Your Preview Verdict: Dancing with the Enemy by Diane Armstrong

Your Preview Verdict: Dancing with the Enemy by Diane Armstrong

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.

Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:

This not my usual read but this was an amazing book. Thoroughly enthralling. Told from 3 main perspectives, it was so detailed: sad, scary yet hopeful. I highly recommend this book. Lisa, WA, 5 Stars

Dancing with the Enemy is the story of 3 individuals whose lives are dramatically interwoven. Set in the second World War in June 1940, Hugh Jackson is a doctor in Jersey who decides to send his pregnant wife to the safety of England while he stays behind to help his patients. To capture all is thoughts, he starts writing a journal. Also in this time period is Tom Gaskell, a young teenager who is ashamed of his mother’s antics with the German occupiers. Unfortunately, his plan with three good friends unexpectedly quickly turns into tragedy. Then there’s Xanthe Maxwell, a doctor based in Sydney. She decides to travel to St Helier to work out which direction her life is taking when she stumbles across Hugh’s World War 2 war journal. I loved reading all 3 characters’ stories and couldn’t wait to find out what would happen to them. I was captivated in their life struggles and feel that this is historical fiction writing at it’s best. Thank you very much Better Reading Program and Harper Collins Publishers for the opportunity to read and review this great book. Christine, QLD, 5 Stars

There are so many wonderful facets I can recommend about this novel. From the first chapter, it gripped me and did not let go. Beautifully written central characters Dr Hugh Jackson, Tom, and Xanthe invite us into their worlds between shifting time periods in 1940, 1942 and 2019. With a compelling writing style, Diane Armstrong begins the story in 1940 when war is on the doorstep as German soldiers carry out the occupation of Jersey Island. The reader is transported to the daily life and escalating tensions in such a tumultuous time in history, experiencing an emotional roller coaster as we uncover the connections between these characters. I love this book because it is incredibly thought provoking. With what is unfolding in the world in 2022, the tragedy of war as a central theme make this a novel that everyone should read right now. Evoking a sense of time and place, it has lit a fire in me to learn more about the history of the Channel Islands during World War II. I highly recommend this book particularly to fans of well written historical fiction. I wish this novel every success coming its way. Vanessa, NSW, 5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book by Diane Armstrong. It is a fascinating story that has been woven around the lives of Dr Jackson and Tom Gaskell that were present during the WWII German occupation of Jersey and the present day journey of young graduate doctor Xanthe. Xanthe has taken the opportunity to escape her life in Sydney after being traumatised by the suicide of a fellow doctor & friend. She chose Jersey due to its links to a distant relative. Whilst there, she stumbles upon the hidden journal of Dr Hugh Jackson who recorded his time during the occupation by Germans and the suffering of the local people, especially the Jewish. He also records his pain at the separation from his wife and newborn child whom he sent to the UK to keep safe and his deep regret at his choice. This leads to Xanthe wanting to explore this history further where she also hears the story of teenager, Tom Gaskell, who who is angry at the occupation, the sudden harsh rules and rations imposed on the people and his parents apparent friendliness with the Germans. As the story unfolds, Xanthe learns of the pain suffered by the people of Jersey and how scars still remain in the present day, she also learns of her own link to these past events which will change her perspective on life forever. A truly fantastic page turning read! Wendy, WA, 5 Stars

A really enjoyable read that showed the many aspects of war. I’ve been very interested in the occupation of the Channel Islands since reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and this gave a deeper insight into life under German occupation. It was interesting to read about things from the different perspectives of Dr Jackson and Tom. There are no easy answers about collaborating with the enemy: it’s easy to say that I wouldn’t do it from the comfort of my lounge room, but not so easy when you need to feed your kids. Without excusing the truly malicious behaviour, this novel explored some of those grey areas. My only complaint is that there were a few threads left dangling that I would have liked to have seen resolved, but overall this was a great novel and I’d definitely recommend it. Helen, VIC, 5 Stars

