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Historical Fiction
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Independent Press Award 

2024 winner

The Lioness of Leiden

Robert Loewen

NYC Big Book Awards Distinguished Favorite in Historical Fiction

How do you fight the Nazis right under their noses? With cunning and courage.

When the Germans invade the Netherlands, Leiden University student Hetty’s boyfriend goes missing. But she has little time to grieve when she volunteers as a courier for the Dutch resistance, joined by her roommate, the beautiful Mimi, and seventeen-year-old Maria, the daughter of a slain resistance fighter. At great personal risk, the three women carry documents, secret messages, and cash to protect Jews, downed pilots, and others hiding from the Nazis.

During five years of war, Hetty is challenged by a gauntlet of spies and betrayal. She heroically fights back as she and her friends accept increasingly dangerous assignments. All the while, Hetty worries about her family. She tries to forbid her younger brother from volunteering for combat in the resistance and argues with her father about becoming too cozy with the Nazis.

As the Gestapo closes in, can Hetty and her family and friends make it through the war, free to live and love again?

Inspired by true events, Robert Loewen’s debut novel pays tribute to the heroism of his mother-in-law, who served as a courier in the Dutch resistance during World War II.

The Lioness of Leiden
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