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Waiting to die... Based on a true story-bookcover

By: Sonia Murgatroyd

Waiting to die... Based on a true story

Pages: 296 Ratings: 5.0
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Not many have lived a life like Rosina’s. Based on the known facts, this is her story:

When Hitler invades Poland in September 1939, sending shock-waves across Europe, thirteen-year-old Rosina Callens is in Oostende, Belgium, dreaming of becoming an Olympic gymnast.

When the Nazis invade Belgium, Rosina and her family must decide whether to flee to England, or to stay and endure enemy occupation, as they had previously in the Great War.

Most of the family head for England, but German Stukas ensure that not all will make it.

Rosina’s is a life of courage and endurance, as she witnesses and survives the terrible horrors of  war, before marrying one of her liberators: a Welsh soldier named John Jones.

She moves to Wales full of love and hope, but life will never be easy for those who have suffered so much. She soon realises she is not welcome in John's family; the mental scars of suffering and the anguish of memories plague her, even as she continues to face oppression and depression daily.

Somehow she survives, raising a family and leaving a legacy. This story is part of that legacy.

Born in South Wales in 1946, Sonia is the eldest daughter of Rosina and John, the main characters in this book. She has wanted to tell this story for many years. Sonia now lives on the West Coast of Scotland with her husband Bob. Retired, Sonia enjoys craft projects when not writing. She has a son and daughter, and three teenage grandsons, whom she adores. 

Customer Reviews
12 reviews
12 reviews
  • A W

    This is an incredible story and very moving. Also an excellent read.,

  • Angela

    An emotional and harrowing true story. A must read.

  • Julia Wilson

    Waiting To Die by Sonia Murgatroyd is a powerful true story of the author’s Belgium mother Rosina, mainly of the World War II years and beyond.
    This is a book that will break your heart. Many suffered during World War II but for Rosina and her family in Belgium, they really seemed to have suffering heaped upon more suffering. They suffered the most unimaginable tragedies that would haunt Rosina for the rest of her life. It is a testament to her strength of character that she survived.
    The author tells of Rosina’s life before and during the Nazi occupation of Belgium, as a loving and loyal family is ripped apart by circumstances beyond their control. It was a time of sheer terror and unimaginable horrors.
    Rosina is a very likable young woman whose heart is kind. Her care of her younger sister Sara shows her sacrificial love in action.
    Life was to prove hard, even after World War II as we witness Rosina’s struggles with guilt and depression, and as a victim of domestic abuse.
    This book is a snapshot of a life captured at a time in history. Rosina is likable, lovable and strong yet vulnerable. I wish I had known her because she is admirable too. Rosina is now one of my heroes along with Martin Luther King jr and Corrie ten Boom. She had an indomitable spirit and a heart full of sacrificial love.
    Thank you Sonia Murgatroyd for introducing us to, and for sharing your mother with us. May God bless you.
    I received a free copy from the publishers. A favourable review was not required All opinions are my own.

  • Elaine Macdonald

    This book is a moving display of love, loyalty, resilience and suffering! It tells the story of deep family bonds and the cruelty of war, through the lens of a remarkable lady.

    For the historians out there, this book also gives interesting facts about an occupied Belgium during World War 2.

    Highly recommended read.

  • Susie

    I bought this book on kindle. I’d never read anything about Belgium during the Second World War so I was interested to hear how she as a country and her citizens had fared. Let me warn you, this is no rip-along read. It’s harrowing (as it should be when describing the horror of war) and the author was able to put across the helplessness and hopelessness of people who had no say in what happened to their country. The fact that this book is not fiction but the events actually happened only helps to magnify the awfulness of war. The story is based around one young woman, and her life before, during and after the war: the life of Rosina. I won’t put in any spoilers but suffice it to say, Rosina’s suffering did not end with the end of World War Two.
    This would make an excellent book club book. I can think of quite a number of questions to put to the club that would elicit incredible discussion.
    So sit down, but don’t relax, as this is not an easy-read term of human physical and mental suffering, but read it you must.

  • FJN

    Such a well-written story I feel I know all the characters and am left feeling so sad for them all. This is the reality of war and its long-lasting consequences. It made me think of my own parents and grandparents and the suffering they also endured during those times. I am so glad Rosina’s story has been told, although my heart breaks for the pain she suffered.

  • Robert Murgatroyd

    Read and cry.

  • Anonymous

    This was a page-turner from the start. Heartbreaking, in parts hard to read but all the same a compulsive read. Would highly recommend an insight into the hardships of those living in Belgium during the occupation

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