This historical fiction was not the norm for me so took a little while to get into it. However, I found it quite enjoyable reading about each characters journey from the different places, timelines and their own insights with their age group. The connection between the 3 main characters slowly emerges as the heart wrenching story unfolds. I was especially drawn to Xanthe (young, female, Sydney-sister) who had had enough of her work troubles, where it all came to heads with the loss of her fellow colleague and friend. It was hard at times reading about what the people of WWII were faced with and had to ensure/live through. It got dark at times but that allowed me to stop and reflect before continuing on. Rachael, NSW, 5 Stars

Dancing with the Enemy is a rich tapestry of finely woven threads connecting 1940’s German occupied Jersey in the English Channel, with 2019 Australia. Diane Armstrong has written a beautifully researched and executed novel. Sharing the hardships of those caught up in the terrors of World War II, she eloquently segues into the lives of three main characters: Dr Hugh Jackson, Tom Gaskell and Xanthe Maxwell, our present Australian character. Finding she has reached a crossroad in her life, Xanthe travels to Jersey on a whim, with the faint notion that she has a distant relative who once lived there. What Xanthe finds in Jersey will lead her to discover not only her past, but how to face her future. I found Dancing with the Enemy a beautiful, devastating, uplifting story, that I was unable to put down. I was completely immersed in the story, feeling for each character, their individual and collective stories. I was also intrigued to learn about the English Channel Islands and how much of current history I am unaware of. So many important events that have been unwritten and under shared. Thank you to Better Reading and HQ Fiction for my ARC copy. Karen, WA, 5 Stars

So many fascinating aspects of WWII history are examined in this gripping novel. The occupation of Jersey in the Channel Islands is little known compared to the fate of France and other European countries conquered by the German army. The novel focuses on three well-rounded characters – Dr Hugh Jackson and young Tom Gaskell whose lives are totally changed by the occupation of their island and Xanthe, a young Australian doctor who visits Jersey in 2019. So many secrets from the past are gradually revealed as Xanthe discovers Hugh’s journal which tells of the personal upheavals endured during the occupation. The novel encourages the reader to consider how they would act in order to survive under an oppressive regime. Should we judge others’ actions when we have not endured such deprivations and constant fear? The beauty and ruggedness of the island is contrasted with the horrors of war. However, it is the vivid portrayal of Hugh, Tom and Xanthe which propels the novel. Their lives and loves engage the reader on an emotional level and linger in memory long after the novel ends. Frances, NSW, 5 Stars

Heart breaking and heart-warming, Dancing With the Enemy by Aussie author Diane Armstrong is a fascinating historical novel. Beautifully written, and told over two-time lines, by a doctor Hugh Jackson and a teenage boy Tom Gaskell, who lived on Jersey during the German occupation in World War two, and in 2019 a young Australian doctor Xanthe Maxwell. In 1940, Dr Hugh Jackson upon England’s abandonment of The Channel Islands, Hugh as the only doctor in St Helier on the island of Jersey makes a decision to stay for his patients as his pregnant wife leaves for England, and he starts a journal that opens up life in these trying times. Tom Gaskell is an angry teenager, angry with the Germans occupation, his mother and other locals, who has to deal with the consequences of his actions when he attempts to escape the Island. In 2019, Xanthe Maxwell has travelled to St Helier after a traumatic event where she worked and in need of a break and time to re-evaluate her life. She finds s a hidden journal written by Dr. Jackson in the house she has rented. Xanthe and the reader are introduced to the lives of Hugh Jackson, Tom Gaskell, and other locals. Highly recommended and a must read for any lover of historical fiction. Teresa, VIC, 5 Stars

Diane Armstrong’s enthralling novel, Dancing with the Enemy, will capture your heart and embrace you with a riveting story that shifts between the 1940’s, when Jersey is invaded by the Nazis, and 2019 in Sydney, Australia. Armstrong’s expertly drawn characters, Hugh Jackson, Tom Gaskell and Xanthe Maxwell, become intricately linked in this heart-wrenching story of love, despair and courage. With vivid imagery and well researched historical detail, Armstrong’s novel will leave you wondering just how much heartache a human can endure and what you would do in similar circumstances. Add this to your to-be-read list if you love historical fiction and a truly engaging story line. Thank you to Better Reading for this advanced copy. Genene, SA, 5 Stars

