A Heart-Wrenching Historical: Read Our Review of Dancing with the Enemy by Diane Armstrong

A Heart-Wrenching Historical: Read Our Review of Dancing with the Enemy by Diane Armstrong

June 1940. `It was a perfect June evening that began with hope and ended in despair.’ So begins the journal of Hugh Jackson, a Jersey doctor whose idyllic world is shattered when Britain abandons the Channel Islands which are invaded by the Germans. Forced to choose between conflicting loyalties, he sends his pregnant wife to England, believing their separation will be brief. It’s a fateful decision that will affect every aspect of his life.

May 1942. Young Tom Gaskell fumes whenever he sees the hated swastika flying from Fort Regent. Humiliated by Jersey’s surrender and ashamed of his mother’s fraternisation with the occupiers, Tom forms an audacious plan, not suspecting that it will result in guilt and tragedy.

April 2019. Sydney doctor Xanthe Maxwell, traumatised by the suicide of her colleague and burnt out by the relentless pressure of her hospital work, travels to St Helier so she can figure out what to do with her life. But when she finds Hugh Jackson’s World War II journal, she is plunged into a violent world of oppression and collusion, but also of passion and resistance. As she reads, she is mystified by her growing sense of connection to the past. Her deepening relationship with academic Daniel Miller helps her understand Jersey’s wartime past and determine her own future.

Diane Armstrong is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose previous novels include Winter Journey, Nocturne, Empire Day and The Collaborator. A child Holocaust survivor herself, Armstrong’s fiction and non-fiction tend to centre around this shocking and terrible part of our history. Her latest novel, Dancing with the Enemy, is a compelling story of collusion, revenge and redemption set in German-occupied Jersey during World War II.

The novel follows three characters across two timelines, and Armstrong expertly weaves each of these threads together to create a cohesive and engrossing page-turner. By the time the novel reaches its moving climax, the connection between Tom, Xanthe and Hugh Jackson has been revealed in a way none of them could possibly have imagined.

Dancing with The Enemy is a heart-wrenching and meticulously researched story that pays homage to the courage and resilience of Jersey islanders during WWII. Readers of historical fiction will devour this.

Buy a copy of Dancing with the Enemy here.

Reviews

Your Preview Verdict: Dancing with the Enemy by Diane Armstrong

Review | Preview

30 May 2022

Your Preview Verdict: Dancing with the Enemy by Diane Armstrong

    Courage, Revenge, Redemption: Read an Extract from Dancing with the Enemy Extract by Diane Armstrong

    Review | Extract

    6 May 2022

    Courage, Revenge, Redemption: Read an Extract from Dancing with the Enemy Extract by Diane Armstrong

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                Publisher details

                Dancing with the Enemy
                Author
                Diane Armstrong
                Publisher
                HQ Fiction
                Genre
                Fiction
                Released
                04 May, 2022
                ISBN
                9781867206545

                Synopsis

                From the bestselling author of The Collaborator comes a compelling story of betrayal, collusion, revenge, and redemption set in German-occupied Jersey during World War II.

                June 1940. `It was a perfect June evening that began with hope and ended in despair.' So begins the journal of Hugh Jackson, a Jersey doctor, whose idyllic world is shattered when Britain abandons the Channel Islands which are invaded by the Germans. Forced to choose between conflicting loyalties, he sends his pregnant wife to England, believing their separation will be brief. It's a fateful decision that will affect every aspect of his life.

                May 1942. Young Tom Gaskell fumes whenever he sees the hated swastika flying from Fort Regent. Humiliated by Jersey's surrender and ashamed of his mother's fraternisation with the occupiers, Tom forms an audacious plan, not suspecting that it will result in guilt and tragedy.

                April 2019. Sydney doctor Xanthe Maxwell, traumatised by the suicide of her colleague and burnt out by the relentless pressure of her hospital work, travels to St Helier so she can figure out what to do with her life. But when she finds Hugh Jackson's World War II journal, she is plunged into a violent world of oppression and collusion, but also of passion and resistance. As she reads, she is mystified by her growing sense of connection to the past. Her deepening relationship with academic Daniel Miller helps her understand Jersey's wartime past and determine her own future.

                By the time this novel reaches its moving climax, the connection between Tom, Xanthe and Hugh Jackson has been revealed in a way none of them could possibly have imagined.

                Diane Armstrong
                About the author

                Diane Armstrong

                Diane Armstrong is a child Holocaust survivor who arrived in Australia from Poland in 1948. An award-winning journalist and bestselling author, she has written five previous books.Her family memoir Mosaic: A chronicle of five generations, was published in 1998 and was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction as well as the National Biography Award. It was published in the United States and Canada, and was selected as one of the year's best memoirs by Amazon.com. In 2000, The Voyage of Their Life: The story of the SS Derna and its passengers, was shortlisted in the New South Wales Premier's Literary Award for Non-Fiction.Her first novel, Winter Journey, was published in 2004 and shortlisted for the 2006 Commonwealth Writers' Prize. It has been published in the US, UK, Poland and Israel. Her second novel, Nocturne, was published in 2008 and won the Society of Women Writers Fiction Award. It was also nominated for a major literary award in Poland. Empire Day, a novel set in post-war Sydney, was published in 2011.Diane has a son and daughter and three granddaughters. She lives in Sydney.

                Books by Diane Armstrong

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