Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.
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.
Lately, WWII novels have become quite popular, and I for one cannot complain. WWII is rich with so many stories, I’m sure there is no way to tell them all.
What I liked:
This novel presents a different aspect of WWII that I don’t usually read about. You have Gisela who, though raised in America, is German and Mitch, who is British. Unlike most WWII novels, the Germans are not the only bad guys. Here you have the Russians. It’s an interesting and unique viewpoint to look through and I enjoyed seeing through Gisela’s eyes what that time must have been like.
Spiritually, there is this great message that you can’t save anything; only Jesus came to save the world.
The novel starts off with you on the edge of your seat. I was completely worried for Gisela and Mitch.
What I didn’t like:
The novel kind of slows down in the middle. Even though there is still danger and uncertainty, somehow I managed to slowly disconnect from Gisela. She has a lot of burdens to bear, but I think she slipped into a feeling-sorry-for-herself zone. And don’t get me wrong, she has a lot to feel sorry about. It’s just that it’s hard to read sometimes. I kind of wished that there had been comic relief or something. Also, she really lets the drama of “he likes me, he likes me not” take over the story when really I felt like she should be focused on survival.
Audra. Audra confused me. I didn’t know what that girl wanted or what she hoped to accomplish (aside from Hollywood) and I’m fairly certain she didn’t either. Her role in creating drama fell a bit flat to me. I couldn’t understand why anyone believed a word out of her mouth.
To a certain degree, though bombs were dropping and people were being threatened, the novel lost that edge-of-your-seat feel to it.
Lastly, Mitch is a bit of a beta male. Fine. I love beta males, but aside from his past, there’s not much I could tell you about him. He came across as a forgettable.
Overall, the novel is not bad and it’s completely original. However, though it drew me in, it failed to keep me there.
Romantic Scale: 7
**I received this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in anyway.**