“The Prisoner’s Wife” is a tale of love and survival despite the odds crafted by the author Maggie Brooks as a reflection of the endurance of the human spirit to fight and survive despite overwhelming odds. A unique aspect of the book is that it is based on a true story, providing greater insight into both human endurance and callousness on the backdrop of Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II in 1944. The protagonists in the story are Bill, a British soldier, and Izabela (Izzy), a Czechoslovakian girl. The fates of these characters overlap when Bill is captured as a prisoner of war (POW) and used by the Nazi regime as labor. Consequently, Bill and a regiment of other captured POWs are sent to work on a farm owned by Izzy’s family. At the farm, Bill and Izzy are quickly smitten by each other and they soon start dreaming about freedom and getting married. Izzy wants her freedom because she feels limited by life on the farm and Bill wants to escape his POW status. Consequently, Izzy arranges a secret marriage, and they run-away together.
To increase their chances of success while on the run, Izzy is disguised as a man; cutting her hair short and wearing men’s clothes, to hide her gender and identity. However, their honeymoon and freedom are quickly extinguished when they are captured by some Nazi soldiers aided by tracking dogs. Consequently, both are assumed to be escaped British soldiers and are sent to another POW camp, opening another ordeal of torment for the couple. With the inhuman condition sat the POW camp, Bill and Izzy must survive while still being able to keep Izzy’s identity of a secret, which is an almost impossible feat to do in a POW camp. Consequently, Billy recognizes that they would need help to both survive and keep Izzy’s identity a secret so he asks for help from other prisoners. These prisoners and the couple become like a family, risking their lives to protect Izzy’s identity because if discovered she can be executed as a spy.