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The Light We Left Behind: A totally gripping and heart-breaking ww2 historical fiction novel, based on a true story

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England: 1944 When psychologist Maddie Gresham is sent a mysterious message telling her to report to Trent Park mansion, she wonders how she will be helping the war effort from a stately home.   She soon finds captured Nazi generals are being detained at the house. Bugged with listening devices in every room, it’s up to Maddie to gain the Nazis’ trust and coax them into givin England: 1944 When psychologist Maddie Gresham is sent a mysterious message telling her to report to Trent Park mansion, she wonders how she will be helping the war effort from a stately home.   She soon finds captured Nazi generals are being detained at the house. Bugged with listening devices in every room, it’s up to Maddie to gain the Nazis’ trust and coax them into giving up information.   When Max Weitzler, a Jewish refugee, also arrives at Trent Park with the same mission, Maddie finds herself trapped in a dangerous game of chess. The two met in Germany before the war, and Maddie’s heart was his from the moment they locked eyes. But Maddie has finally gained the trust of the Nazi officers at the house, and her love for Max must remain a secret.   When the walls have ears, who can you trust? Based on the true events that took place at Trent Park during WWII, this is an emotionally gripping, and heart-breaking novel about love, sacrifice, and betrayal, perfect for fans of The Rose Code and The Lost Girls of Paris.


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England: 1944 When psychologist Maddie Gresham is sent a mysterious message telling her to report to Trent Park mansion, she wonders how she will be helping the war effort from a stately home.   She soon finds captured Nazi generals are being detained at the house. Bugged with listening devices in every room, it’s up to Maddie to gain the Nazis’ trust and coax them into givin England: 1944 When psychologist Maddie Gresham is sent a mysterious message telling her to report to Trent Park mansion, she wonders how she will be helping the war effort from a stately home.   She soon finds captured Nazi generals are being detained at the house. Bugged with listening devices in every room, it’s up to Maddie to gain the Nazis’ trust and coax them into giving up information.   When Max Weitzler, a Jewish refugee, also arrives at Trent Park with the same mission, Maddie finds herself trapped in a dangerous game of chess. The two met in Germany before the war, and Maddie’s heart was his from the moment they locked eyes. But Maddie has finally gained the trust of the Nazi officers at the house, and her love for Max must remain a secret.   When the walls have ears, who can you trust? Based on the true events that took place at Trent Park during WWII, this is an emotionally gripping, and heart-breaking novel about love, sacrifice, and betrayal, perfect for fans of The Rose Code and The Lost Girls of Paris.

30 review for The Light We Left Behind: A totally gripping and heart-breaking ww2 historical fiction novel, based on a true story

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    Maddie Gresham receives a message asking her to report to Trent Park in Middlesex, a grand country house that was once owned by Sir Philip Sassoon and it’s now being used by the British army. Maddie’s a psychologist, she works with Dr Tobias Baskin, she spends her time, trying to read her mentors terrible handwriting and typing up his notes. In 1944, England’s desperate to end the war, and very concerned by reports the German’s are working on a secret weapon and British intelligence is busy tryi Maddie Gresham receives a message asking her to report to Trent Park in Middlesex, a grand country house that was once owned by Sir Philip Sassoon and it’s now being used by the British army. Maddie’s a psychologist, she works with Dr Tobias Baskin, she spends her time, trying to read her mentors terrible handwriting and typing up his notes. In 1944, England’s desperate to end the war, and very concerned by reports the German’s are working on a secret weapon and British intelligence is busy trying to stop them. Maddie’s interviewed by Colonel McKie, her new job is all very hush hush and she has to sign the official secrets act. Captured high ranking German officers are staying at Trent Park, and in a building bugged with listening devices, Maddie’s to give a profile on each officer, look for any weaknesses, if needed meet them and she finds this daunting. Maddie stayed in Germany as an exchange student in 1936, she was forced to leave the country and her past experience with the Nazi’s was terrifying. Her German penfriend Greta’s mother Mrs Weitzler is Jewish, and she worried about their safety and hasn’t heard from them in years. At Trent Park they have what they call “stool pigeons” cleared German speaking prisoners, who serve as batman for the German officers and they gather and interpret information for the British. Maddie’s shocked to discover Max Weitzler, Greta’s older brother is serving as one, she fell in love with him eight years ago while staying at his parent’s house and it needs to remain a secret. As Hitler’s doodlebugs start landing in London, the pressure's on the people working at Trent Park escalates and Maddie’s worried they have a traitor in the ranks. Maddie’s highly suspicious, she’s being followed, and she doesn’t believe Dr Baskin died of natural causes, some things simply don't add up and she has no idea who she can trust? I received a copy of The Light We Left Behind from NetGalley and HQ Digital in exchange for an honest review, I find it fascinating how everyday people signed the secret services act, suddenly they were involved in espionage, they went extraordinary lengths to help England win the war, defeat Germany and Maddie’s character is one of these brave and selfless individuals. I really enjoyed Tessa Harris's previous book Beneath a Starless Sky and her latest wartime mystery is absolutely brilliant, and five stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/KarrenReadsH...

