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The Viennese Girl

To endure the German invasion of Jersey, islanders needed resilience, fortitude and ingenuity. However, to survive the five years of occupation, Hedy Bercu, a young Jewish woman needed more; the help of a courageous local woman. To further put her life at risk Hedy embarks on small acts of resistance, while Dorothea alienates her family by marrying an Austrian who later is forced into the enemy army. Added to this complication, while working as a translator for the invading army, Hedy falls in love with a German officer, Kurt.

Author, Jenny Lecoat in her remarkable book ‘The Viennese Woman’ has created a wonderful fictional narrative based on the true events in the lives of the real heroines, Hedy Bercu and Dorothea Weber. In cramped conditions, with harsh food rations and in constant threat to life, these women developed a greater appreciation of each other and a true friendship. More about Hedy and Dorothea can be found in Dr Gilly Carr’s publication ‘Jews and Jerrybag; The Lives of Hedwig Bercu and Dorothea LeBroq’.

This well researched book gives readers a real insight into the little known hardship of those enduring German occupation of the Channel Islands and in particular the island of Jersey from June 1940 to May 1945: not only the restrictions and deprivation experienced by the inhabitants, but also the lack of knowledge about their plight by mainland British citizens, who thought life was just proceeding as normal on Jersey.

Not only readers of historical fiction (particularly those set during the war years), but also those who enjoy books with inspirational characters, will find this a most informative and enjoyable read. Readers will be left reflecting on this story long after they have read the last page.

Author Jenny Lecoat
Publisher Allen and Unwin
ISBN 9781760877927
Distributor Allen and Unwin
Released April 2020