The following is an honest review of The Light We Left Behind by Tessa Harris and my suggested age rating. I was kindly sent a copy of this book by Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis of The Light We Left Behind
Maddie Gresham is a psychologist working under the esteemed Dr. Baskin during World War II. After interviewing for a new position she soon accepts, she learns her job is nothing she envisioned. Maddie will be staying and working at Trent Park: a grand house now used by the British army to house German POWs. Her role is to befriend a high-ranking German officer, gain his trust, and access valuable information he has which will greatly impact the war. On top of all the pressure and secrets that come with this position, she learns that Dr. Baskin died. And yet, Maddie just can’t shake the feeling that it wasn’t from natural causes. The harder she pushes for answers the more the door closes.
At the end of every day, Maddie longs for Max, a Jewish young man Maddie met in Germany before the war. She hasn’t spoken to him in years and worries about his safety. One day Max shows up at Trent Park with a mission of his own. Now Maddie must keep secrets of her own, for revealing her past with Max could compromise her cover.
This story is based on the real events that took place at Trent Park during World War II.
Review of The Light We Left Behind
After reading The Red Cross Orphans (which I enjoyed) I realized historical fiction may be a genre I should explore more so I was excited to dive into this one. The fact that this story is based on true events only made starting this book that much more of an investment for me. I found much of this story to be interesting, especially Maddie’s work as a psychologist and profiler for German POWs. While I don’t have anything specific I didn’t enjoy about this book other, the pacing just seemed pretty slow until the last 1/4. I realize the author needed to set up the storyline and details of the plot. I just wish it would have had a bit more action sprinkled throughout instead of saved up for the end.
Overall I enjoyed this story and gave it 3/5 stars.
Suggested Age Rating
This book does take place during wartime so there is violence, death, suicide, mention of POWs, Nazi refugee camps, racism, etc.
I would give this book an age rating of 14+.
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