Deep in the Veluwe woods lies a secret that frustrates the Germans. Convinced that Jews are hiding close by they can find no proof.
The secret is Berkenhout, a purpose-built village of huts sheltering dozens of persecuted people. Young tearaway Jan roams the woods looking for adventure and fallen pilots. His dream comes true when he stumbles across an American airman, Donald C. McDonald. But keeping him hidden sets off a disastrous chain of events.
Sofie, a Jewish Dutch girl, struggles to adapt to living in Berkenhout, away from her family and friends. As weeks turn to months, she’s worried they’ll abandon her altogether.
Henk Hauer, head woodman, is in charge of building the underground huts and ensuring the Berkenhout inhabitants stay safe. But many grow suspicious of his liaisons with the Germans. Is he passing on secret information that could endanger lives?
All it takes is one small fatal slip to change the course of all their lives for ever.
Review, May 2018: "It's a cracking book, gripping, sensitive heartfelt and excruciating all at the same time. I've already recommended it to loads of people. It's a wonderful story as well and the characters are so human. You do a wonderful job of not making them 'war caricatures' that so often happens in literature set in that time, but they all come across as believable humans, with flawed personalities caught in personal as well as political turmoil. Although it's a book set in war-time, it's more a book about people and their relationships struggling in a given situation; the war is the backdrop. Which is as it should be. Human stories first. I'll be sad to finish it!" - Liam Gerrard, BAFTA-nominated actor.