Author: Anne Blankman
Blurb: In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her “uncle” Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf’s, and Gretchen is his favourite, his pet. Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler. And Gretchen follows his every command.
Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can’t stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can’t help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she’s been taught to believe about Jews. As Gretchen investigates the very people she’s always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she’s ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.
Review: Thank you to Bookbridgr for sending this to me in exchange for me rattling on about it here. Prisoner of Night and Fog follows 17 year-old Gretchen. It’s 1931 and Gretchen knows Hitler as Uncle Dolf – a family friend and accompanying soldier of her late father, Klaus Muller. After her father was shot and deemed a Nazi Martyr for saving Hitler’s life, Gretchen realises something doesn’t add up and seeks to find out the truth behind her father’s death. She meets Daniel – a journalist, also out to uncover the truth about Hitler and the Nazi Party. He’s also a Jew and Gretchen is in more danger than ever.
I think I would have probably benefitted from a little more previous knowledge of Nazi Germany and what went on during that period for me to be able to enjoy and appreciate the book even more however, that’s not saying that I didn’t find it an incredibly compelling and engaging read. The author paints Germany remarkably and really transports you to this country and this time period. You get completely sucked into Gretchen’s life, the people she knows and what’s going on around her.
The characters in this book were fantastic and really got you diving opinions about them. Gretchen’s brother, Reinhard, was one of the most foul and unlikeable characters I have ever read. Her Mother also, I didn’t get a good vibe from at all and I felt very sorry for Gretchen throughout the majority of this book. I found Hilter’s character very interesting – although I suppose, it wasn’t really a “character” at all. I love how the author managed to slot this incredibly well-known and hated historical figure into the fore-front of the book; being present and having conversations with the main character.
Gretchen and Daniels blossoming friendship and relationship was a really beautiful touch to an otherwise very dark story. He was a Jew and she was one of Hitler’s favourites; but somehow they both looked past that and I just adored how Gretchen slowly realised that Daniel wasn’t to be feared or hated and in fact, was the only one who helped her at a time when she desperately needed it. The revelation that Jews were real people was captured brilliantly.
I also enjoyed reading the “Authors Note” at the end of the book where she explains that a large chunk of this book was based on true events and it’s actually quite scary and daunting when that sinks in. You end up so caught up in Gretchen’s life and challenges that it doesn’t register that the event’s she’s talking about actually happened and real people were actually involved. I really liked the over-lap between reality and fiction and think that makes this book not only a great work of fiction but also very educational.
Rating: 4 stars 🌟