I can truly say that there are only some books in this world that simply makes the reader sit in shock once they’ve finished the novel. I can also truly say that Girl in The Blue Coat is one of those books. Written by Monica Hesse, who won the Edgar Award for the best young adult mystery novel, Girl in The Blue Coat takes place during the 1940s, where a Dutch girl named Hanneke manages to survive World War II off of delivering black-market goods to customers. Still recovering from the death of her boyfriend, one of her clients, Mrs. Janssen, begs Hanneke to find a missing Jewish girl the client’s been hiding. Hanneke soon gets pulled into a web of mysteries that slowly unfolds as the novel progresses.
This book is well-crafted down to the finest details, creating a novel that shocks readers in the way every mystery novel should. All of the characters felt so realistic; they had flaws of their own, some aspects that make readers question what they value. Yet that’s what makes them human. The novel revolves mostly about how people often make mistakes in their lives which lead to regret, but also about courage and friendship. These real human values are what largely connects readers to the story. Through these characters actions, both good and bad, many understand and share their own emotions. Hesse beautifully portrays how humans often make mistakes, how they regret those mistakes, and how they learn to let go of those regrets.
As for the book’s plot, it’s honestly rare to find a book as addicting and unique to read. Monica Hesse manages to cleverly put twists and turns throughout the story to keep readers entertained. In the ending, rather than a perfect resolution, the author even leaves some issues unresolved for the readers to analyze themselves. The layers of plots that overlap each other were never overwhelming, and actually turned the novel into an emotional rollercoaster of events. The chaos of the war along with the character’s own problems that intertwine together makes the novel even more worthy for a read.
To be honest, I had a sea of emotions once I finished the book. This remarkable story truly speaks to its readers in the most realistic way possible. For any fans of historical fiction or even mystery novels, Girl in The Blue Coat will never disappoint.
– Natisha P.