Review By Veronica

Code Name Sapphire is a gripping and emotional tale about three women trying to survive the horrors of World War II.

Favourite Quote:

Isaac let out a wail as he fell to the floor. The men beat and kicked him with dull, sickening thuds. For a moment, her eyes locked with his beneath the counter. She wanted desperately to leap out to his defense the way he had to hers. He averted his gaze, willing her not to move, to stay hidden and save their child and herself. But his cries were unbearable.

Goodreads Synopsis: 

1942. Hannah Martel has narrowly escaped Nazi Germany after her fiancé was killed in a pogrom. When her ship bound for America is turned away at port, she has nowhere to go but to her cousin Lily, who lives with her family in Brussels. Fearful for her life, Hannah is desperate to get out of occupied Europe. But with no safe way to leave, she must return to the dangerous underground work she thought she had left behind.

Seeking help, Hannah joins the Sapphire Line, a secret resistance network led by a mysterious woman named Micheline and her enigmatic brother Mateo. But when a grave mistake causes Lily’s family to be arrested and slated for deportation to Auschwitz, Hannah finds herself torn between her loyalties. How much is Hannah willing to sacrifice to save the people she loves? Inspired by incredible true stories of courage and sacrifice, Code Name Sapphire is a powerful novel about love, family and the unshakable resilience of women in even the hardest of times.

Code Name Sapphire is a riveting and gritty story with raw characters that often act within that morally grey area. I enjoyed this book. Right from that first chapter, I knew I would be in for one emotional roller coaster ride. This book focuses more on the resistance movement in Belgium, especially the Sapphire line. This line helped smuggle Allied fighter pilots out of Nazi-occupied territory. As a reader, I can tell Pam has done her research. The detail in this book is on point, and I enjoyed learning more about this specific resistance movement. Pam weaves all these historical facts while simultaneously creating an emotional story that centers around these three women. The story is fast-paced and rife with tension, making it almost impossible to put down. As a reader, I was incredibly engaged with this book. I wanted to learn more about what this resistance movement was doing, and there was this real cat-and-mouse chase between the resistance movement and the Nazi soldiers. 

This book is told from three different POVs, Hannah, Lily, and Micheline. All three women have led very different lives and have different views on surviving the Nazi occupation. Hannah wants to flee to America, Lily wants to keep her head down and bide her time until the war is over, and Micheline finds herself the leader of the Sapphire line. It was fascinating seeing how each woman viewed and reacted to the events occurring around them because of the Nazi occupation. All three are smart and strong and just felt so real. They had to make tough decisions and often acted in the moral grey area to survive. It is amazing to see the role women had in the resistance movement. 

If you are a fan of historical fiction books, then you will want to add Pam Jenoff’s Code Name Sapphire to your collection.   

Thank you, HarperCollins Canada for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.