Title: The Escape Game
Author: Marilyn Turk
Series: Heroines of WWII
Major Themes: Prisoners of War, Escapes, Board Games, England, Germany, World War II
Synopsis: How can Beryl convey information about escape plans hidden in a board game to her brother who is a prisoner of war, without leaking the plans to the Nazis?
I was intrigued the moment I read the description of The Escape Game. I have read a lot of World War II stories, but had never heard of this way of escaping from prisoner-of-war camps, and I knew I wanted to read the book. So, did it live up to my expectations, or not?
Leeds, England, May 1941: By day, Beryl works in a factory that makes board and card games. By night, she is an air raid warden. She also cares for her mother, who has not been the same since her husband was killed in bombing a few months ago. Beryl’s brother ends up being captured by the Germans when his plane is shot down, and when Beryl learns of a possible way to help him escape, she must come up with clever ways to tell him about it.
Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany, August 1941: James, Beryl’s brother, and Kenneth have both been captured by the Germans when their planes came down, and they are in the special prisoner of war camp for airmen. Both want to escape, especially Kenneth. When one attempt after another ends with Kenneth in isolation, is it time to give up? Then, James’s sister Baryl started sending mysterious messages woven into her letters. Can they figure out what she means? Meanwhile, Beryl and Kenneth find themselves more attracted to each other. Will they ever be able to spend time together?
At first, I was rather disappointed with The Escape Game. The writing style was more passive than active, and just didn’t draw me in very much. I kept reading, however, and before too long I was finding myself quite engrossed in the story. The concept of using board games to smuggle escape tools into the camps was fascinating—I was really intrigued with the author’s note at the end. I have sons who particularly like the board game that was used, and they were quite fascinated too, when I told them about the story. If you enjoy books about World War II, and about escapes, you will enjoy this book.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
WARNING: A few words like d*rn, for Pete’s sake, and gee.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults
Links to buy this book:
Amazon: Paperback | Kindle | Library Binding | Audible Audiobook (unabridged) | Audio CD (unabridged)
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Book Depository: Paperback | Hardcover | Audio CD (unabridged)
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