15-year-old Nicole lives in Brussels and during 1940 she sees the Nazis enter her city as conquerors. Her father is taken away and increasingly she feels she should be doing something. An old friend Anton re-enters her life with whom she is very quickly in love, and together they join the Resisters as she calls them, rapidly helping to bomb trains and the railway station. Nicole sees friends taken away, and is then herself captured and questioned, only helped to get away from an uncertain fate, to be taken to Ravensbruck Concentration Camp from which she does escape, travelling across Germany to the Belgian border to be helped by a guard in the Resistance, ending with a shootout during which she kills her main adversary in Brussels.
The reader of this review will no doubt reel at the sequence of events surrounding a 15-year-old girl, and that highlights the problem with this story: too much happens implausibly to one so young. Nicole’s teacher is a leading light in the Resistance and surely would not have given so much responsibility to one so young? Of course teenagers were involved in the movement but it stretches credibility that Nicole and Anton were involved in the really hard bits, bombing and killing so rapidly.
In a brief note at the end Carmen Reid states that she moved two important bits of historical fact, the sabotaging of Le Soir newspaper and Winston Churchill’s Battle of Britain speech forward. If the author wishes to be taken seriously as a writer of historical fiction, moving well known historical events to suit the plot is not the way forward.