I got this book from the publisher via Edelweiss, so thank you for sending to me what turned out to be such an enjoyable novel! It was really good, and I love the cover!
Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog
Author: Anne Blankman
Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog #1
Source: Publisher (Edelweiss)
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: April 22nd 2014
No. of Pages: 401In 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 favorite, 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? -(Goodreads.)
4.5 stars: Page agrees this book was wonderful, almost
I am extremely, extremely happy with this debut. I'm really happy Anne Blankman wrote this, and I'm already really anticipating the sequel. I would render this series one to watch.
This is the kind of book that you will have a love/hate relationship with. It's inevitable. You'll love it, because it is a momentous piece of story telling, but you'll hate it because it's set in an era where we already know what happened. We already know how it ends. It's an awful feeling when you know that not even such a great fictional character like Gretchen change things. Even fiction gets held back by reality..
Despite this, I still found myself rooting for the characters. I found myself clinging onto every available shred of hope that somehow, just somehow, history might miraculously change and we can get more than just a slice of a happy ending. What I'm grateful for is that at least the fictional side of this novel allowed me to have faith that at least some of characters would be allowed the endings they deserve, unlike those whose lives are already set in stone by time.
I really admire the author for taking on such a difficult era. I currently learned about World War 2 in history, and it's safe to say that everyone in the class got upset or slapped in the face by the harshness of reality at least once. Anne Blankman faced this harshness and allowed her own curiosity to bloom into a gem of a story.
It's hard to tackle the character of someone who elicits such tremendous feelings from everyone around the world, someone such as Hitler who's actions have hurt countless people. Nevertheless, Blankman managed to create a persona who I felt could be the sort of person your heart would grasp onto in your darkest hour, but at the same time be a calculating and deceitful man once you saw the truth.
I enjoyed how this story portrayed how easy it could be to get caught up in all the promises made by Hitler, because whilst it would be a lie to state that everyone who supported him didn't know his intentions (So many wholeheartedly believed in all he said..) there were still people, especially young women like Gretchen, who were blinded by this image that they had tirelessly been fed. One of my favourite parts of the story has to be watching Gretchen discover the truth. In doing that, I felt that Blankman really got to explore her character and Gretchen was allowed to grow as a person. As a reader, this was really important for me.
My other favourite part was Gretchen and Daniel. <3 Daniel was jewish, so I really enjoyed watching Gretchen realise that everything she had been told was wrong. It was a really important moment in the story for me, and they are one of my favourite couples EVER.
In terms of characters I hated (apart from the obvious) Gretchen's brother, Reinhard, is my choice to vent about. He is simply one of the most detestful characters ever, and it was honestly hard to read about some of the scenes with him it. He is awful, but don't let him taint your feelings- he's not worth it.
Prisoner of Night and Fog is a momentous piece of storytelling that blends an author tackling a difficult era with great portrayals of personas and opinions, creating a jewel in the historical fiction genre.