Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Book Review: The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix

 This past month has been absolute insanity in my life.  Even still, I somehow managed to listen to an entire audiobook in less than a month.  If it's a testament to anything, it's proof of how amazing this historical fiction novel was.  I may have even listened to it while in the shower a few times..

The novel is titled The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix.
The book is read by Jacqueline King.
The unabridged version is 12 hours and 21 minutes long.

how is the audiobook of the secret letter by debbie rix

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Book Review:  The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix

The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix starts off in the year 2018.  The scene begins with one of the two main characters reminiscing on her earlier years of life.  The setting quickly changes to the year 1939 in England, just before the outbreak of World War II.  This is where the reader is introduced to Imogen, the main character mentioned above, but as a young girl.  Early on the reader will learn of her independent, quick-witted, and adventurous personality.  A little further into the book, you're introduced to the second leading lady of the novel, Magda.  Magda is a young girl living on her family's farm in a small village in Germany.  With a personality and perseverance similar to Imogen's, the reader will quickly realize that both young ladies are about to make significant impacts in the war.

This author based this novel on a true story that was very close to home.  The character, Imogen, was loosely based on her mother.  You learn through the author's notes at the end of the story that the letters written in the book are direct quotes found in her own mother's letters.  Eep!  I mean, how cool is that?!  The author's father is also depicted in this book as a RAF pilot.  Magda is also based on a real person.  That person is her father's hero, literally.

Other supporting characters in the novel were present, but the one that stood out to me the most was Otto.  Otto was a German boy that fell in love with Magda at an early age.  His sick, twisted love for Magda reminded me of Wuthering Heights.  It left me pondering whether this was true love or an obsession.  Either way, I was left confused regarding my feelings for him.  The author depicted him as a monster.  While the depiction was accurate, I always felt this flicker of hope that Otto would have some sort of redemption.  While committing unforgiveable acts, I never gave up hope that his character would be redeemed.  The author kept this hope alive by displaying glimmers of humanity in him.  You'll have to read the book to find out if I was right!

I have read many historical fiction novels that took place during World War II, but The Secret Letter was truly unique.  For starters, it barely mentioned concentration camps or the crimes against humanity that happened there.  Instead, it told the stories of brainwashing, true heroinism, and of the German resistance.  Of all my readings, this is the first time that I have come across tales of the German resistance.  The Secret Letter told true stories of the Wrens, humanity during a crisis, and the different roles that women played in the war.  But, of all these things, The Secret Letter was truly a book about hope, love, and kindness.  It's proof that even in the darkest moments in history, true heroes prevail.

I would highly recommend The Secret Letter by Debbie Rix.

This is the absolute perfect book to get you through the Winter, if you can make it last that long.

Have you read The Secret Letter?


  1. I had a little black chick called Magda once LOL
    Wuthering Heights is the only thing I like from Bronte sisters, exactly because of the masterfully described psychology in it.

    1. I wrote a college term paper on Wuthering Heights and the psychology behind it. Very good story and was my favorite read for a long time! That was, until The Nightingale knocked it out of the #1 spot and then Lost Roses knocked it down a few more spots. :)

  2. That sounds good, though I’m over WW2 books! Lol, but I will put it on my list of things to read during happier times (post-Covid).

    1. I knew you would say that. :) It's definitely a different type of book. You would barely recognize it as a WW2 book. At least, that was my opinion of it. Since it doesn't focus on the Holocaust at all, it really wasn't too sad of a book either. Now I'm reading a book that came highly recommended, but is dragging b/c it's mostly a large account of facts instead of told in a story type form. It's about the Lusitania and how it sunk in WW1.

    2. That sounds dreadful! LOL!

    3. It's pretty bad but I have a mental problem that I can't just stop reading the book. Oh well, hopefully I get through it quick and can move on to something enjoyable. Any recommendations? For the first time in a while, my queue is empty!

  3. You know a book is good when you're listening to it in the shower. :)

    Ugh, I saw "book review" and my heart sank a little. You'll see why over at my blog. haha

    Oh, and because of YOU, I now have two birdhouses and a gigantic bag of bird seed ready to set up. ;)

    Seriously though, I had a feeder in my garden a few years ago, but took it out because the seed kept causing grass to grow. After seeing all your pretty pictures on Instagram, I wanted another feeder so I did some research and found that there is bird seed that doesn't cause growth. I'm exited! Just waiting for this migraine to pass and I'll be feeding my feathered friends. Thank you for the inspiration!


    1. I'm so excited for thissss!!! I can't wait to see all the birding pictures. You have the hummingbird feeders right? I'd love to see some videos of that too.

  4. I'm adding this one to my reading list right now. It sounds so good and I must know more about how Otto ended up in the end. That is super cool about the personal connection she has to the letters being quoted in the book!

    1. Otto left me with so many mixed feelings that I was ashamed to even admit I was rooting for him! Let me know if you read it b/c it really was great. The Nightingale is still my favorite, but this one had bonus points for being based on a true story.

  5. You even listened to it in the shower? Wow. Impressive lol But then you're probably in there for hours anyway haha

    Sounds like it showed different sides than the usual. Books that suck you in are winners indeed.


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