April, 1944. The quiet rural village of Stark, New Hampshire is irrevocably changed by the arrival of 150 German prisoners of war. And one family, unexpectedly divided, must choose between love and country.
Camp Stark is under the command of Major John Brennan, whose beautiful daughter, Collie, will serve as translator. Educated at Smith and devoted to her widowed father, Collie is immediately drawn to Private August Wahrlich, a peaceful poet jaded by war. As international conflict looms on the home front, their passion blinds them to the inevitable dangers ahead.
Inspired by the little-known existence of a real World War II POW camp, The Major’s Daughter is a fresh take on the timeless theme of forbidden love.
Forbidden love that never can really bloom, what can be more heartbreaking? This is the story of a POW camp in New Hampshire, where German soldiers are put to work in the woods. I had no idea that there were POW camps in the States. I did know about imprisoning their own citizens though, but dragging the Germans from France, nope, new to me.
Collie is as the title says the major's daughter and she is going to work at Camp Stark as a camp translator. And when the prisoners come one catches her eye. It's a story of stolen glances, a few words here and there, longer talks until they realize that this is is love. But Collie knows she should not do this, and someone else is also courting her. A safe and nice man.
The book is not only about them, her friend Estelle has her own romance that cannot be. I liked how the author made Estelle think longer into the book. I can't really say much, but it says a lot about how women were made to think. Not in a good way.
The war ravages Europe, and there are conflicts at Camp Stark too. Conflicts between the prisoners, as all are of course not nazis. Some are just men having to fight for their country. But there are also those that do not want them here, and there is one scene that broke me. People can be such idiots.
The book got sad too. Tear worthy sad. I was shocked. But it can't really be a dance on roses as this is about war after all.
An interesting look at a POW camp. Romance and just trying to do what is best for you, even if that is in the end the wrong choice
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 29th 2014 by Plume