1936, Nazi-ruled Berlin. A heartbreaking and stunningly powerful novel of friendship, courage and betrayal, about two girls whose lives collide in war-torn Berlin, and whose friendship is the only thing that might get them out alive.
They sat together on the roof, watching Berlin burn, as traces of smoke and cloud floated through the air. “I just want to be free,” Rosa said quietly, “Even if only for a few minutes. It might be the last chance I have.”
From her beautiful new home in Berlin, a young woman named Liesel Scholz barely notices the changes to the city around her. Her life is one of privilege and safety thanks to her father’s job working for the new government.
But a chance encounter with Rosa, the daughter of their Jewish housekeeper, confirms Liesel’s fears that something isn’t right. That the Nazi government’s brutal rules are cruel and dangerous, and that others aren’t as safe as she is. When Rosa begs Liesel to help—pressing her grandfather’s gold pocket watch into Liesel’s hand—Liesel recklessly agrees.
She will help hide Rosa and her loved ones—in the dusty, unused rooms at the top of their house—even if it means putting everyone she loves in danger. Even if it means risking her own life.
Frankfurt, 1946: An idealistic American captain, Sam Houghton, arrives in Germany to interrogate prominent Nazis on trial and to help rebuild a battered country. When he hires an enigmatic, damaged interpreter named Anna, he doesn’t expect sparks to fly between them. Perhaps there is a chance of love for both of them. But then the question of what happened to Anna in the war raises its head.
Because Anna has secrets—ones that link her to Berlin, the Nazi party, and the story of one gold pocket watch and two young women who became friends, even when they were told it was impossible…
A compelling and haunting story about courage, love and betrayal set in war-torn Berlin. Fans of The Alice Network, All the Light We Cannot See and The Nightingale will be not be able to put this down.
It is always an exciting day when I get to share my thoughts on one of Kate Hewitt’s books, as there is certainly no denying that I am quite a fan of hers, and this latest novel certainly did not disappoint!.
In 1936, Leisel Scholz, along with her family have lived a somewhat sheltered life in Berlin, whilst the discontent began to stir in the world around them as Hitler began to demand more from his people every passing day. Ilsa – Leisel’s mother, would often accompany her father Otto as he worked his way up through the ever building regime. When Leisel takes her mothers place in accompanying him instead, she hates it immediately, especially the schmoozing with Hitler and his men. But Leisel knows better than to create problems, her father has made that abundantly clear to her from the start, so instead she finds herself despairing for their future as she watches the changes of her beloved Vati.
In 1946, six months after the war came to an end, Captain Sam Houghton, along with the rest of the American army arrived in Frankfurt. They are tasked with the job of finding any remaining Nazi’s and taking them to trial in Nuremburg for crimes of war. Sam employs a young German woman – Anna Vogel to interpret for him and help to decipher the papers in which they had obtained. Anna is somewhat aloof, and has certainly intrigued Sam from the start. Although she works hard, Sam knows there is something slightly off with her, that she is carrying secrets, but would he ever come to learn what those secrets were?.
This is such a wonderfully written, powerful story that had me engrossed from the start. I adore a dual timeline story, and witnessing the varying perspectives the author details from these different times adds so much depth and context to this story. The characters were well developed and had strong personalities, and it was fascinating seeing how their own unique traits would impact on their interactions throughout. The entire storyline is so wonderfully researched and really gives you a sense of how it must have been to live through such troubling times and the ways in which it impacted on peoples lives and relationships.
A fascinating, emotional read that really captivates you entirely. I loved this book and would recommend it highly to everyone!.
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Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives
*Thank you to Sarah Hardy, Bookouture, and Kate Hewitt for providing me with an ARC of this book in return for my honest review. All views are entirely my own and not influenced in any way.*