Wednesday 11 October 2023

Review - Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan

Safiyyah's War by Hiba Noor Khan
Publisher: Andersen Press
Release date: 6 July 2023
Back cover blurb: War comes to the streets of Paris and Safiyyah’s life changes for ever. Her best friend’s family have fled, and the bombing makes her afraid to leave the mosque where she lives. But when her father is arrested by the Nazis for his secret Resistance work, it falls to Safiyyah to run the dangerous errands around the city. It’s not long before hundreds of persecuted Jews seek sanctuary at the mosque. Can Safiyyah find the courage to enter the treacherous catacombs under Paris and lead the Jews to safety?

Safiyyah's War is a beautifully written account of a young girls life being turned upside down in occupied France, during WW2. 

Paris. WW2.

The Nazi's have arrived, and life is turned upside down in an instant. Safiyyah's best friend has fled with her family, and Safiyyah is afraid to leave the Grande Mosque where she lives, due to bombings, curfews and unfamiliar soldiers on the streets.

Aware of an ever present danger that she doesn't fully understand Safiyyah is disturbed by her Father's comings and goings late at night. Unaware at first that her Father is part of a secret resistance network she worries what he is doing late at night, and who with.

When she discovers the truth, she pleads with her Father to let her be involved. At first he is reluctant, but when he is arrested, Safiyyah takes the reigns with ease, running dangerous errands all over the city.

It's not long before thousands of Jews are invited to seek sanctuary at the Mosque, alongside others who are being persecuted by the Nazi regime.

The plan is to get these people out of the City to safety, via a network of tunnels that run underneath the Mosque to the river. But can Safiyyah undertake this work, when the Nazi's are hot on her heels?

I can't say too much more as I really want you to read this novel for yourself.

This lesser known act of courage by members of the French resistance is a story that needs to be heard and understood.

As per the Author's note, this book is a tale for "all the unlikely heroes, whose names aren’t memorialised and whose stories aren’t sung and praised, but whose courage and actions change our world forever"

Safiyyah's War is available now via Amazon and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who received my request via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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