Berkenhout Village was a collection of huts, partially hidden underground and concealed in dense forest. It was built during WWII, to protect the local Jewish population from persecution by the Germans. The author's mother lived close to this village and in her novel, Ms Matthews chose to highlight the brave efforts of the Dutch people in keeping their neighbours safe.
The main character, Sofie, was a young Jewish girl who became separated from own family early on in the war and adopted the people of Berkenhout Village as her surrogate family. The village was well concealed, but the residents still had to maintain constant vigilance and keep all sounds to an absolute minimum.
Jan, a young lad at the time, epitomised a wayward boy, out looking for adventure. With great excitement he stumbles across an English pilot who has been shot down. This appears to be the start of the underground movement in the area, which subsequently saves many people.
This is a well written fictional account, highlighting the amazing bravery and sacrifices of the people who found themselves invaded by a foreign power.
My version was excellently read by Liam Gerrard, who read clearly and at a good pace.
This was written for a Young Adult audience, but I would recommend it for adults as well.