Girl in the Blue Coat

Girl in the Blue Coat - Monica Hesse

Hanneke thought she was rebel. Hanneke thought her actions against the Communist were disastrous to their realm but her actions were only a fraction of what was really happening behind the scenes. I loved it when she finally realized the magnitude of the operations that individuals were doing to diffuse the system that the Germans were trying to put into place. She was confused, overwhelmed and she knew that she would never be able to erase the events and information that she had received. She wanted to know yet she was afraid of knowing. They wanted Hanneke to be a part of their operations for she had talent that they can use yet Hanneke isn’t sure if she wanted to join this large of an organization. Working trades on the black market is a job that she liked just fine.


Hanneke is approached by one of her clients to find Mirjam, a girl who her client had hidden in her home. Dealing only in goods, Hanneke denies the request but later decides that finding this Jew, might be the one thing she can do in this mixed up world that she is living in. It’s not an easy request as Hanneke must learn about Mirjam’s life and then pieces together her actions. Where did Mirjam go?   There are so many options to consider under the circumstances and Hanneke must consider them all.   Did she move to another hiding spot, has someone taken her, did she run away completely or is she slated for deportation? It was a great journey that I took with Hanneke as she searched for Mirjam. Her search leading me into interesting avenues as I heard fantastic stories about individuals whose lives had been changed because of caring individuals and because people let power control their heart. Hanneke had her own demons that followed her on her journey. Bas, his life was taken from him too soon and Hanneke carried this guilt with her. I felt for Hanneke as the story of Bas unfolded. I understood the weight that she carried and her zeal for life.   Moving forward will be hard, but mourning forever will not be the answer. She mourns the life of her best friend Elsbeth. Still living, these two girls are no longer close and it’s as if she is no longer there. These two girls are divided because of the war and I could feel the loneliness and the sadness in Hanneke as she moved about her day. I wanted Hanneke to feel connected to someone, to feel the excitement that should come with the excitement of being alive and having another day of freedom. She should have someone to share that with and not be alone, I felt for her. I enjoyed the author’s writing; I felt it reflected that time in history, the oppression, the tone and the sullenness of the times.   Another great historical fiction novel. 4.5 stars