What are the chances that a note thrust through the wire fence of a WWII prisoner of war camp would lead to love, marriage and a life on the other side of the word? Probably not high, but this is exactly what happened to Yugoslav resistance fighter Josefine Lobnik and New Zealand soldier Bruce Murray. Their random encounter, followed by a series of coincidences, is the stuff of fiction. However, the reality of the hardships and brutality of their war and post-war experiences makes their love story all the more remarkable.
Written simply and with inspired imagination, this is a gripping yarn and a reassuring indication that sometimes, just sometimes, love can conquer all. [Small font]
Good to have a Kiwi connection. An easy read about an interesting period of time. Josefine was an amazing character, so strong in her beliefs.
The first section of the book was a bit pedestrian, but the story became more engaging as it proceeded. The insight into the partisan activity was interesting as it is a less known aspect of war in Europe.
We thoroughly enjoyed this book. An insight into parts and places of WW2 that we were not so familiar with. Filled with moments of high drama, tragedy and triumph, heartbreak and loss.
Enjoyed this book and the N.Z. connection!
Great story! Nearly everyone loved it. Could hardly put the book down as needed to finish it. Thanks!
Generally liked by the group. Well-written and the 'Kiwi essence' came through. A love story balanced against the horrors of war.
Loved this book. Great story - didn't mind the Fiction bits.
We all liked this book - easy to read and an amazing story with a happy ending - unlike many other wartime stories.
Favourite book of our whole group. Loved the "Kiwiness" of Bruce. Hidden depths to this story that weren't revealed but presumed based on the atrocities described.
A story worth telling that chugged along.
This was clearly a story that needed to be told. We're just not sure it was told in the right way. Like reviewer Steve Walker, we found it difficult to know what was fact and what was fiction. "Faction" needs careful research, which Gold did do. He described the behaviour of the Nazis towards the P.O.W.s, which was atrocious and malicious - and the behaviour of the Red Army towards the women and girls they brutally raped, which was even worse - and this was well done. But he seemed uncomfortable with the emotional side of the story, and there was a curious lack of this throughout the book...
This was an amazing story, particularly given the fact that it was about a New Zealander written by one of his family. It portrayed yet another aspect of WW2 this time with a Yugoslavian background. We have read 2-3 books recently set in concentration camps and all highlighted the grim treatment that the Germans then Russians inflicted on their captives. Discussion then arose around the heart breaking, emotionally traumatic lives the resistance workers endured. A highly recommended book.
Group felt it was more like a diary than a story. Also some questions as to the accuracy of events. Would have liked more about their life when they got back to NZ.
An amazing story. Gave us plenty to reflect on.
Interesting, with good points for discussion. Not necessarily enjoyable.
We all liked the book and commented mainly on the horrors of war - how brave Josephine was and how head-strong Bruce was. It was also commented on that if the author knew nothing about 'Doreen', perhaps he should have painted her in a more neutral light. We wondered how we would react in an occupied country, and realised just how fortunate we are as New Zealanders to live in such a peaceful place.
A very readable story which gave interesting insight into a part of Europe that isn't often referred to in WWII. The huge risks taken by the local resistance groups are hard to comprehend. We would have liked to have another chapter about their life in NZ - we reflected on what NZ would have been like post war, and an inter-racial marriage, and the difficulties for the men re-integrating.
Very interesting; a hard read though. Well-written.
Well received. Very interesting.
Great in depth information, but perhaps could have been written better.