The Girl I Left Behind by Andie Newton
English | 2019 | Historical Fiction | ePUB | 2.8 MB
What would you risk to save your best friend?
As a young girl, Ella never considered that those around her weren’t as they appeared. But when her childhood best friend shows Ella that you can’t always believe what you see, Ella finds herself thrown into the world of the German Resistance.
On a dark night in 1941, Claudia is taken by the Gestapo, likely never to be seen again, unless Ella can save her. With the help of the man she loves, Ella must undertake her most dangerous mission yet and infiltrate the Nazi Party.
Selling secrets isn’t an easy job. In order to find Claudia, Ella must risk not only her life, but the lives of those she cares about.
Will Ella be able to leave behind the girl of her youth and step into the shoes of another?
I hurried through the crowded streets of Nuremberg, checking my watch every few seconds as the hands moved closer and closer to seven o’clock. The League of German Girls didn’t wait for late arrivals, and if I missed Frau Dankwart’s opening remarks, I’d hear about it from Aunt Bridget, who’d die from embarrassment if I showed up tardy again.
I had one job to do this evening, and that was to close up my aunt’s antiques shop in time to make my League meeting. I didn’t account for an unexpected customer who couldn’t make up her mind, and then having the terrible misfortune of using my aunt’s cramped office to change into my League uniform.
I rounded a corner, getting ready to cross the street, but then bumped right into a child, knocking the poor boy to the ground. He lay paralyzed with fear, eyes wide and unblinking, with his little hands clinging to his sides. I went to help him up, and that’s when the yellow star sewn on his left breast shone up like a beam of light in the gloaming just before his curfew.
His mother screamed silently, hands to her mouth for the attention he caused, probably wondering if I was going to alert the policeman directing traffic nearby in the square. ‘It wasn’t his fault,’ I said to his mother. I looked back at the policeman who hadn’t seen a thing. ‘Go!’ And they walked into a sea of foot traffic, disappearing between the bodies.
I ran across the street, only that same policeman who’d been directing traffic had blown his whistle. Someone else took his post, and he walked up to me, hand gripping his billy club close to his side. I closed my eyes briefly, mad at myself, knowing I shouldn’t have been running.
I smoothed my tie flat.
‘Who are you running from?’ He reached for my elbow, but I’d unbuttoned my coat just enough to show him my League uniform—thick blue tie and white shirt—which had actually started to dull, much to Auntie’s dismay.
‘I’m late for my League meeting. I’m sorry.’
Bystanders shot me strange looks, some probably hoping I’d be dragged away, give them a sight to see. He looked at his watch, tapping the crystal. ‘At this hour?’ He squinted.
I gulped, knowing his questions could go on indefinitely if he wanted. I tried not to sound impatient. ‘I work at my aunt’s shop. This is the first time I had to close and make a League meeting right after.’ I hung my head down. ‘I should have planned better.’
‘What shop?’ he tipped his helmet up, looking down the street and past the Nazi flags hanging above shop windows.