I am researching life in Holland during WW2 because my grandmother's family were living there. This book offers me a realistic view of ordinary families, their culture and experiences, which must parallel those of my family at that time. One of the characters even shares my grandmother's name! The description of family's lives alongside the Dutch Royal family's has the effect of both levelling, and drawing attention to, their differences in their shared experience of war. I find the book a fascinating read especially given my interest in that time and place. The characters live for me.