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Saturday, March 16, 2024

MY THOUGHTS - The Girl From Provence By: Helen Fripp

 The Girl from Provence: Absolutely gripping and heartbreaking WW2 historical fiction


South of France, 1942. Twenty-one-year-old farmer’s daughter Lilou is horrified when her best friend is dragged away by the Nazis simply for being Jewish. Risking her life for the French Resistance is Lilou’s one way to fight back. Soon she’s smuggling hidden messages in fresh-baked loaves of bread and meeting pilots in remote moonlit fields. She lives in fear that Kristian, a blue-eyed German soldier stationed in the village, knows about her work – but does he keep her secrets because he is undercover, too?

Then Lilou is given her most important task: to keep a frightened little boy, 
Eliot, hidden safe in her farmhouse. All alone in the world, Eliot refuses to speak as he clutches his treasured children’s book close to his chest. Inside is a beautiful story of stars, planets and the night sky. But why is this innocent child the one, among thousands, who Lilou must save?

When she is told Eliot’s book will help her decipher coded messages, Lilou knows he must have knowledge that could change the course of the war. But the day Kristian arrives at her farm searching for hidden Jewish families, 
Lilou is terrified that Eliot is in more danger than ever…

Can Lilou trust the one person who could tear her world apart? 
And will she ever help Eliot find his way home?

A totally stunning and heartbreaking read about the incredible sacrifices ordinary people are forced to make each day in wartime. Perfect for fans of Fiona Valpyand Rhys Bowen.


Helen Fripp profile image

Best-selling author of The Girl From Provence, The French House and The Painter's Girl. I love delving into the past to uncover new stories, and in my writing, the tiniest historical detail can spark an idea for a whole chapter. My female characters rail against the social constraints of their time, and often achieve great success, but they are of course flawed and human, like the rest of us. It’s the motivations, flaws, loves and every-day lives of my characters that I love to bring life, against sweeping historical backdrops - and I will find any excuse to take off and research a captivating location or person for my next story.

I spent a lot of time in France as a child, have lived in Paris, and spent a year with my family in a fishing village in South West France, so that’s where my books have ended up being set so far. Who knows where next!


 The Girl From Provence is written by Helen Fripp. This is the first book that I have read by this author, and it will not be my last. This story grabbed my attention from the first few pages and I did not want to put it down. Lilou is twenty one years old. She is selling her lavender honey from her family farm. Suddenly she sees  the Nazi's storm her hometown. She watches helplessly as her best friend is dragged away, just because she is Jewish. 

She soon sees everyone in her village starting to chose sides. It pains her to see the way neighbors are acting towards each other. Lilou joins the resistance and takes on many tasks.  Soon she is assigned the care of a little Jewish boy, named Eliot. He does not say much and has been clutching his children's book. Lilou finds out that she can decode messages with the book. 

I admire Lilou and her courage. She was living in a world of darkness and was determined to make a brighter day. The author writes this story so beautifully. I hope to read more of her work in the future. 

Thank you to the author and publisher for allowing me to read a copy of this book - all thoughts are my own. 

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