Reviewed by Martha Artyomenko
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.
This tale is wrought with the pain and hardship that is tangible through the pages of the book. The author reaches out to you and makes you taste the fear that Gisela and others faced as they run for their lives and the lives of others around them. I was thrilled to learn at the end, that it was based on facts she had gotten from her grandmother. This book is a WW2 fiction book that you will want to experience, and it is an experience. The romance is very, very light and would be appropriate for a high school read, but it does talk about bombing, violence towards deserters, and other topics that may be distasteful, but done in a way that is factual. I will be looking for this author’s books to purchase and pass along to friends. It is not the easiest read, because the subject matter is the harsh reality of the war, but I found that was what also makes it appealing as a great read!
This book was given to me for review, by Book Sneeze and the opinions contained therein are solely my own.