Switzerland 1942: Valerie watches with fear and incredulity as the war gets ever closer. She is anxious to stop the incessant rise of Nazi power and helps with resistance. Her sweetheart Philippe is a soldier but Valerie’s actions could spell danger for the man she loves…
The Watchmaker’s Daughter is an historical novel set in Geneva. It is author Dianne Haley’s debut novel and will be the first in a series.
Valerie is brave, defying her father who is keen to appease the Germans to protect his business and family. She smuggles secret messages as she goes out on her deliveries. But one message creates a moral dilemma as it could put her own sweetheart in danger.
I haven’t ever read a book set in Switzerland during the war so was fascinated to read a new perspective. For me, Switzerland is associated with neutrality so it was interesting to read how this had to be negotiated. I felt that the author had researched the era and culture to make the book as realistic and vivid as possile.
The book is written from Valerie and Phillipe’s third person perpectives. The sense of fear for both lead characters provides tension and anticipation which fuel the emotional side of the plot. Both characters are in danger and unsure who they can trust.
The Watchmaker’s Daughter is an enjoyable historical novel about love and bravery against the odds.
The Watchmaker’s Daughter: An utterly gripping and heart-wrenching World War II historical novel
Hiding the worn piece of paper among her father’s watch deliveries, her eyes fill with tears at the memory of her brave friend walking towards the Nazi soldiers, and the sharp sound of gun fire. Her friend sacrificed herself so that she could deliver this message. But if she hands it over, the love of her life will die…
1942, Geneva: As her radio crackles with heart-breaking news from occupied France, Valérie Hallez gazes towards the snow-covered Alps after a long day helping her father, a local watchmaker. With a Nazi invasion looming, she is sick with worry for the future of her country, and for Philippe, her childhood sweetheart with soft brown eyes. Valérie might not be able to join the army like him, but she is determined to play her part in the fight against evil…
In defiance of her father, Valérie helps the French Resistance by smuggling messages among her father’s watch deliveries. And when darkness falls, she risks everything to hide Jewish refugee children in his old workshop. Philippe fears for her safety, as her work for the Resistance could come with a heavy price. But nothing will stop her delivering vital information and getting terrified children to safety before they are sent back to the Nazis.
But when Valérie is entrusted with an urgent letter for the Allies, she finds herself in an impossible position. The information it contains could alter the course of the war. But if she hands over the message now, it will cost Philippe his life. With Nazi spies closing in on her, Valérie must act now… But can she really trust the man she loves, and will she find a way to save both him and her country before it’s too late?
An utterly gripping and heart-breaking novel about love and bravery in a time of terrible danger. Fans of The Alice Network, The Nightingale and We Were the Lucky Ones will be swept away by The Watchmaker’s Daughter