by Jessica Shattuck
Publisher: William Morrow
Buy the Book: Amazon
Goodreads: Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resistor murdered in the failed July, 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.
First, Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naïve Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resistor’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.
As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.
Kritters Thoughts: I have read quite a few historical fiction books and quite a few set in this same time period - but this one was different. It was such a unique view of this time and place and I loved every minute of it.
The book flips and flops between years and years, but it was so easy to know when and where we were in the book. Each chapter is introd with a time and place, but you don't have to keep a timeline, instead it was easy to know almost in the first paragraph who was the main character in that moment and who was going to lead the story in that chapter.
And these women. They were inspiring and emotional, it was so interesting seeing this through their eyes. I loved that they had this opportunity to tell their side of the story. Each woman was unique, but it was easy to find similarities between them and it was easy to see how they would come together at this time.
I am intrigued as to what Jessica Shattuck can come out with next, I hope she sticks with some more historical fiction!
Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.