  2. 4 out of 5

    Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

    *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr The Light We Left Behind by Tessa Harris Author. (2022). **Thank you to HarperCollins Books Australia for sending me a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review; published 6 July 2022** England, 1944. When Maddie is sent a mysterious message telling her to report to Trent Park mansion, she is surprised to find captured Nazi generals detained there. Bugged with listening devices, it's Maddie's responsibility to gain the N *www.onewomansbbr.wordpress.com *www.facebook.com/onewomansbbr The Light We Left Behind by Tessa Harris Author. (2022). **Thank you to HarperCollins Books Australia for sending me a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review; published 6 July 2022** England, 1944. When Maddie is sent a mysterious message telling her to report to Trent Park mansion, she is surprised to find captured Nazi generals detained there. Bugged with listening devices, it's Maddie's responsibility to gain the Nazis' trust and coax them into giving up information. When Max, a Jewish refugee, arrives at the mansion, Maddie becomes trapped in a dangerous game of chess. The two met in Germany before the war, and fell in love. But Maddie has finally gained the trust of the Nazi officers, and her love for Max must remain a secret. This novel is based on the true story of Trent Park's secret mission in WWII. The author has done a great job of using fiction to share the kinds of events that would have occurred. I found the whole concept of secretly listening to and manipulating the Nazis into giving up information quite interesting, particularly when the brave people doing so would not have been allowed to share their work with anyone else at all. The book is set between Maddie and Max's perspectives, with Maddie's chapters explaining current events while Max's explored his experiences as a Jewish man throughout the war. With a bit of psychology, spy work, drama, romance and secrets, this story has something for everyone. Overall: happily recommend this one for any readers who are fans of WWII fiction.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    THE LIGHT WE LEFT BEHIND by Tessa Harris, HQ, HQ Digital. Psychologist Maddie Gresham is tasked in 1944 with getting captured Nazi generals to reveal info essential to the Allies. The same mission assigned to Jewish refugee Max Weitzler, whom Maddie loves. A winner for fans of histfic, romance, and wartime suspense. Out now. Thanks to the author; HQ, HQ Digital; and NetGalley for the ARC; opinions are mine. #TheLightWeLeftBehind #NetGalley

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shirin T.

    The Light We Left Behind by Tessa Harris, set in 1944 England, and the flashbacks to 1940 Germany. Trent Park was a place for extracting information from captured German generals and staff officers used by British intelligence. Maddie Gresham, as Dr. Baskin's educated in psychology, was invited to join Trent Park and help with the investigation. She finds his teacher's death suspicious, unusual suicide in the building, something or someone is not right here but she did not have allowed asking ques The Light We Left Behind by Tessa Harris, set in 1944 England, and the flashbacks to 1940 Germany. Trent Park was a place for extracting information from captured German generals and staff officers used by British intelligence. Maddie Gresham, as Dr. Baskin's educated in psychology, was invited to join Trent Park and help with the investigation. She finds his teacher's death suspicious, unusual suicide in the building, something or someone is not right here but she did not have allowed asking questions. Six years ago Maddie was forced to depart from her first love, Max. Max had to run from Germany, with his family for saving their life. And now he faced Maddie after a few years under very unusual circumstances. Could she was changed so much?! This is not only a war, and loss story but also is some mystery and spy. Enjoyable and Good read. Thanks to HarperCollins UK Audio via NetGalley for the ARC, I have given my honest review.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    After hearing lots about Harris' books, I was looking forward to this one, but I didn't really feel like it added a great deal to an already heavily saturated WW2 novel market. It was an interesting premise, executed fairly well but I didn't feel connected with the characters or believe that the story was all that memorable. After hearing lots about Harris' books, I was looking forward to this one, but I didn't really feel like it added a great deal to an already heavily saturated WW2 novel market. It was an interesting premise, executed fairly well but I didn't feel connected with the characters or believe that the story was all that memorable.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shirley McAllister

    Dangerous Assignment Full of suspense and Romance this book is a murder mystery set in England during WWII. Maddie, a young psychologist is set in the middle of it. Up on receiving a message to report to the Trent Park mansion for war work she embarks on a dangerous assignment in gathering intelligence information from German general who is being held as a prisoner of war and has information vital to the war effort. When people start to die it becomes dangerous and she fears not only for her life Dangerous Assignment Full of suspense and Romance this book is a murder mystery set in England during WWII. Maddie, a young psychologist is set in the middle of it. Up on receiving a message to report to the Trent Park mansion for war work she embarks on a dangerous assignment in gathering intelligence information from German general who is being held as a prisoner of war and has information vital to the war effort. When people start to die it becomes dangerous and she fears not only for her life but also for the life of her long time love Max who is also working at Trent Park. Maddie will do her best to help England win the war, but somehow she must save those she loves. Who is following her and what about the mysterious activities at her boarding house. Maddie must find a way to figure out what is going on before someone else is murdered. The story moved at a moderate pace, not fast or slow. It was a bit of a love triangle story between Max and Maddie and Eddie the third member at Trent Park, an old friend of Maddie's. I liked Maddie's character, and I thought Eddie was a jerk as well as her boss. She was a bit looked down on and treated as an air headed woman than a trained psychologist. Max was a good character, but not as prominent in the book as he should have been. The twist at the very end of the book was a surprise to me, I didn't see it coming. I did enjoy reading the book and if you like murder mysteries with romance and a bit of suspense you will like it. Thanks to Tessa Harris for writing the book, H.Q. Digital for publishing it and NetGalley for making it available to me to read.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Donna McEachran

    Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this book for an honest review. Different take on the classic WW2 novels that seem to be everywhere lately. Trent Park is a little known part of the war effort, full of secrets and tricks to get the enemy to talk.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    England 1944. Maggie Gresham is a budding psychologist recruited to help with a secret project at the Trent Park estate in London. Can she provide insight into the captured German military officers housed there to help the war effort? As a teenager she met Max Weitzler in Germany and grew to care deeply for him. She is worried that he will never escape Nazi Germany due to his Jewish heritage. When she meets him again at Trent Park they work together with others at the facility to solve the myster England 1944. Maggie Gresham is a budding psychologist recruited to help with a secret project at the Trent Park estate in London. Can she provide insight into the captured German military officers housed there to help the war effort? As a teenager she met Max Weitzler in Germany and grew to care deeply for him. She is worried that he will never escape Nazi Germany due to his Jewish heritage. When she meets him again at Trent Park they work together with others at the facility to solve the mystery of several deaths that recently occurred there. Full of twists and turns, the story was enjoyable with only a few unrealistic points near the end. Anyone who enjoys WWII historical fiction would like the spy games and relationships in this story. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lana Kortchik

