Code Name Sapphire – Pam Jenoff – HTP Books Winter 2023 Historical Fiction Blog Tour

Hello readers! Welcome to my stop on the Harlequin Trade Publishing Winter 2023 Historical Fiction Blog Tour for Code Name Sapphire by Pam Jenoff! Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing and the author for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this tour.

Code Name Sapphire

Author: Pam Jenoff

Genre: Historical Fiction

Published: February 7th, 2023 (Park Row)


Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you to the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.


1942. Hannah Martel has narrowly escaped Nazi Germany after her fiancé was killed in a pogrom. When her ship bound for America is turned away at port, she has nowhere to go but to her cousin Lily, who lives with her family in Brussels. Fearful for her life, Hannah is desperate to get out of occupied Europe. But with no safe way to leave, she must return to the dangerous underground work she thought she had left behind.

Seeking help, Hannah joins the Sapphire Line, a secret resistance network led by a mysterious woman named Micheline and her enigmatic brother Mateo. But when a grave mistake causes Lily’s family to be arrested and slated for deportation to Auschwitz, Hannah finds herself torn between her loyalties. How much is Hannah willing to sacrifice to save the people she loves? Inspired by incredible true stories of courage and sacrifice, Code Name Sapphire is a powerful novel about love, family and the unshakable resilience of women in even the hardest of times.

My Thoughts

Hannah has managed to escape Nazi Germany once, but when her ship that promised an escape to America is turned away at port, there is no choice but to turn around and head straight back to occupied Europe. She seeks shelter with her cousin Lily in Brussels, but knows that Belgium can only be a temporary haven. With the dangerous role she played in the underground movement back in Berlin, getting out of Europe entirely is her only chance at safety. She goes looking for the local resistance movement in hopes that they can help her and stumbles across the Sapphire Line, a network led by Micheline and her brother Matteo that arranges routes for stranded airmen to escape occupied territory, and they agree to arrange for her passage if she will assist their network. But one mistake causes Lily and her family to be arrested and put on the list for deportation to Auschwitz, and Hannah is desperate to rescue them at any cost.

💭 Initial Thoughts: I was first introduced to Pam Jenoff’s books back in 2021 when I received an ARC of The Woman With The Blue Star which was an extremely moving read. So when I heard of this book, I added it to my TBR immediately. I read a variety of WWII historical fiction, but the ones I enjoy the most are ones like these, that relate to things like undercover work and the various resistance movements during the era.

🌎 Plot, World building & Atmosphere: Code Name Sapphire is based around the true story of how one of the trains headed to Auschwitz was liberated. Of course, a bit of creative liberty has been taken with dates and times, as described in the author’s note, but this made for a truly gripping read. It was a powerful story showing how women played crucial roles in the resistance under the most dire of conditions. The tone of the story and the backdrop of 1942, I felt, reflected very well how life would have been for people living in Nazi occupied territory.

✍🏻 Writing & Narration: This book was well written and an easy read. The engaging plot had me turning the pages so fast that it took me just over two hours to finish it. It was full of unexpected twists and turns and plenty of action too.

👥 Characters: There were three POVs for this story: Hannah, Lily and Micheline, and the narration was very well balanced between them, their voices distinct and easy to follow. Micheline’s POVs were the ones I found most intriguing and I would have loved it if there was more information about her and her experiences running the Sapphire Line. Lily’s arc was also interesting to follow, but I felt like just as it was getting somewhere and her character had just started to change her viewpoint on things, the book was just about wrapping up. Hannah, despite arguably being the central character, was the one I had the hardest time connecting to. While she did have a rather tragic past, I didn’t find her to be particularly likeable – unfortunate, since she is supposed to be the heroine and didn’t come across as one. All three characters, while they had a lot of potential, weren’t developed as well as they could have been, leaving them very surface level. I wasn’t too fond of the sort of love triangle that unfolded, it didn’t take over the plot or unnecessarily complicate it in any way, so it was okay for the most part.

🎬 Ending: I’m not sure how I feel about the ending honestly, especially the reveal of who the traitor had been all along, but it was a shocking and action-packed conclusion that wrapped things up neatly, if a little abruptly. The reason behind the betrayal didn’t make much sense as it didn’t help all that much in the end. Hannah’s decision in the book’s final pages also didn’t sit right with me after what she did.

Final Thoughts & Recommendation: Overall, this was a solid read and one I’ll probably re-read at some point. If you’ve enjoyed any of Pam Jenoff’s novels in the past, this is definitely one book that should be on your TBR this season and I would highly recommend this book to all historical fans in general too!

Code Name Sapphire releases on February 7th, 2023.

About the Author

Pam Jenoff is the author of several books of historical fiction, including the New York Times bestsellers The Lost Girls of Paris and The Orphan’s Tale. She holds a bachelor’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University and a master’s degree in history from Cambridge, and she received her Juris Doctor from the University of Pennsylvania. Jenoff’s novels are inspired by her experiences working at the Pentagon and also as a diplomat for the State Department handling Holocaust issues in Poland. She lives with her husband and three children near Philadelphia, where, in addition to writing, she teaches law school.

Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

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Buy this book at:
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Do you plan to read this book? Let me know in the comments below!
Related reviews:


6 thoughts on “Code Name Sapphire – Pam Jenoff – HTP Books Winter 2023 Historical Fiction Blog Tour

  1. Anoushka February 7, 2023 / 3:36 am

    GUFDJGEFUG YOUR REVIEWS ARE ALWAYS SO MUCH FUN TO READ I LOVE THEM?? also this sounds amazing. Look undercover work and resistance movements and nazi Germany and women being fabulous and turning over the world?? COUNT ME IN. I’m so glad you enjoyed this!! It sucks that the characters were so one dimensional though BUT YAY FOR A PAGE TURNER.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Drew Alexander Ross February 8, 2023 / 3:08 pm

    Love the coverage of the book and the author. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Jodie | That Happy Reader February 8, 2023 / 10:34 pm

    Great review Raji! I saw an interview recently with the author (who is quite the academic) and her history. I have a challenging time reading WWII stories for personal reasons but I do want to read this one. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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