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Imogen Matthews Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Dutch Girls Books

The Girl from the Resistance (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl with the Red Hair (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Wartime Holland Books

The Girl Across the Wire Fence (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hidden Village (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hidden in the Shadows (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Boy in the Attic (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Imogen Matthews is an award-winning author who is best for her historical fiction novels usually set in Holland during the Second World War.

The author was born to an English father and a Dutch mother in the small village of Rijswijk, Holland. When she was still very young her father moved the family to England.

As such Imogen spent much of her childhood listening to her mother tell stories of life in Holland. She heard of the many challenges she had to deal with during the brutal winters of 1944 and 1945 when food was almost impossible to come by.

Her mother was a true raconteur and over the years she used to recount her nears scrapes with the Germans and the many adventures she had growing up. Up to this day, Imogen has never forgotten her mother’s stories which had to be some of the most exciting she ever heard.
The inspiration for her debut novel “The Hidden Village” began when she discovered the place where Jews had been sheltered during the Second World War. It was from the extraordinary events and her mother’s stories that she would go on to write her blockbuster novel that was published in 2017.

Writing has been part of Imogen Matthews’ life for as long as she can remember and she remembers writing when she was just eight. At this time, the family was living in Nigeria and she used to attend the local village school where Mrs. Mickey the Scottish headmistress was so taken with her.

Every morning Mrs. Mickey asked the class to pen a story on any subject they liked which she would then read and mark the following day. Imogen never had any trouble finding ideas and penning her stories.

Her mother has told her that the teacher always looked forward to what she had written as she was the only one who completed the assignment and possessed a vivid imagination. The praise from her teacher only made her desire to be better at her storytelling.
But despite the promising start she had, it would take more than forty years before she finally had the confidence to begin writing fiction. Imogen began with short stories and gradually picked up the courage to begin writing a long-form novel.
However, she never got another teacher to encourage her as Mrs. Mickey had, and she soon started to believe she was mediocre and as such gave up.

Thereafter, Imogen Matthews would pursue a professional career in market research and journalism, and unsurprisingly, this was the springboard into other types of writing. While working as a journalist she signed up at the continuing education department at Oxford University and took several creative writing courses.

Believing she was not good enough to write fiction, she started out taking a course on memoir writing. She surprised herself with how sharp her memory of things that happened decades in the past was. She would then move into poetry where she got her first award and then into screenwriting which she soon realized was not for her.

She also took a course on short stories and while it was not easy she persevered until she finally had something she was satisfied with. She was lucky to find a good tutor for her long-form fiction courses who advised her to keep writing every day until she had a complete manuscript.

She took the advice to heart penning two contemporary fiction novels before hitting the jackpot with Second World War fiction novels set in the Netherlands.

“The Hidden Village” by Imogen Matthews is set in Holland which has just been occupied by the Nazis. The Jewish population is living in fear but there is one village that risks its own children and itself to help them.

The Jews are hidden in sheds, cellars, and attics before they build a hut village in the back woods that they call Berkenhout where the Jews can be safe from the Nazis. Most of the Jews are initially afraid of living in the village but they all adapt.
The lead is Sofie who is sent away by her family when the Nazis come snooping. Other important people are two brothers Jan and Oscar who help the Berkenhout village by supplying them with food and company.

They are helped by Hank Hauer who brings other supplies given that he has a van. But the villagers turn suspicious of Hank when they hear that he has been working with the Germans and are no longer so sure that he can be trusted.

Things go bad when a young man named Jan dreams of locating a pilot that had been shot down. In the woods, he finds Donald McDoald but it only takes a singular mistake and the Jewish village could be under serious threat of exposure.

Imogen Matthews’ novel “Hidden in the Shadows,” tells the story of Laura, a Jewish girl, and Woulter a resistance fighter that live in a village built in a forest in a Nazi-infested Netherlands. They have to hide from German Nazi soldiers and can only survive with the support of the resistance.

Slowly Woulter and Laura are falling in love with each other and he promises that he will do anything in his power to keep her safe in case their village is found by the Nazis. They had taken all precautions to ensure the village is kept secret but it was ultimately found and stormed by German soldiers.

Laura had taken the kids and went to find refuge in a church in the village while Woulter was filled with panic and instead of finding his family, he ran into the forest. He would subsequently help the resistance hide and feed the Jewish but Laura seems to have disappeared into thin air.

He just cannot forgive himself for running away when the Nazis stormed the village. All he wants is to be told that she had got away and is still alive somewhere.

“The Boy in the Attic” by Imogen Matthews is set in 1994 in the Netherlands that is suffering under the oppression of the Nazis. With soldiers patrolling the streets Ilse is a nursing student that is hardly surviving the increasingly violent German occupation and the terrible famine.

She works an exhausting job at the hospital but she cannot help but notice that the attic above her bedroom usually has some strange noises late at night. One evening following the start of the curfew, she decides to investigate and stumbles upon a terrified young Jewish man named Levi.

He pleads with her not to give him up to the Nazis as they had already killed and taken away some of his family. Protecting Levi is going to be very dangerous given that the famine is getting worse and the violence of the Nazis has been ramping up.

She will have to make the most difficult choice between saving an innocent life and risking death. Looking into the man’s eyes there is only one choice. But as they start living together, they start falling in love only for some local German soldier to develop an obsession with Ilse which may just mean that their luck and time have run out.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Imogen Matthews

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