    The Light We Left Behind is a beautiful story of suspense, love and war that pulled me in from the very first page. Harrowing and hopeful at the same time, it brings to life the horrors of war in a fascinating and realistic way. I'm a huge fan of spy stories, especially with a historical setting, and this book is beautifully written and immaculately researched, with characters that jump off the page. I couldn't put it down! Highly recommend to everyone who enjoys historical fiction. The Light We Left Behind is a beautiful story of suspense, love and war that pulled me in from the very first page. Harrowing and hopeful at the same time, it brings to life the horrors of war in a fascinating and realistic way. I'm a huge fan of spy stories, especially with a historical setting, and this book is beautifully written and immaculately researched, with characters that jump off the page. I couldn't put it down! Highly recommend to everyone who enjoys historical fiction.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Thelma

    The light we left behind is my second book by Tessa Harris, I really enjoy the way she writes and brings the stories and the characters to life. This is the story of Maddie and Max, the war has come to hunt them, the jews, their families were separated and leaving them without nothing just the hope of finding one and another again in another part of the world or in another lifetime. The light we left behind wasn't easy to ready as many situations were happening all around the Jews, the way the Ge The light we left behind is my second book by Tessa Harris, I really enjoy the way she writes and brings the stories and the characters to life. This is the story of Maddie and Max, the war has come to hunt them, the jews, their families were separated and leaving them without nothing just the hope of finding one and another again in another part of the world or in another lifetime. The light we left behind wasn't easy to ready as many situations were happening all around the Jews, the way the Germans spoke about them and treat them like they were things to dispose of. it felt terrible to read how despicable they were. Max's father was the worst character of the whole book, I really couldn't understand how can someone be like that with his own family and son. Maddie was witness to Max's father's terrible attitude. Maddie finds herself in Trent Park, a place that was designated to secure the most terrible nazis and people who were linked to the rich and the war. she was recruited to help and find out what the Nazis were planning especially a weapon that supposedly was something out of this world. Maddie finds herself doing stuff that she was not so happy to do but she knew this was very important so they could finally understand the Germans. Max has been living terrible things all around Europe, he saw his mother die and now he lost his sister and niece, he doesn't know if they are still alive but he is fighting to survive, now he is working at Trent Park helping the cause of finding out more about the weapons and plans of the Nazis. it is only about time when Maddie and Max will get to meet again. One of the things that I really love about Maddie's character was the beauty, the sophisticated and feminine manners she had, she was always kind no matter if she had to deal with the most terrible Nazis, she always showed education and kindness even if that meant saying something nasty to someones who didn't have any heart at all. The Light We Left Behind has mystery, secrecy and a lot of questions to be solved. it is an intriguing book with a rollercoaster of situations that will finally bring love and justice to life. This was a good book, I really enjoy it, although I felt like something was missing especially in the deepness of the characters and the book but still was a good read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Amy Hagberg

    Beginning in 1940, the Trent Park estate outside London housed captured German Luftwaffe pilots to extract military information. The rooms of the house were equipped with hidden microphones to MI19 operatives could listen in on their conversations. In 1942, it became a prisoner-of-war camp (the Cockfosters Cage) for German generals and staff officers. They were pampered with delectable meals, fine wine and whisky, and luxury accommodations in hopes they would lower their guard and converse openl Beginning in 1940, the Trent Park estate outside London housed captured German Luftwaffe pilots to extract military information. The rooms of the house were equipped with hidden microphones to MI19 operatives could listen in on their conversations. In 1942, it became a prisoner-of-war camp (the Cockfosters Cage) for German generals and staff officers. They were pampered with delectable meals, fine wine and whisky, and luxury accommodations in hopes they would lower their guard and converse openly about military intelligence. The British Germany’s military capabilities, weaponry, war crimes, and the resistance movement. Among the 109 German top brass held at Trent Park were generals Otto Elfeldt, Ferdinand Heim, Gerhard Bassenge, Friedrich Freiherr von Broich, Heinrich Eberbach, Georg Neuffer, Dietrich von Choltitz, Hermann-Bernhard Ramcke, Hans Cramer, and Ritter von Thoma, Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, and Admiral Walter Hennecke (the man in charge of all sea defenses for Normandy, France). Such is the backdrop for Tessa Harris’s new historical novel, The Light We Left Behind. In 1944, psychologist Maddie Gresham is sent a mysterious message ordering her to report to Trent Park. It will be her job to gain the Nazis’ trust and coax them into giving up information. When Max Weitzler, a Jewish refugee, also arrives, Maddie is stunned. The two had met and fallen in love in Germany before the war. She’d held onto hope that he had escaped the Nazi threat. But their love must remain a secret. When there’s a shocking death at the mansion, Maddie realizes that not everyone at Trent Park is on the same side. The Light We Left Behind is a fascinating twist on women’s wartime efforts in England. I’d never heard of MI19, a section of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence during WWII, and their role at Trent Park makes for a gripping emotional novel about love, sacrifice, and betrayal. It was well-paced and features an intelligent, courageous heroine. 4 stars. Published date: December 2021 Genre: Spy thriller, historical fiction Read-alikes: The Rose Code by Kate Quinn, The Lost Girls of Paris, by Pam Jenoff * Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a review copy of this book. The opinions are my own.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alina

    Sudden death of Maddie's mentor gives her an opportunity to help her country to fight an enemy. While the brave men protected their lives on the front lines, Maddie and her team worked on extracting the war secrets from their jailed enemies. Using the psychology and Dr. Baskin's notes, she is trying to break into the mind of the Nazi captured general. I did enjoy the psychology part of the novel, the way the British intelligence agency was able to read the minds of Germany's most notorious gener Sudden death of Maddie's mentor gives her an opportunity to help her country to fight an enemy. While the brave men protected their lives on the front lines, Maddie and her team worked on extracting the war secrets from their jailed enemies. Using the psychology and Dr. Baskin's notes, she is trying to break into the mind of the Nazi captured general. I did enjoy the psychology part of the novel, the way the British intelligence agency was able to read the minds of Germany's most notorious generals. I was impressed by the treatment the high-rank Nazi generals received while being detained on English soil. Nevertheless, let's get back to the story. Great plot, loved the spy act of the novel. A cute love triangle that played an essential role in the book. I would not call this novel intriguing. It's a great, light, feel-good read, perfect for lovers of WWII history. Honestly, after reading multiple gruesome WWII books, the mind and soul demand something pleasing and hopeful, and this book was a perfect choice. Thank you Harper Collins for a free copy of the novel.

