Title: Girl in the Blue Coat
Author: Monica Hesse
Publication Date: April 5, 2016
Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers
Synopsis: Amsterdam, 1943. Hanneke spends her days finding and delivering sought-after black market goods to paying customers, nights hiding the true nature of her work from her concerned parents, and every waking moment mourning her boyfriend, who was killed on the Dutch front lines when the German army invaded. Her illegal work keeps her family afloat, and Hanneke also likes to think of it as a small act of rebellion against the Nazis.
On a routine delivery, a client asks Hanneke for help. Expecting to hear that Mrs. Janssen wants meat or kerosene, Hanneke is shocked by the older woman’s frantic plea to find a person: a Jewish teenager Mrs. Janssen had been hiding, who has vanished without a trace from a secret room. Hanneke initially wants nothing to do with such a dangerous task but is ultimately drawn into a web of mysteries and stunning revelations—where the only way out is through.
Beautifully written, intricately plotted, and meticulously researched, Girl in the Blue Coat is an extraordinary, unforgettable story of bravery, grief, and love in impossible times.
On one of her routine black market deliveries, Hanneke receives a strange request from one of her clients, Mrs. Janssen. Find a young Jewish girl that Mrs. Janssen has been hiding. Knowing how much danger searching for a Jewish girl could put Hanneke and her family in, Hanneke initially refuses to help Mrs. Janssen. However, Hanneke changes her mind and agrees to search for the Jewish girl. Her search opens her up to a world that she never knew existed.
After reading Wolf by Wolf last year and completely falling in love with it, I made the commitment to read more historical fiction novels. When I initially discovered The Girl in the Blue Coat, I was elated. I loved the premise behind it, the setting, and even the cover was beautiful. Needless to say, I was thrilled to start this book.
I had great deal of anticipation starting this book. My hopes were high and I just KNEW that I was going to love this book. So you can imagine my extreme disappointment when I decided to DNF this book. I truly hated to DNF this book because I had been anticipating reading it for such a long time.
The main reason I decided to put this book down was due to the characters. I could not connect with a single one. I couldn’t even see myself “liking” the main character. Perhaps there is character development later within the story, but I couldn’t stick around waiting for it. In addition to having no connections with the characters, the story was very slow. I made it through almost half of this novel and things were just beginning to pick up. So, with no emotional investments and completely disinterested in the story, I decided to put this book down.
1 out of 5 stars
Meet The Author
Monica Hesse is the author of the young adult historical fiction novel Girl in the Blue Coat, as well as the young adult science fiction novel Stray and its sequel, Burn. She is a feature writer for the Washington Post, where she has covered royal weddings, dog shows, political campaigns, Academy Awards ceremonies, White House state dinners, and some events that felt like a mixture of all of the above. She has talked about these stories, and other things, on NBC, MSNBC, CNN, CSPAN, FOX and NPR, and she has been a finalist for a Livingston Award and a James Beard Award. Monica hosts a weekly Washington Post chat, Web Hostess, and she lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and a brainiac dog.