Tuesday 6 August 2019

A Most Dangerous Innocence - Fiorella De Maria

A Most Dangerous Innocence
Fiorella De Maria
Ignatius Press
ISBN 9781621642572
eISBN 9781642290684

This book blew me away. I hated putting it down. And found myself thinking about the story all the time. Few fiction stories that I have read have been so impactful. And I have read many great stories.  With reading a couple hundred books a year over the last few years it is hard for a book to really blow me away. But that is exactly what this book did. I have found myself thinking about this book for hours. And eager to get it back in my hands and give it a read. Because I read a physical copy of this book, it took me a few days to read it. I only read it at home, and usually once the kids were down for the night. But before I had even finished tis novel I had purchased all of her other books that are available electronically!

Stories about the Holocaust, about Nazi’s, about antisemitism are not fun to read. And they should not be fun. But they are important reads. I have already begun rereading this story with my oldest daughter a teen. She saw how much the story was impacting me and we had a long talk about it. We talked about the Star of David and compared it to the cross or crucifix that we wear. We talked about standing up for what you believe in. We talked about resisting evil. And all of those things are part of this story.

The story is set in 1940 Britain. And our protagonist, our heroine, is 16-year-old Judy Randall. The last things she wants to do is return to School. She wants to help with the war effort. But until she is 18, she must do as her father bids. And he wants her away from London, away form a possible attack, he wants her somewhere safe. But her school might not be as safe as he expected. Just has taken to wearing a star of David, because of her one Jewish grandmother. She has a knack for ferreting out news, and the truth. And knows much more about what is going on in Europe, then many of her classmates. And more than the school which is trying to shelter and protect the children as much as they can would wish.

Judy has always had a knack for getting in trouble, and this term it spears in spades. She fears a coming invasion, because she looks like the victims of the Nazi’s, even though she has been raised Catholic and is fairly devote. After another run in with the headmistress, she is certain she is hated, and that There is more going on with the headmistress. She soon suspects a fifth columnist. And her continued attempts to get to the truth just get her in more and more trouble with the all of her teachers. Being head strong and reckless, soon Judy has endangered not only herself, bot those whom she really cares about.

A Most Dangerous Innocence is a masterfully written tale. It is not biography, but it could be. And the events and places are real. The story gives us insight into the early days of the Second World War. And shows us, that innocence, friendship, and determination, can be great things, but also end up causing some serious problems. I would rank this as one of the best novels I have every read. And I can not encourage you strongly enough to give it a read. And if her other novels are nearly his good, I am in for some great reads this autumn.

Note: This book is part of a series of reviews: 2019 Catholic Reading Plan

Books by Fiorella De Maria:
The Cassandra Curse
Father William's Daughter
Poor Banished Children
Do No Harm
We'll Never Tell Them
A Most Dangerous Innocence
I Am Margaret The Play

1 comment:

Cherub said...

I, too, have read this book and loaned it to others to read. It is everything the reviewer says about it. Noise it abroad - this is a must read novel. It’s setting in war-time England is masterfully handled. It is a story of intrigue, treasonous betrayal, but above all a story of innocence, heroism, loyalty, and friendship. Written so well it is one of those “impossible to put down” novels. You just have to read every word and get to the end. Dr John Fleming, Australia.