A fascinating story set in Germany leading up to WWII. Two Americans demonstrate the different foreigner’s reactions to Hitler’s Germany before the war and end up learning together and changing each other in order to survive.
Peter is spending the year in Germany as a part of his research towards completing his PhD. He has a history of violence at the hands of communists and so he sees Hitler’s Germany with unity and no unemployment as the solution to America’s problems. Evelyn is a journalist, horrified by the new laws and the persecution that Peter doesn’t seem to notice. Fighting not only the limitations placed on her by her gender but the rewriting of her articles by her seemingly Nazi-sympathising editor, she also has a history of suitors trying to force her to fit the mould of the perfect housewife and subservient woman.
This story is not only unique in its perspective in the historical fiction genre, it’s also quite thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat. I only meant to start this book before bed and somehow have finished it in one sitting instead. The writing felt a bit awkward at times and there’s a whole lot of religion and discussion about God and church and prayer, but the story and the characters more than made up for it. I tried to keep in mind the time period in which this book was set and it helped make the bible-speak less grating. I was impressed with how wide the scope of this book was for less than 400 pages, the story covered a lot of important information and a lot happened within these pages.
I would definitely recommend this book to any historical fiction fans, any lovers of progressive (for the time period) romance novels, or anyone interested in the perspectives of Germans and foreigners in the years before WWII began. This book is full of small kindnesses making all the difference, acts of bravery in the face of overwhelming evil, and, of course, time for romance in the midst of running for your life.