Urve writes historical fiction for teens. Her first novel, The Darkest Corner of the World, is published by Dancing Cat Books. She’d love to visit your school, book club, or organization to talk about the little-known true stories that inspired this book about Madli, a fifteen-year-old girl living in World War II Estonia. Madli faces unimaginable decisions to protect herself and her family as they struggle to survive the `scorched earth`tactics of the retreating Soviet Army and the advance of the German Army.
In 1941, Estonia is under the iron rule of the Soviet Union. Fifteen-year-old Madli is struggling to understand why she can’t raise her country’s flag, why soldiers are waiting at every corner, and why her father was taken away in the middle of the night. Her annual vacation to Hiiumaa Island for the Midsummer celebration is the one thing she has to look forward to.
But in the midst of the celebrations, the Nazis invade the Soviet Union, and are on a path that will take them through Estonia. When Madli hears about a band of forest-dwelling freedom fighters determined to overthrow the Soviets at any cost, she is forced to decide whether she’d rather live under the evil regime she knows, or help another evil regime in hopes her father will be freed and her nation’s story heard.
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CM Magazine (Volume XIX Number 3, September 21, 2012) Highly recommended (3.5/4)
“A worthy addition to the historical fiction collection of any library.”
“Also, as the book maintains certain similarities with dystopian literature – for example, life under Soviet occupation during the 1940s is not so much unlike the repressed societies that are the mainstay of the dystopian genre – it is conceivable that The Darkest Corner of the World would suit the interests and sensibilities of readers looking for greater reading variety across the genres. However, any recommendation of this kind should perhaps be prefaced by stating that, at its core,The Darkest Corner of the World is a World War II historical fiction novel: a pretty good one at that.”
Resource Links, December 2012 “E” Excellent. Best of 2012 List.
“As historical fiction is meant to, Madli’s struggle makes Estonia during World War II seem immediate and relatable. Her everyday chores, crushes on boys and daydreams make this a perfect slice-of-life story… this is a good pick for historical fiction collections, particularly since it is an often overlooked piece of history.”
Amy’s Marathon of Books
— Amy Mathers (@AmyDMathers) July 12, 2014