This beautifully written, thought provoking book devoured me. I finished it in a couple of days, finding it very hard to put down. It tells the story of the German occupation of the island of Jersey during the second world war. I feel a little ashamed that I knew very little about this part of history (and I must confide that I am English!) and found it fascinating, whilst at the same time, very disturbing. It describes how appallingly humans treated each other during this time – not just the German army towards the people of Jersey, but also fellow Jersey people towards each other. On the flip side of this ,which was both comforting and uplifting, you discover how others were prepared to risk their own lives to save the lives of others, people they never even knew. Woven into this history are the stories of Hugh, a local doctor, who sends his pregnant wife safely to England, and Tom, a young man who is struggling to come to terms with the occupation and his parents acceptance of it. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about this history and found myself googling more information the moment I finished the book. Sue, VIC, 5 Stars

The WWII genre is a particular favourite of mine. This book “Dancing with the Enemy’ did not disappoint. Set in the Channel Island of Jersey it was a WWII story from a different perspective from what I have previously read. It was very well researched and the characters came to life. By the end the connections between the characters are revealed. If you like this genre as I do or are just looking for a good read, you can’t go past this book, I think it is one of Diane Chamberlains best. Tracey, WA, 5 Stars

Dancing with the Enemy provides parallel stories, separated by more than 70 years, but linked because of family connections, unknown at first. The characters are easy to understand and the trials and tribulations are felt by the reader. I found the story engrossing and was transported to Jersey during the war, and Jersey of 2019. The images have stayed even when I have finished the book. A great read. Anne, NSW, 5 Stars

I was pleasantly surprised with this book, as I’ve never read this author’s stories before. When I started reading I realised that there were two timelines that followed three protagonists. I thought this could end up in a muddled mess, but Armstrong wove the threads very well and I found myself invested in each one of them. The story follows a modern-day Aussie doctor as she travels to Jersey in the Channel Islands where she finds the wartime journal of the doctor. The third thread follows a teen who is part of the wartime story. The story probes morals and values, particularly decisions made during duress in war conditions, and how those choices are perceived through the lens of eight decades. Armstrong doesn’t tie the story up in a neat bow, but enough is there to conclude her story while still wondering what the Aussie doctor will ultimately decide to do with her future. Overall, a terrific read. I’d like to thank #BetterReading and HarperCollins for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Tracy, VIC, 5 Stars

Dancing with the Enemy is a great book. It is easy to read and follow as there are 3 story lines between 1940, 1942 and 2019 which are all connected. Brilliant book!!! Heather, NSW, 5 Stars

Really enjoyed reading Dancing with the Enemy. One of my favourite genre’s is when a book takes you on time travel through totally different time periods. Gripping reading on one subject, then switching to another. Just waiting until the next chapter will take you back again. Some of the story was a little dark and confronting with the way that the Nazi dealt with prisoners. But of course this is what this book is all about the Occupation of Jersey during WW2. This book has opened my eyes to things that I actually did not know happened in this dark period of our History. Would recommend this book to anyone interested in Historical stories. Jan, VIC, 5 Stars

A bittersweet and harrowing story of the horrors and injustices of war, and the enduring human spirit. Loved this book. Sarah, TAS, 5 Stars

What a delightful story this recounts. Set on the island of Jersey it gives an insight into the moral dilemmas of wartime occupation while adding a contemporary element as well. The central theme of healing through nature is also a constant. Lina, VIC, 5 Stars

Wow, what a beautifully written historical fiction. Diane Armstrong’s Dancing with the Enemy is seamlessly written over two timelines and keeps you reading to find out how the characters are connected. Thank you Better Reading for my advanced copy, it did not disappoint. Trudy, SA, 5 Stars

I could not put this book down, such an incredible story, based on real people and an actual event, was so intriguing, I learned a lot about something I did not know while the characters entwined together to make it real. Well written and researched to make the story so real that I forgot that it was fiction. Diane is an amazing story teller, keeps you interested and changing the from one character to another until the pieces fit together at the end of the book. I wanted to know more about the lives of these characters and wished the book did not end. Highly recommended. Linda, VIC, 5 Stars

