About the Book
Book: The Escape Game
Author: Marilyn Turk
Genre: Historical Christian Fiction
Release date: March, 2023
A Board Game Holds Keys to Prisoners’ Escape
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
After the Nazis started the bombing blitz of England, Beryl Clarke puts her college on hold to return to Leeds, care for her mother, and work as a secretary at the Waddington game company. While she endures the war at home, her brother James fights the enemy in the air. When he is shot down, injured, and captured, James meets American POW Kenneth Anderson, and they plan to escape the Nazi prison camp. Beryl knows there is a board game with escape plans being delivered to POWs by the Red Cross. But how will the men discover the game’s secret?
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About the Author
Award-winning author Marilyn Turkwrites historical fiction flavored with suspense and romance. Marilyn also writes devotions for Daily Guideposts. She and her husband are lighthouse enthusiasts, have visited over one hundred lighthouses, and also served as volunteer lighthouse caretakers at Little River Light off the coast of Maine.
When not writing or visiting lighthouses, Marilyn enjoys boating, fishing, gardening, tennis, playing with grandkids, and her golden retriever Dolly.
She is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers; Faith, Hope and Love; Advanced Writers and Speakers Association; and Word Weavers International.
More from Marilyn
The Story behind The Escape Game
In the process of writing my books, I’ve become fascinated by the real stories that happened during World War II. I’ve discovered information I didn’t know before and am finding out that many people I know, even those older than myself, didn’t know either. Every time I come across an interesting tidbit, I want to write about it. Since my husband knows I look for such things, when he came across a story about how the Monopoly game was used during the war, he shared it with me.
The true story was kept top-secret for over fifty years after the war, so few had heard about it, especially outside the United Kingdom. Of course, my writer’s mind set off asking “What If?” So the story developed about a woman who works for the company that makes the game and what happened after she found out about the secret. What if she had a close relative who had been captured before the British informed their soldiers about the game and he needed to know the information? How could she convey that to him?
I wish I could have gone to the UK for research, but that was not a possibility. Maybe someday. However, the people I contacted there were very helpful, and I was thrilled to make contact with the great granddaughter of the president of Waddintons, the company which manufactured the game. She was able to fill in a few details about the company, although when she was a child, her grandfather ran the company.
One thing many people find hard to believe, based on the horrible treatment the Nazi army inflicted on people they thought inferior, is that the treatment of POW’s was somewhat better, especially for pilots. Thanks to the rules of the Geneva Convention after WWI, the Germans abided by them for the most part. That involved treatment of prisoners who escaped. Most of them were caught and returned to the camp from which they escaped. And normally, the punishment was solitary confinement. The biggest hardship of the POWs besides lack of freedom was the meager food they were given, especially as the war continued, since the Germans themselves were facing food shortages.
The challenge for me as a writer was to accurately describe life in both England and the POW camp. The other big challenge was writing a love story when the two characters were apart for so long. But it’s true that many soldiers fell in love with women they corresponded with back home. That fact is verified in the many letters on record, including the ones my father-in-law wrote to a fellow soldier’s fiancé after the soldier was killed in action. Their relationship grew into love, and after the war, the two met in person at the train station for the first time and married the same day.
“…as members of the Royal Air Force, it is our duty to try to escape.”
Bravo for Marilyn Turk, who, in The Escape Game, has penned a very different kind of WWII book than I have yet read. Part of the Heroines of WWII series from Barbour, each novel stands alone. This is a slightly dual-timeline novel, where we meet Grandmother Beryl at nearly 100, then go back and learn of her life in war-torn England.
So many themes are presented, while the storyline is so engaging, you won’t want to stop reading until you find out what happens to the POW’s. Of course, you’ll want to discover whether the relationship between Beryl and American Kenneth can grow by heavily edited correspondence.
A bereaved widow, young women helping the war effort in ways that take bravery I can only imagine, an elderly lady with no family, and men desperate to escape the POW camp. What wonderfully diverse characters, each with their particular strengths and weaknesses. The thought that impressed me, was from the King of England down to the average Britisher, so many gave so much in the way of self-sacrifice. And many understood the value and hope provided by trusting in God at such a horrific time. Plus, the need to pull together to be successful. Kenneth may have some room to grow in all of these areas! Thankfully, people around him blaze the way spiritually as he attempts to blaze the way physically.
My fave secondary character? It would have to be a tie between Beryl’s mother (what a journey she makes in this book), and Mrs. Dowd (she both complicates and enriches others’ lives).
I received a copy of the book from Celebrate Lit via NetGalley. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
“The greatness of any nation is in the spirit of its people.”- King George during WWII
“As far as Kenneth was concerned, if he wanted a miracle, he’d have to create it himself. And if God wanted to help, He was welcome. He could start with a hot dish of jambalaya.”
“He pitied those who didn’t have that hope, because it was hope that kept them going.”
Magnificent!! I love the way Turk works all the elements together so beautifully!
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Holly’s Book Corner, April 9
Lily’s Book Reviews, April 10
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To celebrate her tour, Marilyn is giving away the grand prize package of a $25 Amazon eGift card and a copy of the book!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.