Synopsis (from amazon)
It is 1943 – the height of the Second World War. With the men taken by the army, Berlin has become a city of women. And while her husband fights on the Eastern Front, Sigrid Schroder is, for all intents and purposes, the model soldier’s wife: she goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law. But behind this facade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former Jewish lover, who is now lost in the chaos of the war. Sigrid’s tedious existence is turned upside-down when she finds herself hiding a mother and her two young daughters: could they be her lover’s family? Now she must make terrifying choices that could cost her everything.
I read Lisa’s review of this book a month or two ago which made me immediately search for and request it on netgalley. I’m big reader of World War fiction and this one sounded a little more unique, plus the review made me think it would be well done.
It was an interesting subject. I think we should really admire Germans who harboured Jews during Hitler’s reign. It would be so easy just to ignore what was going on around you and stay safe (or at least relatively safe).
I quite liked how Sigrid battled with wanting to be a ‘good German’ and not being able to ignore what was going on around her. It showed that she wasn’t some sort of saint, but that this was the way she reacted to the situation. In that sense it makes the idea rather hopeful, that anyone could do something amazing for a fellow human-being, given the right circumstances.
In many ways she was just trying to get through the days, waiting for the war to end. And I can imagine it was that way for a lot of people.
The story was very sad, but also hopeful. I really felt for Sigrid, even if I didn’t always like her. Again it just showed that she was human.
First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me. – Martin Niemöller
Hardback- Large print (£20.44)
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