Dancing with the Enemy is everything I love about historical fiction. The novel takes you back to a turbulent time in history and brings the individual characters to life to tell their stories. Weaving in and out with the present time it enables us to see the links to the past. Although a difficult and harrowing period of Jersey’s history it portrays the resilience of human spirit when faced with adversity. A great read! Denise, TAS, 5 Stars

Channel Islands, 1940. Britain has abandoned the Islands, war is about to break out. Germans begin to invade, the lives of 3 people are about to be intertwined throughout history. Dr Jackson decides to send his pregnant wife away as the Germans invade, while he stays he documents life under occupation. Tom is a young lad who just wants a future, but can’t stand the German invaders. He comes up with an idea that will either be the adventure of a lifetime, or a deadly mistake. Xanthe, traumatised from her colleague’s suicide, and burnt out from a demanding medical job, explores St Helier and it’s history under Occupation as she finds Dr Jackson’s journal. Eventually finding a connection to the past, she can find a way to move forward. Dancing With the Enemy was a really good read, great storyline, focused more on the characters and their lives rather than the heaviness of the Germans and war. Amanda, VIC, 5 Stars

‘Dancing with the Enemy’ is storytelling at its very finest. I was hooked from the very first sentence which is extremely rare so I applaud Diane Armstrong for her meticulous research and imagination that had me eagerly turning page after page. All three protagonists’ perspective seamlessly fit with one another and never did the narrative miss a beat. The characters jumped to life and the story was unbeatable. Diane Armstrong has done a brilliant job capturing wartime anguish and the desperate hope survivors clung on to during those unthinkable times. Nicole, NSW, 5 Stars

This book captured me, I could not put it down. I was enthralled from the beginning. Diane Armstrong wove the characters expertly through the novel to teach important events whilst entertaining with a compelling narrative. I will be reading more of Diane’s books. Loved It. Janet, NSW, 5 Stars

An absorbing well researched and written book that examines the lives of the people of German occupied British Island of Jersey through WW2. Colleen, WA, 5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book it had me hooked from the first page right through till the last page, a extremely well written page turner that kept me up half the night to just finish. I especially loved the history of the storylines and how it went from past to present to then bring one story together. Rene, WA, 5 Stars

I was hooked from the opening paragraph!!! It is one of those books which captivate the reader with mysteries and secrets and characters who make you feel their emotions. I absolutely loved it. Annette, NSW, 5 Stars

Wow this book is a roller coaster of emotions! I am a big fan of historical fiction and I felt like I was immersed into this time period. The book follows three characters, two in the WW2 period and one in present time. The storylines of the characters made me ponder what I would do in their unique situations. Would I be brave? Would I help the enemy? Although covering some intense topics, Xanthe’s often lighthearted storyline helped me to pause and reflect. The interconnectedness of all the characters was done well while still paying respects to the important societal issues of the WW2 era. The ending was fairly conclusive, but I still have questions! Even after finishing the book, I still feel invested into the lives of Xanthe, Dr Jackson and Tom. Laura, NSW, 5 Stars

Huge thank you to Better Reading for the advanced copy. From the first to the last page I was totally captivated and didn’t want to put it down. The book was split in different time periods it was very easy to follow each. The extensive research involved by Diane Armstrong where non fiction meets fiction was evident throughout. I joined each of the characters along their stories, so much so I found the dark times during the war difficult. I would highly recommend this book, readers should allow time if they can to read in one sitting as it is not easily put down. Julie, QLD, 5 Stars

This is a wonderfully written masterpiece that begins in the early 1940’s when Germany invaded the Channel Islands and in particular, the town of Jersey. The local people feel rightly disappointed and let down, when England chooses to abandon them. The story of Dr Hugh Jackson is told through his journal, which was left in a secret built in cavity in the wall, along with other items banned by the Germans. In 2019, a young doctor, Xanthe Maxwell, has some traumatic times with her work and goes to St Heliar to decide her future. During her stay she finds the journal about the harrowing times of the German occupation. She feels a real connection with the Doctor, and some other local characters. As the journal comes to a climactic conclusion there are still some unanswered questions. Just before leaving there is a knock at the door delivering a person who can fill in the blanks. This is the first time I have read any of Diane Armstrong’s work and I will certainly be looking up her four other fiction titles. This book is well and truly worth the read as the contents are riveting. Vicki, VIC, 5 Stars