  13. 5 out of 5

    theliterateleprechaun

    “When the walls have ears, who can you trust?” Maddie Gresham is a psychologist who has been sent to the Trent Park mansion. Upon signing the Official Secrets Act and learning that it’s where the Nazi generals have been detained with listening devices hidden in every room, Maddie is given the assignment to gain the Nazi’s trust and coax them into giving up information. Maddie settles into her new assumed role easily until a ‘stool pigeon’, Max Weizler, arrives at Trent Park. His presence changes “When the walls have ears, who can you trust?” Maddie Gresham is a psychologist who has been sent to the Trent Park mansion. Upon signing the Official Secrets Act and learning that it’s where the Nazi generals have been detained with listening devices hidden in every room, Maddie is given the assignment to gain the Nazi’s trust and coax them into giving up information. Maddie settles into her new assumed role easily until a ‘stool pigeon’, Max Weizler, arrives at Trent Park. His presence changes everything for Maddie … you see, she knew him from her former life. Harris’s narrative, based on true events that took place at Trent Park during World War Two, clearly portrays the pressure felt by those selected to serve here. Featuring love, sacrifice and betrayal, this historical fiction will highlight the bugging operation used during WW2 and throw you a twist you didn’t see coming! Harris’s love of history shows in her ability to make it understandable for all. I love an intriguing title and this one is perfect. Congratulations to the design team for the fantastic cover art! Publishes December 3, 2021. I was gifted this advance copy by Tessa Harris, HQ Digital, and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Leith Devine

    This fascinating historical fiction book is set during WWII. Maddie, a psychologist, speaks fluent German and she is sent to a country house called Trent Park where high ranking, captured Nazis are being held. Their rooms are bugged in the in the hopes that they’ll give up useful information that they wouldn’t tell an interrogator. Maggie is supposed to work on psychological evaluations, but when the General who is responsible for the V-2 rockets arrives, she has another job. One of her old frie This fascinating historical fiction book is set during WWII. Maddie, a psychologist, speaks fluent German and she is sent to a country house called Trent Park where high ranking, captured Nazis are being held. Their rooms are bugged in the in the hopes that they’ll give up useful information that they wouldn’t tell an interrogator. Maggie is supposed to work on psychological evaluations, but when the General who is responsible for the V-2 rockets arrives, she has another job. One of her old friends is playing the part of Lord Frobisher, and they decide he needs a Lady wife. Hopefully the Generals will be forthcoming with her. The love of Maggie’s life, a part Jewish German, has had his own issues trying to survive the war. He ends up at Trent Park as a translator, where he and Maggie find each other again. It’s vital for the British to find out where the V-2s are being launched so it can be destroyed. Can Maggie save the day? I really enjoyed this book, the writing was good and the plot well done. 4 stars.

  15. 4 out of 5

    em

    What a brilliant book to start off the year! From the get go I was hooked, Harris wasted no time in getting right to the action and the heart of the story. Maddie is a perfect heroine to lead this book, her courage and dedication kept me on the edge of my seat. I adored the way her and Max's stories were weaved together, across time jumps and flashbacks. The secrecy and spy elements of this book were also well written, keeping me interested and keen to know more. Overall, a superb historical fic What a brilliant book to start off the year! From the get go I was hooked, Harris wasted no time in getting right to the action and the heart of the story. Maddie is a perfect heroine to lead this book, her courage and dedication kept me on the edge of my seat. I adored the way her and Max's stories were weaved together, across time jumps and flashbacks. The secrecy and spy elements of this book were also well written, keeping me interested and keen to know more. Overall, a superb historical fiction, one I am glad to have read. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for kindly providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review. #SendForMe #TheLightWeLeftBehind. All opinions are my own.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Craig / Phil

    Thank you Harlequin for sending us a copy to read and review. The extent intelligence agencies went too to extract vital information during the war is mind blowing. Germany and the Nazis were a powerhouse intellectually, with superior coordination and an agenda that exemplified pure hatred and arrogance. Maddie Gresham is summoned to Trent Park Mansion, her expertise needed to lure information from high ranking German soldiers captured and housed there. Her affiliation with Germany, it’s Jewish civ Thank you Harlequin for sending us a copy to read and review. The extent intelligence agencies went too to extract vital information during the war is mind blowing. Germany and the Nazis were a powerhouse intellectually, with superior coordination and an agenda that exemplified pure hatred and arrogance. Maddie Gresham is summoned to Trent Park Mansion, her expertise needed to lure information from high ranking German soldiers captured and housed there. Her affiliation with Germany, it’s Jewish civilians and it’s brutal anti semitic policy started before the war. Experiences and relationships that shaped her determination to help crack the German captives. An intense saga plays out with significant espionage skill at play. Information was key to survival and winning. Reacquainting with Max, her German Jewish love interest sparks new hope and desires. I found this facet of war time history very interesting as it was based on true events. The two timelines culminated nicely in 1944 but I will admit I was so drawn into the earlier one. The social, political and religious division that separated families was rife and I can imagine what happened to the Weitzler family may have been commonplace. The mind boggles as to how many more untold stories we are yet to read about.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Anne Brown

