Our next book club book is Last Hope Island by Lynne Olson. We’ll be discussing it at Arden Dimick Library at 10:30AM on January 25, 2020. Please join us in person and/or leave comments below!
Author Lynne Olson has an interesting website with links to various interviews. Of special interest to us is her Q and A regarding the book. Here’s a sample:
Most of the books you’ve written focus in one way or another on Britain and World War II. What prompted you to write this one, about the wartime relationship between the British and occupied Europe?
What really drew me to it is that it’s such an unexplored subject. No one else has looked at this in detail — how Britain, as the last European country to hold out against Hitler, provided a refuge for the leaders of a number of occupied countries, enabling them to set up governments in exile to help defeat Germany. In return, they and thousands of their compatriots made crucial contributions to Britain’s survival and the eventual Allied victory.
If that’s the case, why have historians paid so little attention to what they did?
Primarily, I think, because of Winston Churchill. Early in the war, he created the image of plucky little England standing alone against Hitler’s Germany, the greatest military power in world history. Throughout the war and afterwards, he kept promoting the idea that the British singlehandedly held off Germany until they were joined by the Americans and Soviets in 1941. His claim overlooks the fact that the countries of occupied Europe, from their base in London, were still at war, too. Without their help, the British might well have lost the Battle of Britain and the Battle of the Atlantic and might never have conquered Germany’s Enigma code — all essential factors in Britain’s survival.
She also has a wonderful page devoted to the characters of the book. I highly recommend it – click on each photo for information about each person. Here’s the link.
See you on the 25th!