Review: The Girl I Left Behind by Andie Newton

WWI or WWII novels are usually a pretty easy sell for me. I love them. There is something about the back drop of a war that adds drama and interest to a novel and I always enjoy reading modern war time novels set in this period.

That said, not all WWI or WWII novels are created equal. While I enjoy books set in this time period, I don’t always love every single story that is set here. Often the historical fiction market is saturated with books set in WWII and I sometimes find myself worrying that the books I have read will just run together and not stand out.

When I picked up this novel, it sounded like a good read and one that I would probably enjoy, but I found myself hoping that there would be something about the plot or characters to make this one stand out. The cover is beautiful and the summary sounded wonderful, but would the story be unique or would it blend in with the other historical fiction novels set in this same time?


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? (summary from Goodreads). 


So I need not worry that this book would fade into the background of other war time novels at all! It was a wonderful and alluring story! Ella and Claudia join the Nazi resistance group, The White Rose movement and right away I wanted to know more about this movement.

I had never heard of it before and I also happened to get another book with a similar plot using The White Rose movement as part of their story too (though I haven’t read it yet) and I was eager to learn more about the movement and see how it impacted the lives of the two main characters.

The opening chapter of the book drew me in and I was surprised by that. Often it takes a few chapters to set the reader up for the ‘hook’ to draw them in, but not this book. I was turning the pages as quickly as I could to read more and I am pleased to say that I was doing that for most of the novel.

This novel was a very ‘real’ novel, meaning I felt so many emotions as I was reading. I was anxious at the parts that I should have been anxious at and felt genuine attachment to the characters. This was meant to be an emotional novel that would leave an impact in readers and I would say it did an awesome job at that. It was a wonderful read and one that frankly surprised me! The author’s writing skills shine in this one and to find that it was her debut novel was impressive! I can’t wait to see what her next novel is like! She has gained a fan in me that’s for sure!

Book Info and Rating

Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published October 3rd 2019 by Aria
Free review copy provided by publisher, Atria Books in partnership with HFVBT, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
Rating: 5 stars
Genre: historical fiction, war novel



Praise for The Girl I Left Behind

‘A gripping historical page-turner about an audacious eighteen-year-old girl in Nazi Germany, who finds herself at the heart of the Reich. It’s a thrilling tale of female friendship, young love, and extraordinary courage, laced with chilling reminders of the fate Ella will face if her treachery is discovered. A powerful debut!’ Gill Paul, USA Today bestselling author of The Secret Wife.

‘A captivating story with a twist of romance threaded throughout,’ Glynis Peters, USA Today bestselling author of The Secret Orphan.

‘A compelling tale of friendship, courage and espionage in a frightening and uncertain world,’ Charlotte Betts, author of The Dressmaker’s Secret.

‘The Girl I Left Behind made me cry and left me wanting more, which to me are signs of a truly wonderful book, one that will stay with me long after I’ve finished reading,’ Lana Kortchik, author of The Story of Us.

About the Author

Andie is an American writer living in Washington State with her husband and two boys. She writes female-driven WWII historical fiction. Her debut novel, THE GIRL I LEFT BEHIND, was published by Aria Fiction in October 2019. THE GIRL FROM VICHY, her second novel with Aria Fiction, will be released in July 2020 with a third untitled novel due to release in 2021. She has a Bachelor’s degree in History from Washington State University and a Master in Teaching. She would love to say she spends her free time gardening and cooking, but she’s killed everything she’s ever planted and set off more fire alarms than she cares to admit. Andie does, however, love spending time with her family, trail running, traveling the world, and drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Andie would love to be a guest at your next book club! You can find discussion questions for her novels on her website You can also find Andie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, BookBub, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, December 2
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Thursday, December 5
Review at Passages to the Past

Sunday, December 8
Review at Robin Loves Reading

Monday, December 9
Review at Bookish Bellee

Wednesday, December 11
Interview at Passages to the Past

Thursday, December 12
Review at Books In Their Natural Habitat

Monday, December 16
Review at Lost_in_a_book_reviewer

Wednesday, December 18
Review at The Lit Bitch

Friday, December 20
Review at Gwendalyn’s Books


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a paperback back copy of The Girl I Left Behind! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on December 20th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Paperback giveaway is open to the US only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen.

The Girl I Left Behind

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