I love when fiction meets non-fiction and the research that goes into creating such a colourful, yet mournful depiction of WWII. Dancing with the Enemy, based in Jersey, Channel Islands between England and France 1940, under German occupation with the story told from three characters perspectives. 1940 to 1945 events recorded in a journal by an admired doctor, Dr Jackson who wished to capture his thoughts on paper to calm his mind during the occupation, not knowing how valuable his written recordings would become. Young Tom and his friends detailing the angst of living such a controlled existence and wanting to escape, but how? To the present day when young Sydney doctor Xanthe needed to get away in the hope of understanding her career choices and stumbles across Dr Jackson’s journal written so many years ago. Keeping it’s contents to herself but discovering family connections and so much more on her adventures in Jersey 2019. I loved the journey of war and conflict this novel took the reader on, to the extent that many of the emotions felt by the characters could be reflected off the page to the reader with such meaning, leaving the reader no choice but to stop, reflect, regroup, and continue the story through the pages. An emotive read that provides some powerful insights to the treatment by Germans of many during such a turbulent time. Five stars from me. Sharon, QLD, 5 Stars

This novel is set in Jersey in the Channel Islands in the 1940s and 2019. It follows the stories of several Channel Islanders as they cope with the German Occupation and the experiences of Xanthe Maxwell, a Doctor from Sydney who has travelled to Jersey to escape from her traumatic job and to try and work out what to do with her life. Having enjoyed several holidays in the Channel Islands and knowing Jersey well I quickly found myself engrossed in the novel. I found it fascinating to learn more about how the German occupation affected the islanders. I became interested in the stories of the main characters, from Hugh Jackson a Doctor who stayed behind on the island to care for his patients, Tom Gaskell, a school boy who was horrified by how his parents collaborated with the Germans and wanted to escape and Xanthe Maxwell, the young Doctor from Sydney. I enjoyed how the stories were interwoven and the characters connected. At times it was shocking, as it always is to be reminded of the horrors of war, but the compassion and kindness of so many in the Jersey community at that time shone through. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Jacky, QLD, 5 Stars

Dancing with the enemy is full of fictional history detail that proves the author, Diane Armstrong, has researched extensively. I really appreciate a well researched novel. The immersive scenery prose and the character descriptions drew me in and kept my need to keep reading. It’s a definite page turner! It cleverly moves from history to modern day without losing the story’s flow. It connects perfectly by the characters experiences. It has a solid pace and a perfect level of detail and character development throughout. The plot is emotional and moving. A wonderful read! Samantha, QLD, 5 Stars

Coming from the UK, I had never visited Jersey & this novel has put this island on my bucket list. The descriptions of the islands history & places was so enticing. This great story is set on Jersey during the German occupation in WW11. The islands moral ethics come under pressure as does the physical strains that follow. Tom, a young man angry at the invaders influence on his family plans to flee to England with disastrous results. A local doctor secretly starts to record his experiences and feelings during this period. Fast forward to modern day & Xanthe, a young medic disillusioned with her career choice visits the island & discovers a lot more than she was expecting. The reader will be enthralled at times, shocked at times but always will experience a most moving and unforgettable read. Wendy, SA, 5 Stars

Set on the English Channel Island of Jersey the story of revolves around 3 main characters – 1940s Jersey doctor Hugh Jackson, 1940s Tom Gaskell and 2019 young Sydney doctor Xanthe Maxwell. The history of Jersey during World War 2 is relatively unknown to most people. This book gives very informative detailed descriptions of the invasion of Jersey by the Nazis. Tom is a teenager who is trying to navigate living under Nazi rule. Hugh a doctor who choose not the evacuate from the Island and does his best to help people with the very little he has. Xanthe is a young doctor escaping the pressures of work and her parents to try to discover what she really wants to do in life. An enjoyable book that was hard to put down. Tara, ACT, 5 Stars

