There are many facets to WWII history and my favorite way to learn about them is through historical fiction. In “The Secret Road Home,” author Robert Wise retells the story of an American Air Force pilot who was shot down at the German/Belgium border and rushed through the underground to escape into England. The whole book is a tribute to the unsung heroes of the underground who fought for freedom in their hometowns for a cause they considered life worthy.
For a World War II book, I considered “The Secret Road Home” more of a light read, but very fast paced and well written. The book covered a lot of ground (physically and figuratively) and I think that’s what made it a lighter read. Usually, books on this topic can be very deep and deal with tragic themes. Though we do deal with a little bit of that in Jack Martin’s story, each chapter moves fast enough that you’re focused more on what’s ahead than what’s behind. On the other hand, this escape story does have deaths in it and focuses on the fact that a lot of people can lose their lives in a short period of time if caught at the wrong time by the Nazi. Expect to meet a lot of people in this book – Dutch, French and German – who would bravely sacrifice themselves to save others. Interactions with these supporting characters will be brief, but memorable.
Conclusion: This was a great book and one I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend to those who enjoy fiction WWII fiction. Or, if you’ve never read WWII fiction before and are curious, but not sure how the sadness of the whole thing would affect you, this would be a good book to start with. There’s a lot to be learned from this time period in history and Jack’s story. Great characters. Great theme. Great bravery by those who have gone before us.