Monday, October 25, 2021

Hide and Seek by Robin Scott-Elliot

 2021

Amélie’s parents and older brother are taken by the Gestapo form their Paris apartment as she hides in the wardrobe with her mother’s fur coat.  She survives for a while by eating all the food that is left in the apartment.  She spends her days in the museum.  She has removed her Star of David from her coat but Cécile who works there realises this. Cécile takes Amélie in.  Cécile works for the Resistance and soon Amélie is doing the same.  However, there is a traitor in the network.  Amélie and Cécile wrongly accuse Alain. It is in fact Raymond, whom Amélie pushes form a train when she realises this.  Amélie lies about her age and is eventually recruited for the SOE (Special Operations Executive) after she has accompanied a British airman back to England. There she goes first to a boarding school and then to a government establishment where she is trained for SOE.  That she is a native speaker of French is very useful. This enables her to return to Paris where she also becomes involved in rescuing Jewish children.  Some are hidden amongst families in Paris and the others are smuggled into Switzerland. One little boy, Lou, doesn’t make it through the fence and returns to Paris with Amélie where they both wait for the end of the war and for their older brothers to return. The final scene is of Amélie meeting her brother Paulie at the station. We do not learn whether her parents or Lou’s brother return.    

This is a fiction but some real characters are mentioned in the text.  An afterword by Robin  Scott-Elliot explains this.         

The book is 325 pages long in blocked text which uses an adult font.

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