Book Review: Girl with the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Book Review: Girl with the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse


Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days finding and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the German army invaded. Her illegal work keeps her family afloat, and Hanneke also likes to think of it as a small act of rebellion against the Nazis.

On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person: a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such a dangerous task but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations—where the only way out is through.

Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times.


Girl with the Blue Coat was an excellent read. I’ve read many books that take place during the Second World War but this one stands on its own. The story is unique and gripping. Hanneke is involved with the black market, finding and selling items that have been rationed or banned in Amsterdam. She supports her parents financially, and walks a fine line of being the child of the family but also being the breadwinner and head of the family. When Hanneke is asked by a customer to find a missing Jewish girl, she must decide if she is willing to risk her life and her parents security.

Hanneke is a strong character, and her journey through this story is filled with twists and turns. Although Hanneke fits the description of a “Nazi approved” poster girl, living in a Nazi-occupied town brings about such turmoil and uneasiness. People you once trusted, might turn you in or report you. Why? Simple B
because they can... Hanneke soon finds herself working for a greater cause, and resisting the Nazi’s. Her perspective and storyline is very unique and kept me wanting more. Hanneke grows and becomes more and more aware as the story progresses. I highly recommend this one. It was a fast-paced historical fiction read and one that has stayed with me long after I finished the book. Very powerful, and full of bravery in a world that was terrifying.

*The book was purchased by me. This post does contain affiliate links. Thanks for supporting this blog.

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