This wonderfully written historical fiction was a ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ read for me. Was hard to out down. Loved it!!!! Michelle, VIC, 5 Stars

I really enjoyed Dancing with the Enemy by Diane Armstrong. The story is a fiction based on the real life experiences of people living on the island of Jersey in WW2, and it’s occupation by Germany. It explored the way different people cope with adversity, and how difficult it was for people to survive during the war. I liked the way the characters in the story evolved, and it was emotional reading at times. I learnt some unknown history to me whilst reading this book. Fay, VIC, 5 Stars

This was a perfect example of the historical fiction genre with all the aspects I love. Split across three voices – a journal entry, the modern discoverer of the journal, and a parallel past storyline, it showed an amazing level of research, great detail and excellent structure. The sights and smells of Jersey leapt out from the page and the characters were all full of life. On top of all that, ‘Dancing with the Enemy’ grappled some pretty deep ethical questions and really challenged the reader to examine what they knew and thought about wartime occupation and human nature and how they would react if similar circumstances were to arise. I also loved that Diane Armstrong managed to present another fresh perspective of WWII, The Holocaust and other atrocities. We must keep remembering. Athene, NSW, 5 Stars

Fabulous historical read. From the end of chapter one I was completely enthralled. Not being aware of Jersey’s war history& occupation I felt compelled to keep reading. For lovers of historical fiction based on fact, this is a must read. Well done, Diane Armstrong. Annie, NSW, 5 Stars

Wow, what a story! I read this book in one sitting (lucky it was Easter!). I literally could not put it down. Three characters stories entwined into one riveting narrative about how the effects of war impact not only one generation but the lives that come after. I loved how the characters lives intersected in a seamless yet haunting way. Their lives, even though they lived decades apart had strong connections. I did not know that the Island of Jersey or the Channel Islands were taken over by Germany in WWII after Britain abandoned them. This book provides a well researched account of what it would have been like for those residents of the Islands who lived during this period of time. Such a riveting read! Can’t wait for the next Diane Armstrong book. Karyn, ACT, 5 Stars

This book was beautifully written, encompassing three intertwining stories set across WWII and the present day. I am not usually a fan of wartime stories, but the story was character-driven and compelling. I would definitely recommend it! Dee, VIC, 5 Stars

It was a lucky day 35 years ago for both award-winning author Diane Armstrong and her readers when she paused to admire an impressive manor house on the English Channel island of Jersey. That moment led to her researching and writing Dancing with the Enemy, a riveting story of love and regret, conspiracy and deceit on the German-occupied island during World War II. The story switches seamlessly between the 1940s and 2019 and the lives of three main characters – Jersey doctor Hugh Jackson, Sydney doctor Xanthe Maxwell and Tom Gaskell, a teenager finding his way in a world suddenly turned upside down. Armstrong’s development of these and the other characters is simply superb, as we follow them through an intensely poetic narrative It’s a page-turning plot, which reaches a completely believable climax yet one that none of the characters – or the reader – could have imagined. My only regret was that I didn’t have enough time to finish reading the story in one sitting. But it’s now one of my 50 favourite books of all time. Don, SA, 5 Stars

What an amazing book! It takes the reader through from the invasion of the Channel Islands in WW2 through to the present day via the notes in a diary a Doctor made of the times and the various torments and struggles of the general populace. Xanthe a troubled recently graduated doctor dealing with tragedy herself puts together the diary she finds and discovers links between herself and others with the help of Daniel a young academic. The book is a powerful very well researched glimpse through time at another time when not everyone could be trusted. It has you wondering what you would do in the same circumstances. Very thought provoking an excellent read! Sharon, NSW, 5 Stars

Absolutely brilliant another wonderful book from Diane Armstrong, The book starts in 1940 on the island of Jersey 2019 we are in Sydney The timelines in this book are easy to read and understand and the characters are so inspiring especially young Tom. Deborah, NSW, 5 Stars

A very interesting story that kept my interest until the end, very well written and easy to comprehend. Kathleen, NSW, 5 Stars

Reviews

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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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