The Collaborator / The Soldiers Wife by Margaret Leroy || Book Review

The collaborator by Margaret Leroy

The Collaborator (or some may know it as The Soldiers Wife) by Margaret Leroy is very high up on the list of my favourite books. I loved reading this book and I never wanted it to end.

A few quick facts about Margaret Leroy

  1. Margaret Leroy studied music and then later worked in Psychiatry and child protection before writing full-time.
  2. She published her 1st book in 1999
  3. A lot of her books have two names (UK and US names). No idea why.
  4. The Collaborator is also called The Soldiers Wife in the US

Things you may not know

  1. As a child, Margaret Leroy wrote elaborate fantasy stories, and never showed anybody.
  2. But at the age of 12, she stopped writing. And only started again in her mid-twenties.

Into the book

Title: The Collaborator
Author: Margaret Leroy
Genre: Historical Fiction
Month: April 2017
Format: Paperback
Finished Date: 29 April 2017
Cost: R45 (secondhand)
What i loved: I loved how torn Vivienne was (it was so much like real life)
What I hated: I hated how sad I was when it was finished
My favorite part: My favorite part is when Kirill comes to the house for the very first time


What is my first impression of the title, the cover, back cover blurb?
I love WW2 fiction. So I was immediately drawn to the front cover.
The title I find is a little deceiving. I don’t feel Vivienne collaborated with the Germans. I feel she was doing what she had to survive, and even though she fell in love with a German soldier she never took part in any German activities and was torn throughout the book about her actions.
The back blurb just sold me on reading the book. But, as I already love WW2 fiction, it wasn’t a hard sale to make. I thought the point of view will be very interesting as I have never read a book where people from the two different sides of the war fall in love.
A little bit about the book structure.
The chapters are short, which I love. It makes you feel like there is constant progress in my reading.
The Collaborator book cover


What was my initial reaction to the book? 
I was hooked by the book from the start, actually before I even started because of the subject matter. I couldn’t stop reading and find myself missing the characters now that I am done. I want more.
What was my favorite quote/passage?
The world is full of terrible things. All you can do is be kind.
Did I find any themes throughout the book?
Confliction within one self. Vivienne was conflicted by her relationship with Gunther. Millie was conflicted as to what truth to tell who. Blanche was conflicted from the beginning and chose religion over all.
Which character did I like the most?
Vivienne and Millie were my favorite characters, however, I did really like Kirill and Max too.
What three words would I use to describe the book?
Conflict. Doubt. Surviving.
Who do I see playing the characters roles in a movie?
Vivienne -Kate Beckinsale
Gunther -Hugh Jackman
Max -Tom Hanks
Millie -Darby Camp
Blanche -Chloe Grace Moretz
Evelyn -Judi Dench
Johnny -Ryan Gosling
Celeste -Bella Thorne
Did I know? How did I know?
I didn’t expect the ending at all. I was hopeful up until the end.
How did I feel about the ending? 
I was shocked. I think it was a fantastic ending because it’s exactly what the reader hopes it’s not. It’s exactly what you think can’t happen because there has to be a happy ending, right?
Overall, the book was very emotional but more-so towards the end when the effects of the war really started to take it’s toll on the characters and their lives.
The ending was also very emotional for me and extremely sad.
The story doesn’t go much into what happened at the end with the other characters, but it’s also  not really needed.
What type of reader would be interested in this book?
Females and particularly if you have any fascination with WW2. If you enjoyed The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, or Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly then you will enjoy this book too.
What is my biggest takeaway from the book? 
My biggest lesson learned is that humans will be humans. You cannot control who you love or how much you love them. You can control your actions though and even in tough times, especially in tough times, it takes an extremely strong person to remain humane. Be kind.

Last thoughts

I never wanted this story to end. Sometimes you become so intertwined in a book that you feel a part of it, that’s how this book made me feel.


Thumbs up/down: up
Rating: 9/10

Want to buy the book?

Get the Paperback over here or at your local bookstore.
Listen to the Audiobook over here.

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