Sunday Book Review – Over the Hedge #Historicalfiction by Paulette Mahurin

Welcome to my Sunday Book Review. Today I’m thrilled to be sharing my review for one of my favorite Historical Fiction author’s book, Paulette Mahurin with Over the Hedge.

As many of my readers know, historical fiction, particularly, the WWII era genre, draws me into the world of the human condition, the evils of man, and the strength to survive. And Paulette is an amazing writer in this genre as she knows how to tell a story and bring our emotions right into it.


Over the Hedge

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During one of the darkest times in history, at the height of the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1943, members of the Dutch resistance began a mission to rescue Jewish children from the deportation center in Amsterdam. Heading the mission were Walter Süskind, a German Jew living in the Netherlands, Henriëtte Pimentel, a Sephardic Jew, and Johan van Hulst, principal of a Christian college. As Nazis rounded up Jewish families at gunpoint, the three discreetly moved children from the deportation center to the daycare across the street and over the backyard hedge to the college next door. From the college, the children were transported to live with Dutch families. Working against irate orders from Hitler to rid the Netherlands of all Jews and increasing Nazi hostilities on the Resistance, the trio worked tirelessly to overcome barriers. Ingenious plans were implemented to remove children’s names from the registry of captured Jews. To sneak them out of the college undetected past guards patrolling the deportation center. To meld them in with their new families to avoid detection. Based on actual events, Over the Hedge is the story of how against escalating Nazi brutality when millions of Jews were disposed of in camps, Walter Süskind, Henriëtte Pimentel, and Johan van Hulst worked heroically with the Dutch resistance to save Jewish children. But it is not just a story of their courageous endeavors. It is a story of the resilience of the human spirit. Of friendship and selfless love. The love that continues on in the hearts of over six hundred Dutch Jewish children.


My 5 Star Review:

Gripping Heartbreak.

This is a story that will keep you gripped throughout the plight of three people who joined the Dutch Resistance and in 1943 began a rescue mission in Amsterdam to save however many Jewish children as they could from being sent to their deaths.

Walter, Henrietta and Johan’s mission at the deportation center was to move the young children who were deported from their homes to the daycare center next door, a ploy to keep the children calm while the adults were being accounted for, beaten and awaiting the trucks to take them to the trains that would ultimately land them at Auschwitz. What the SS and fellow nazis didn’t know was that the children were methodically moved from the daycare and passed ‘over the hedge’ to a college campus next door. From there, Henrietta would take care of the children and prepare them for transport by other resistance members to be taken to new homes by good Dutch people who adopted them. Humanity at its best during a dark time of history.

Walter worked in the deportation room where the rounded up Jews were first sent to ‘register’ for their ‘next journey’. Walter worked hard and secretly to remove the children’s names off the rosters, always fearing being found out. He would try and save as many children as he could by first approaching the parent(s) and offering them to save their children. Devastated parents with fear, starvation and broken hearts were elated to give Walter their children for a chance for them to live and survive, as they knew what was waiting for them ahead.

The three worked diligently, secretly and methodically to do their part in saving Jewish lives. Intrinsically timed plans were carried out to bypass guards to smuggle the children over to the daycare, and once cleaned and fed, transported by inconspicuous vans and bicycles by other helpers, often placing the children in a suitcase or the like, with a small dose of drug to make them sleep so they wouldn’t get scared and cry. The fact that these three earth angels worked tirelessly right under the noses of the German SS patrol killers and got away with saving the lives of those meant to be killed, is astounding in itself.

Sadly, this story was written on true events. Walter and his friends managed to save the lives of over 600 Dutch Jewish children at a time when helping Jews was a crime punishable by death by the nazis. And if you are wondering what happened to these three heroes after their selfless, heroic efforts, you’re going to have to read the book.





32 thoughts on “Sunday Book Review – Over the Hedge #Historicalfiction by Paulette Mahurin

  1. Thanks for the review Debby it is on my TBR.. a dark subject but having read other books by Paulette, I know it will be treated with the outmost respect and writing skill… and we should never forget this time.. Happy Thanksgiving..♥


    1. Absolutely dark subject, and Paulette is a fantastic writer who knows how to execute such stories with the utmost respect. And thanks for the turkey wishes. No turkey here but at least I have Sunday football. ❤


      1. What a positive story coming from such dark times. I will have to check this out
        Thanks, for sharing, Debby!


  2. Hi Debby, this is a wonderful review of an excellent and heart rending book. I also appreciated the strength of the writing and revelations contained in this book.


  3. Thanks for a great review, Debs. This sounds like a gripping, if disturbing story. As you know, Eric lost some distant relatives in Poland in World War 2, in particular three little girls. Years ago, when we received the family tree document from a relative, our blood ran cold. Inhumanity to man by man was unbelievable. Hugs xx


  4. Hi Debby – I’ve heard too many real life stories over the years … of heartbreak and of positivity from those who got through. Great review for Paulette – thanks for the nod to an excellent read. All the best – Hilary


  5. I saw another review of this powerful book – perhaps on Robbie’s site (?) and it sounds riveting and heartbreaking. Your review is gripping, Debby, and that the book is based on true events makes me so sad. Thank goodness for the heroes of that time. And I love the tease at the end. Congrats to Paulette on the review and the powerful book. 🙂


    1. Thanks so much Diana. As you know, historical WWII era fiction is one of my favorite genres. I’m always attracted to stories of the human condition. It’s a riveting and heart-wrenching read for sure. Paulette is an amazing writer. Hugs xxx


    1. Don’t even get me started John. So many of us are having problems now with Worstpress. Thanks for reading, even if not your genre. You’d be surprised how many books I’ve been attracted to not my genre and pleasantly surprised. 🙂


  6. This one would certainly be tough to read. But it’s so important to learn about what happened and a book like this one can open people’s eyes to it. Great review, Debby. Congratulations to Paulette on receiving this review!


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