Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.
However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch’s identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her “marriage.”
Their journey to Gisela’s mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella’s daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.
In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.
I just loved the history in this novel, and loved how much research Liz Tolsma did to keep it accurate. This novel really showed a different side to the war. We all know what the Nazi's did to the Jews but it is easy to forget how many innocent Germans, and not so innocent, suffered towards the end of the war. Life was pretty miserable for all back then.
All the characters in this novel really had to fight, show love, respect and sacrifice to survive. As the pages turned I could feel their fear, almost smell and imagine the sites they were seeing. All I can say is I can't even imagine what it would have been like to be in that situation. This is not a light read at all, very deep and emotional but an excellent novel.
*I received this book through Litfuse for the purpose of this review. Thank You!
". . . compelling and fast-paced tale about the atrocities and tremendous losses. . . ." —Library Journal
"Excellent storytelling, accurate historical reporting and gritty, persevering characters make this WWII-era novel a must-read." —CBA Retailers + Resources
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