    If you liked The Rose Code you’ll enjoy this book. It was a good read with a few twists and turns.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chrystyna Lucyk-Berger

    Loved this. Accurately depicted. Beautifully written. Great, tight plot, strong characters and fabulous story. I'm a fan! Loved this. Accurately depicted. Beautifully written. Great, tight plot, strong characters and fabulous story. I'm a fan!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    I’m fascinated by any story about Britain’s secret wartime history – this year I’ve enjoyed reading about Bletchley Park (with thanks to Kathleen McGurl’s The Girl from Bletchley Park), and discovered another lesser-known location through Jules Wake’s The Secrets of Latimer House. This book introduced me to Trent Park – another secret location I hadn’t heard of before – where senior German officers were imprisoned, but in some degree of luxury, while listeners in the basement recorded and transc I’m fascinated by any story about Britain’s secret wartime history – this year I’ve enjoyed reading about Bletchley Park (with thanks to Kathleen McGurl’s The Girl from Bletchley Park), and discovered another lesser-known location through Jules Wake’s The Secrets of Latimer House. This book introduced me to Trent Park – another secret location I hadn’t heard of before – where senior German officers were imprisoned, but in some degree of luxury, while listeners in the basement recorded and transcribed their conversations in the hope of uncovering information critical to the war effort. Maddie Gresham – a psychologist living a quiet life in Oxford – is summoned to continue the work begun by her mentor, Dr Tobias Miskin, who has recently been found dead in what might or might not be suspicious circumstances. She’s the only one who can decipher his appalling handwriting, and she finds herself profiling the prisoners and steering the very gentle interrogation methods of others (encouragement, rather than correction) before taking a rather more unusual hands-on role. Brigadier Josef Wilhelm Hammler, also known as The Crocodile, arrives with a fearsome reputation and considerable knowledge of the new Vengeance weapon – treating him with kindness is never going to see him revealing any secrets and a rather different approach is called for, with Maddie playing a leading role. Trent Park has also discovered the usefulness of stool pigeons, with German Jews assigned as batmen to the senior officers – and when Max Weitzler arrives in the wake of his own losses after the evacuation of Paris, he’s assigned to that role with Hammler. But Max and Maddie have a secret past, and a love that never died – she was an exchange student in Germany in 1936, staying with the Weitzlers and engaged in small acts of sabotage and vandalism in Max’s company, deported when caught red-handed one night. The book dips into Max’s own story – he’s the son of a Jewish mother, his father a rising star in the Nazi ranks, and they’re both cruelly cast out from their home, finding their way to Paris, then fleeing as the threat of invasion approaches. It might have proved difficult melding the romantic thread with the wartime secret history and the developing mystery around the death of Maskin (and a body count that continues to increase), but I have to say that the author does it quite superbly. This is story-telling of the highest order, well-paced and compelling – the historical context is wonderfully drawn, and Maddie one of those strong and likeable women I always love to see at a story’s heart. There might just be a few small things about the story’s progress – particularly its resolution – that do push it a little in terms of credibility, but this is fact-based fiction and that’s entirely forgivable. The whole book is perfectly balanced – this was a story that swept me away, the moments of danger and the mounting suspense had me on the edge of my seat, and the romance at the story’s centre was one I totally believed in. Highly recommended – I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Hazel

    My thanks to NetGalley and publisher HQ for the electronic copy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I think it would make a great film! I loved the main characters and the dialogue, so typical of the war-time years. This is a WW2 story - a blend of fact and fiction, centred on the top secret activities of The Cockfosters Camp - previously Trent Park mansion, during 1944. First of all though, we go back to 1936 where Maddie Gresham (17) is living with the Weitzler family in Germany and where she fall My thanks to NetGalley and publisher HQ for the electronic copy. I thoroughly enjoyed this book - I think it would make a great film! I loved the main characters and the dialogue, so typical of the war-time years. This is a WW2 story - a blend of fact and fiction, centred on the top secret activities of The Cockfosters Camp - previously Trent Park mansion, during 1944. First of all though, we go back to 1936 where Maddie Gresham (17) is living with the Weitzler family in Germany and where she falls in love with the eldest son Max. Max's mother is a Jew and his younger brother and father are staunch Socialist supporters. Not one to stand by in the face of injustice, Maddie joins Max on night time raids to destroy anti-Jewish publications displayed in the town. This results in her being deported and, back in England, she studies Experimental Psychology at Oxford. We find Maddie again in 1944 when she is called upon to work at Trent Park. The once beautiful house and grounds have been taken over by a top secret war department - MI19; it's now a fortress housing the highest echelon of German prisoners of war who are under surveillance through a myriad of listening devices - the premise of the luxury surroundings being that the prisoners were more likely to relax and speak about their secrets. "M Room" in the bowels of the mansion is where German-speakers (among them many Jewish escapees from the country) listen to the prisoners' conversations. Maddie's job is to use psychological profiling to find ways of getting the prisoners to talk. That is until she becomes aware of Brigadier Hammler. He's a priceless capture - he holds the secrets of Germany's latest weapon - the Flying Bomb. Her attempts to find his "weak spot" lead her into a dangerous undercover operation. Alternately we follow Max. By 1938 his father chooses between Germany's socialism and his Jewish wife. He throws Max and his mother out of the house and we follow their progress to Paris where. in 1940, it's clear that the Nazis will overrun France and we follow the family's escape, except Max is the only survivor and he joins the French Resistance, assisting in an escape line to England. Circumstances allow him the chance to get to England. Will Maddie ever meet Max again? It's been 8 years. This is an emotional read as well as being extremely atmospheric. It conveys the fearful Jewish persecution and the need to escape; the juxtaposition of London still maintaining a high-end night-life amidst the fear of German bombing: and Maddie's certainty that Max must still be alive, despite the atrocities about which the German prisoners brag. Maddie's been warned not to ask questions, but she begins to question the manner of her old mentor, Dr Baskin's death, especially when another body is found. The erstwhile seemingly innocuous "supporting characters" may be anything But - what's really going on? Brilliant Read.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lorraine

