London, 2017
Years later, Luisa Belmont finds a mysterious old typewriter in her attic. Determined to find out who it belonged to, Luisa delves into the past and uncovers a story of fierce love, unimaginable sacrifice and, ultimately, the worst kind of betrayal…

Today we are going to talk about The Secret Messenger, which is a historical fiction and you know that isn't always my jam. I'll also admit there are SO MANY books around WWII and frankly, I'm over it. While that was an interesting time from every aspect, I'm over it, give me any other time period, truly. 


I picked this one because I really like a good time hop book and the idea that this story is about a woman who, by all accounts, is leading a double life is what sold me. Also, I really wish I could find something cool like an old typewriter in a house but the closest I got was an electrical how-to manual shoved in a wall near (you guessed it) faulty wiring. 

Let's talk about some things that I didn't totally love:
  • The description of Venice is almost too much. I often get lost in a historical romance because it becomes too much, it feels tedious, and it actually makes me sleepy. 
  • I had a hard time understanding what some Italian words meant and I ended up making up my own definitions. I think though if you were reading this as an e-book you could look them up easier, so this might have been an issue with me. 
  • Stella and her monologue make up most of the book but I don't feel like I every really got to know her. I didn't get to know Luisa much either, but that didn't feel like a big deal. 

With that out of the way, let me tell you that I really loved this book! I loved her radical behavior and the danger element of the Nazis finding out she is running this radical newspaper is what really kept me going. I also loved the relevancy of this book in current times; we have a female advocating change and fairness to all, but she's also a part of the honest media who the Nazi wants stopped at all costs. I feel like you can make connections throughout the book and it's great. The betrayal aspect? Wow. I think I felt the gut punch Stella must have as well. 

Overall I have to give this a good 4 stars. I really enjoyed this one and it just reminds me that we often forget to ask our parents and grandparents and great grandparents their life story. What may seem boring or ordinary to them may be interesting for us. I highly suggest you read this book and then have a cool conversation with your family, see what you find. (Also, go look for cool typewriters.)

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Shooting Stars Mag said...

I'm glad you liked this more than you might have thought you would!!! I'm with you on too much description getting annoying - even with setting, etc. Move on now!


Why Girls Are Weird said...

Interesting. This book is usually not my thing, but your description makes me want to read it anyway!