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Lorna can’t believe that her father has hired a German POW to help on the farm. Germany is Scotland’s enemy. Her older brothers are out there now, fighting against them. It is dangerous and unpatriotic to have one in their home. But when Lorna sees the German boy’s face, burned and scarred from an Allied grenade, her anger melts into pity. As her friendship with Paul grows, Lorna gains a new understanding of war and of the soldiers who fight for her enemy. Soon their friendship becomes something deeper, and Lorna must overcome the prejudices of her town to keep her love alive.
Based on the true story of German POWs working on Scottish farms (and often marrying farmers’ daughters), this novel immerses readers in WWII Scotland with both charm and suspense. Despite the rural setting, Lorna and Paul are not isolated from the war that rages around them, and their relationship propels Lorna (and readers) toward a more nuanced understanding of WWII and war in general. The subplot of Lorna’s friendship with Iris and her snobby, stock-character of a boyfriend was heavy-handed at times. But overall, this new historical fiction is a thoroughly engaging and thought-provoking read.