    This is a historical novel which focuses on an absolutely fascinating story from World War II. Unfortunately, while well written and absorbing, it ultimately lacks the emotional punch I was hoping for. In 1944 Maddie Gresham is abruptly called from her job in a hospital to the estate Trent Park. She’s told that she will take over the work of her mentor, becoming a psychologist guiding an elaborate scam intended to glean vital intelligence from senior Nazi prisoners of war. It’s a challenging job – This is a historical novel which focuses on an absolutely fascinating story from World War II. Unfortunately, while well written and absorbing, it ultimately lacks the emotional punch I was hoping for. In 1944 Maddie Gresham is abruptly called from her job in a hospital to the estate Trent Park. She’s told that she will take over the work of her mentor, becoming a psychologist guiding an elaborate scam intended to glean vital intelligence from senior Nazi prisoners of war. It’s a challenging job – and fascinating to know that although Maddie is fictional, the situation she found herself in was real. This is one of many stories about the creativity the Allies showed during the War, and the clever approaches taken in their efforts to defeat the Nazis. I find these endlessly interesting, and the novel had no trouble drawing me in. It’s not long before Jewish refugee Max Weitzler also arrives at Trent Park, primed to take part in the elaborate deception. However, his history with Maddie provides complications. The two were lovers in Germany before the war, and both have been hoping to find the other again. They didn’t bargain on doing so in a situation that is both personally dangerous, and dangerous to the Allies’ war effort. This is meticulously researched, and it’s easy to sink into the world Harris is depicting. She isn’t overly elaborate in her descriptions, but there’s enough detail to enable you to picture the time and place vividly. Unfortunately, I felt the novel didn’t convey the emotional aspects of the situation very vividly. Maddie and Max’s longing for each other is well described and believable. But I found that once they came together, the emotional side of the novel wilted a little. The desperate tension of the dangerous situation, of the secrets they had to keep, did not come across strongly. In particular, the final pages of the novel should have had serious emotional impact, but I found it anticlimactic. Despite that, I enjoyed reading “The Light We Left Behind”. The main plot was fascinating and very well executed, with vivid descriptions and interesting detail. Characterisations were generally strong, and the sense of time and place was excellent. Readers of historical fiction will likely enjoy this immensely. However, those looking specifically for historical romance may feel that the ending lets them down a bit. If you enjoyed this review, please visit www.otherdreamsotherlives.home.blog to read more.

  22. 5 out of 5

    smokeandmirrors

    Light, propulsive read set in the MI19 POW camp in Trent Park during WWII and dealing with the bugging operation there. Our heroine is a psychologist brought in to figure out how to get the captured German generals to talk more and faster. The setting was probably my favourite part of this book, it is fascinating in and of itself & I def want to read more about it independently. The rest of the book was fine, just about average, the kind of thing that fans of the genre will enjoy and everyone el Light, propulsive read set in the MI19 POW camp in Trent Park during WWII and dealing with the bugging operation there. Our heroine is a psychologist brought in to figure out how to get the captured German generals to talk more and faster. The setting was probably my favourite part of this book, it is fascinating in and of itself & I def want to read more about it independently. The rest of the book was fine, just about average, the kind of thing that fans of the genre will enjoy and everyone else will probably bounce off of. I found it perfectly satisfying and in its favour it is very readable, a whole lot of short chapters and continually moving action that makes it very easy to cruise through. That said there are still a few things that didn't entirely work for me. A few of the third act plot twists I found generally implausible, and there are a few things that really felt abandoned mid-thread. (view spoiler)[That her uncle got the heroine her job is framed in "oh no nothing I've done has been on my own merit" terms and there is... no conclusion to this? No moment where she alone resolves something of her own merit? Idk it seemed weird. Then there was a moment where the second leg of the central love triangle is a huge dick, which annoys me in itself because it always comes off like the author doesn't trust you to know who the correct choice is, but then he comes back a few chapters later and I guess the heroine is like "oh, what's a bit of classism and antisemitism between friends" because they seem way too fine with each other lmao. (hide spoiler)] Also this is just a me thing and probably not really applicable to other experiences but I love spy stuff and truly felt like more use could have been made of this setting & situation to get up to more espionage shenanigans. (view spoiler)[I truly could not believe my eyes when the identity misunderstanding was resolved in like a CHAPTER! Where is my ESPIONAGE-INFUSED PINING? (hide spoiler)] Anyway this was a fine light read with a very intriguing setting and I tore through it in a few days which is always nice. Thank you to NetGalley and HQ for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Bee

    At the height of World War II, psychologist Maddie Gresham receives a mysterious assignment at Trent Park mansion, a home she knows well from her pre-war days, now recommissioned as a seemingly posh prison for high ranking German officials. While Maddie is shocked and saddened to discover she’ll be taking the place of her beloved tutor — whose sudden death uneases her — she’s intrigued by the covert operations at this top secret location. Unbeknownst to the German officers, their every movements At the height of World War II, psychologist Maddie Gresham receives a mysterious assignment at Trent Park mansion, a home she knows well from her pre-war days, now recommissioned as a seemingly posh prison for high ranking German officials. While Maddie is shocked and saddened to discover she’ll be taking the place of her beloved tutor — whose sudden death uneases her — she’s intrigued by the covert operations at this top secret location. Unbeknownst to the German officers, their every movements and conversations are being studied and recorded, and Maddie soon has a starring role in this subterfuge in an attempt to gain information on German weaponry from one of the deadliest captives, nicknamed The Crocodile for his ruthless and violent temperament. Before the war, Maddie spent time as an exchange student in Munich, falling in love with a German Jew and playing a minor role in resistance to the Nazi regime. Now, well into the war, she still loves Max and wonders if he’s managed to stay alive, and whether there’s any chance she might encounter him amongst German defectors to the Allied cause who are being used throughout the British forces. Without giving too much away, she finds out information about Max’s whereabouts, while also being reunited in a professional and personal capacity with Eddie, a friend from her university days. Part love triangle, part mystery, part espionage tale, Tessa Harris’ novel was an enjoyable read but not a memorable one. The mystery didn’t fully keep my attention, Maddie’s actions were often frustrating and unrealistic, and the conclusion felt hurried and deflated. I also feel each main character should've been fleshed out more to help the reader to feel emotionally invested in the story. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Elena

