The Hidden Village (book 1)

A Story of Survival in WW2 Holland

Young Adult - Adventure
372 Pages
Reviewed on 06/21/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Imogen Matthews is an award-winning and Amazon bestselling novelist with her historical novel, The Hidden Village. She lives in the beautiful university town of Oxford and loves to find quiet spots all over the city that inspire her to write.

Imogen is half Dutch on her mother's side and her wartime stories provided the background to Imogen's research into her book set in occupied Holland in WW2. Imogen is currently working on her follow-on novel, called Escape from Berkenhout, due for publication in early 2019.

When Imogen isn’t writing novels, she works as a journalist and commentator on trends in the beauty industry. This has also provided much inspiration for her novels Run Away and The Perfume Muse, published on Amazon under her pen name, Alex Johnson.

Imogen is active on social media and found it a great way to connect with others in the writing community. Twitter is where she met her publisher, Amsterdam Publishers who have been so influential in The Hidden Village’s success!

Time away from writing includes being with the family (husband and two grown-up sons, when they’re in town…), travel, lots of reading, running with the local running club and yoga practice in a converted barn.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Hidden Village: A Story of Survival in WW2 Holland is a historical young adult adventure by author Imogen Matthews. Focused specifically on how the events of the Holocaust affected Holland during the 1940s, the hidden village of the title refers to the true-life story of a group of Jewish people hiding from the Germans and Hitler’s agenda. The village of Berkenhout, hidden in the woods of Veluwe, is the new home of Sofie, a Jewish Dutch girl torn from her friends and her normal life. Secrets abound in Berkenhout, and security there may not be as secure as everyone hopes. As Jews and gentiles, Dutch and other nationalities come together to protect one another, a disaster lurks and threatens to engulf them all.

I am a huge advocate of historical fiction for young adults, particularly when it’s as well-researched as The Hidden Village. Imogen Matthews has taken a truly fascinating concept straight out of occupied territory and crafted a beautiful story that removes us from the overdone fiction of the battlefield to the real places where ordinary people became heroes that weren’t venerated. A blending of religions occurs as people protect one another, regardless of their beliefs. Sofie and Jan are strong central characters who are still young and naïve despite their horrendous circumstances. The plot itself is slow and steady, but filled with tension and fascinating details of the everyday lives of people trapped in an unbelievably pressured situation. The Hidden Village is recommended for readers of all ages, and especially to those looking for a heartfelt emotional journey.