"The Girl from the Channel Islands: A WWII Novel" (Encore)
(Note: This show first aired earlier this year.) Our guest is the British author Jenny Lecoat. She's recently published her debut novel, which she tells us about. "The Girl from the Channel Islands" is a compelling saga that happens to employ, at least in part, her own family's history. As was noted by Publishers Weekly: "Lecoat...draws on the history of Germany's WWII occupation of Jersey, one of the Channel Islands, where [she] was raised. During the summer of 1940, Hedy Bercu is living on Jersey after having escaped Nazi-occupied Vienna. After the Germans invade, Hedy is forced to register with the new government as a Jew, and she's later hired against protocol to do translation work, due to a lack of qualified applicants. Only the person who hired her knows she is Jewish, and while in the Germans' employ, Hedy meets Lt. Kurt Neumann, who becomes infatuated with her and takes the fall for her over stolen petrol coupons. Hedy and Kurt begin a secret relationship after his release from jail, but Kurt breaks off their relationship when Hedy confesses she is Jewish, not out of his adherence to Nazi ideology, but because he is hurt by her earlier lack of trust in him.... Lecoat capably combines historical fact with the fictional narrative, and offers a cast rich with multidimensional characters. Readers will be riveted."