    Before WW2 breaks out Maddie is in Germany as a student where she meets and falls in love with German Jew Max. After they protest in their own little way at the rising ill-treatment of Jews by the increasingly powerful Nazi regime, she is sent back to England leaving her close friend behind. Max is a ‘mischling’ - half German and half Jewish and is cruelly disowned along with his mother by his Jew-hating, ambitious and bullying father. This leads him to join the Resistance in France. War has beg Before WW2 breaks out Maddie is in Germany as a student where she meets and falls in love with German Jew Max. After they protest in their own little way at the rising ill-treatment of Jews by the increasingly powerful Nazi regime, she is sent back to England leaving her close friend behind. Max is a ‘mischling’ - half German and half Jewish and is cruelly disowned along with his mother by his Jew-hating, ambitious and bullying father. This leads him to join the Resistance in France. War has begun and Maddie has been sent to work at Trent Park as a psychologist after the brilliant doctor she was working for dies. She soon learns that it is a sort of prison for captured Nazi officers and has signed the Official Secrets Act, her role being to get as much information from the captured prisoners as possible. She relishes the work but is desperate to know whether Max is ok. She hasn’t stopped loving him so when he turns up at Trent Park to help them her world is completely turned upside down. This is a wonderful read about a period in time I find utterly fascinating. I didn’t know Trent Park even existed so loved that I learned something completely new. Maddie is a fabulous character full of spirit, ambition and independence which is refreshing for the time and I couldn’t help admiring her. As always I am left shocked by the treatment of Jews and the mindset of Nazis. What on earth compelled them to behave with such evil? Maddie tries to find out. I loved the differing points of view from both the lead characters and their relationship is addictive and dangerous because of the external influences they are facing. This is a wonderfully immersive and enjoyable historical fiction book which has been well researched and brilliantly written with so much detail and drama, love and hope.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melanie Hunter

    Review!! Thank you @harlequinaus for sending me a copy of The Light We Left Behind by Tessa Harris. The Light We Left Behind is historical fiction at its best! This is the first novel written by Tessa Harris that I have read and can't wait to read more. The reader is introduced to Maddie and Max just prior to the start of WWII. They are two young people fighting for what they believe is right. Maddie is an exchange student in Germany staying with Greta, her pen-friend, Max, Greta's brother and th Review!! Thank you @harlequinaus for sending me a copy of The Light We Left Behind by Tessa Harris. The Light We Left Behind is historical fiction at its best! This is the first novel written by Tessa Harris that I have read and can't wait to read more. The reader is introduced to Maddie and Max just prior to the start of WWII. They are two young people fighting for what they believe is right. Maddie is an exchange student in Germany staying with Greta, her pen-friend, Max, Greta's brother and their parents. As the novel progresses we see Max and Maddie separated. Maddie returns home, earlier than planned, to England, due to her actions in Germany. Maddie and Max are soon faced with the horrors, harshness and loss caused by Hitler and the Nazis during WWII. This story uncovers the secrets of Trent Park mansion in London, a place in which captured Nazis were questioned in order to find out more about military secrets. Trent Park and its people intrigued me from the beginning. Learning about the part played by the people at Trent Park was very interesting. What a difference they made to many lives. The Light We Left Behind is filled with secrets, intrigue, romance, love, grief and suffering. I loved the characters; their development, relationships and involvement in the war. Maddie and Max's story kept me reading and not wanting to put the book down! The Light We Left Behind is a touching story of significance. #thelightweleftbehind #tessaharris #bookstagram #harlequinaus #hqstories #chapterichi #ww2 #historicalfiction #myreview #bookreview #ilovereading

  26. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    Rating: 3,75 stars! First of all, thank you #netgalley and #harpercollinsuk for sending me this audiobook in exchange for an honest review! This was a very entertaining little book to listen to. Set in Britain in 1944, it explores the true story of Trent Park House. This historic mansion was used by the British intelligence as a place to extract information from captured German generals and staff officers. They were treated hospitably and lulled into a false sense of security, but the rooms were e Rating: 3,75 stars! First of all, thank you #netgalley and #harpercollinsuk for sending me this audiobook in exchange for an honest review! This was a very entertaining little book to listen to. Set in Britain in 1944, it explores the true story of Trent Park House. This historic mansion was used by the British intelligence as a place to extract information from captured German generals and staff officers. They were treated hospitably and lulled into a false sense of security, but the rooms were equipped with hidden microphones that allowed the British to eavesdrop on the officers’ conversations. Maddie Gresham is a psychologist called to Trent Park to take the place of Professor Baskin, her mentor, who was found dead in his bed. The job is to assess the prisoners by listening to their conversations. But Maddie is also desperate to find out what happened to her first love, Max Weitzler, who she left behind in Nazi Germany at the start of the war. Unbeknownst to her, he has been hired as a spy in Trent Park! What follows is a gripping spy story, impeccably written, where the sole purpose is to obtain intelligence about the existence and location of the German rocket development at Peenemünde Army Research Center. But soon Maddie begins to suspect that Prof Baskin did not die of natural causes. I felt a lot of the book was a little too predictable and could have done with a little more suspense. But the narrator did a marvellous job with the different accents, from Scottish to American and Cockney, and the love story was a nice additional touch. Pub date: Feb 03, 2022

