Apr 14, 2015
Author: Anne Blankman
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: April 21, 2015
Overall: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Balzer & Bray
The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.
But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.
Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?
I didn’t realize that this book was a sequel, so I came in not knowing any of Gretchen and Daniel’s back story. That being the case I don’t really feel like reading Prisoner of Night and Fog is necessary. This book stands on it’s own, and it gives you all the pieces. I did feel at times like I wanted her to go into more detail especially about Gretchen’s family, but now it makes sense that she didn’t. I won’t be marking the book down for that because it was my own fault that I didn’t know it was a sequel.
I want to clarify something before we get into my review, just so no one thinks I’m being overly sympathetic to the Nazi’s. My grandmother was German and living in Bavaria during World War Two. She would have been 9 when the war ended, she was not a Jew or a Communist. However, she ended up spending a great deal of time in some of the overflow camps of Dachau. What I learned from her was that the German people wanted to survive, there was no trust among villages because it would have been so easy to betray someone and ensure that YOUR family was the one that survived, albeit at the expense of another. The German people were blinded by Hitler, and therefore blinded to a lot of his more terrible plans. It’s not an excuse, it’s an explanation. So I find myself feeling quite a bit of sympathy for these people. Not the Nazi’s, never them, but for the normal German people trying to survive. My family were never members of the Nazi Party, but they did what they had to, too survive. Anyways, onwards to the review!
This story was the perfect blend of factual history and blending it with literary license. I liked how Gretchen’s upbringing was so intertwined with Hitler’s. It really gives you a sense of intimacy with Hitler, and it allows you how easy it was for him to get loyalty. He was charismatic, a leader, and above all talked about bringing Germany out of their slump. In all fairness, Germany did get punished harshly after the World War One, and that punishment left the door for Hitler to win the people over. This book in particular shows how he wove himself into the very fabric of the country without anyone really realizing it. That’s the scariest part to me, is that he took something and using the media spun it in such a way that a state of emergency was declared and gave him all of the power. The Germans didn’t know what was going to happen, but they certainly didn’t ask enough questions.
The romance in this book was pretty light if I’m honest, and I had a hard time feeling Gretchen and Daniel’s devotion to each other. Daniel seemed pretty selfish, as if he had no idea what Gretchen gave up for him. Yes, Daniel was the Jew, and things were about to get bad for his family. But Gretchen had a high ranking position in the National Socialist Party, and she would never have wanted for anything. If she had ignored her heart and her morals she would’ve had a nice life while the National Socialist party was in power. And Daniel is over here complaining because England was boring. I wanted to scream numerous times, ‘Well at least you were safe!’ it just kind of showed me that he didn’t really understand the danger. Gretchen did and she was fully aware of how much danger she would be in if they went back to Germany but she still did it for Daniel.
The romance bugged me although I really liked how the history was woven into the plot. I’d give it 3.5 out of 5 stars. Definitely for fans of Phillipa Gregory, historical fiction, and light romance.
3.5/5 – A Great Read, Well-Written
**Please Note: This review is my honest opinion and I did not receive monetary compensation from it.**
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