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Sabine’s War

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What to expect

An astonishing tale of romance, resistance and bravery

‘A sad and beautiful book, shining a light on quiet heroism in dark times.’ Lucy Adlington, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmakers of Auschwitz

Sabine’s War is the previously untold story of a remarkable resistance fighter and her incredible story of survival against the odds.

When Germany invaded Holland in May 1940, Sabine Zuur joined the resistance movement without a moment’s hesitation aged just 22. Helping to hide those avoiding the German authorities, she was soon betrayed and subjected to repeated violent interrogations. Many of her friends were executed but Sabine was instead sent to the Mauthausen concentration camp, via the Amersfoort and Ravensbrück camps. Enduring gruelling conditions and backbreaking forced manual labour, she survived through a combination of guile and good fortune.

But it was only after Sabine’s death that her daughter Eva discovered an archive of letters detailing her extraordinary life, revealing a rich inner world and a past she had discussed little. Amongst them were declarations of love from pilot Taro, shot down in his Spitfire over northern France aged just 26; notes from Sabine’s second love Gerard, executed by the Germans; letters to her mother smuggled out in her prison laundry; and passionate, creepy missives from a German professional criminal named Gebele who would ultimately save Sabine’s life. She emerges from this correspondence as a woman with an indefinable aura, somehow in control of her own destiny even when to all intents and purposes she was not.

A transfixing story of survival, Sabine’s War captures a remarkable life in the words of the young woman who lived it.

Critics Review

  • ‘A sad and beautiful book, shining a light on quiet heroism in dark times.’ Lucy Adlington, New York Times bestselling author of The Dressmakers of Auschwitz

    ‘Truly captivating … A compelling read that will appeal to anyone who has an in interest in true WWII stories.’ Doug Gold, internationally bestselling author of The Note Through the Wire

    ‘’Sabine and I were Dutch prisoners at the same time in the hell of Ravensbruck Concentration Camp. She describes it so well in this book, and we have both lived with the physical and mental scars of these terrible times.’ Selma van de Perre, internationally bestselling author of My Name Is Selma

    ‘Acutely perceptive… Sabine’s War is an important contribution to the work of bearing witness.’ Gwen Strauss, award-winning author of The Nine: The True Story of a Band of Women Who Survived the Worst of Nazi Germany

    ‘I absolutely loved this amazing story of courage and survival. This book is heartbreaking and heart-warming at the same time and I found it difficult to put it down. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys beautifully written wartime memoirs.’ Lana Kortchik, bestselling author of Daughters of the Resistance

    ‘This riveting story is thoroughly researched and unsparingly frank about the cost of war.’ Kirkus

    ‘There is an authenticity and urgency to Sabine’s story that isn’t found in other accounts of the time… Readers of memoirs and wartime stories will find this especially engaging.’ Booklist

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