  27. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    I cannot resist a WWII novel based on a true story. The Light We Left Behind had me gripped from the prologue. Right away we get a feel for Maddie and Max's rapport before we jump eight years into the future. Now separated by circumstance, they are both doing their parts for the war effort all the while wondering what's happened to the other and if promises made still stand. After the prologue, the first quarter of the book is a little slow but gradually picks up between mysterious deaths, fake I cannot resist a WWII novel based on a true story. The Light We Left Behind had me gripped from the prologue. Right away we get a feel for Maddie and Max's rapport before we jump eight years into the future. Now separated by circumstance, they are both doing their parts for the war effort all the while wondering what's happened to the other and if promises made still stand. After the prologue, the first quarter of the book is a little slow but gradually picks up between mysterious deaths, fake identities, and a love triangle. With such lovable characters, I found this to be an exceptionally emotional story. I particularly liked the scenes between Maddie and Hammler. His character gives an interesting perspective to the Nazi antagonist without condoning his actions. I almost wish there had been more scenes with him. The focus was mostly on Max and Maddie's relationship. Another notable relationship is that of Maddie and Dr. Baskin along with Maddie's intuitiveness surrounding his death. This is a driving force for her part of the story and brings everything together. This book has a little bit of everything. Action, mystery, intrigue, romance, deception, miscommunication, loss, heroism, joy... It was an enjoyable read. A huge thanks to Harper360 for sending me a free copy of the book to read and review. https://oceanwriterreads.com/2022/07/...

  28. 4 out of 5

    Meg

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 2.5 stars. This book was a skimmer for me. Told in alternating timelines from Maddie's time in Germany in the 1930's and present day action with the spies of WWII in the 1940's we learn of Maddie's falling in love with Max in Germany and her efforts to become a psychologist. There really isn't a whole lot of character development in this one so I didn't much care about what happened to any of them. Maddie is recruited to help get info out of Nazi prisoners of war after her former boss and mentor 2.5 stars. This book was a skimmer for me. Told in alternating timelines from Maddie's time in Germany in the 1930's and present day action with the spies of WWII in the 1940's we learn of Maddie's falling in love with Max in Germany and her efforts to become a psychologist. There really isn't a whole lot of character development in this one so I didn't much care about what happened to any of them. Maddie is recruited to help get info out of Nazi prisoners of war after her former boss and mentor, who had been working on the project, died suddenly. She spends a lot of time reminiscing about Max, how they were Nazi resisters, how Maddie got deported for her actions and wondering about where Max, a Jew, is now. For all her education, her plan to extract sensitive info from the Nazi's is to use her feminine wiles to seduce him into dishing details. And she is also convinced that her ex-boss was murdered, especially when another person dies. And then add to the mix that Max, who fled to France, became part of the resistance movement and escaped to England, is now part of the operation and you'll see that Maddie has a lot going on. Maddie figures out that the tailor is the one killing people and she is able to save Max's life without compromising the operation. There are other far more successful books on WWII female spies, such as The Invisible Woman, Sisters of Night and Fog and The Rose Code so skip this one.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This novel opens in Munich shortly before the outbreak of war. During the opening we are introduced to Maddie Gresham, a young English girl who is the guest of a German family. We also get to know Max Weitzler, the eldest son of the family. I won't go into details of the story because I don't want to spoil it. The descriptions of escaping from Paris prior to it's fall to the invading forces is excellent. Maddie Gresham's journey from Oxford University to Trentham Park on the outskirts of London This novel opens in Munich shortly before the outbreak of war. During the opening we are introduced to Maddie Gresham, a young English girl who is the guest of a German family. We also get to know Max Weitzler, the eldest son of the family. I won't go into details of the story because I don't want to spoil it. The descriptions of escaping from Paris prior to it's fall to the invading forces is excellent. Maddie Gresham's journey from Oxford University to Trentham Park on the outskirts of London during World War Two takes the novel into an intriguing aspect of history, about which I was not really aware. Once again I won't go into detail, for fear of spoiling the plot. Suffice to say that espionage is a significant part of the storyline. What I liked most about this story is the way a very human saga is cleverly interwoven into a series of extremely disturbing historical events, which unfold as the two timelines and settings: Paris in 1939 and London in 1944, are inexorably brought together. This together with the excellent way in which the eclectic range of characters are developed makes this an extremely enjoyable book. It is a novel which I was sorry had to end. I give my thanks to Netgalley and HQ Digital for a copy of this book in exchange for this review.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ludmila

    Sometimes walls not only hear, but also keep many secrets, like the walls of the Trent Park. 1936 Munich, Germany. Maddie is a young English girl who dreamed of becoming a psychologist, committed criminal acts against the Reich in Munich. After her arrest she was deported from Germany to Britain, separated from her beloved Max. Here a story that will not leave you calm, begins. 1944 Trent Park, Middlesex. Maddie has signed an official secret act and begun to work in the Trent Park that is better Sometimes walls not only hear, but also keep many secrets, like the walls of the Trent Park. 1936 Munich, Germany. Maddie is a young English girl who dreamed of becoming a psychologist, committed criminal acts against the Reich in Munich. After her arrest she was deported from Germany to Britain, separated from her beloved Max. Here a story that will not leave you calm, begins. 1944 Trent Park, Middlesex. Maddie has signed an official secret act and begun to work in the Trent Park that is better known as a luxury prison for German generals. I had never heard of the Trent Park before reading this book, and I was so surprised to learn about its existence, about the purposes of this prison and the activities carried out in it. The book provides full information about it. I had different feelings while reading the book. Some moments made me boiling with anger, some happy moments were like a balm for my soul. I liked Maddie. Her loyalty to her beloved, the fight for justice, kindness and honesty are worthy of respect. I would gladly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction, History and women fiction. I'm sure you will enjoy the book as i did. Thanks to Tessa Harris, HQ Digital and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book!

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