Letters from Berlin…
About the Book:
As the Allied forces edge closer, the Third Reich tightens its grip on its people. For eighteen-year-old Susanna Göttmann, this means her adopted family including the man she loves, Leo, are at risk.
Desperate to protect her loved ones any way she can, Susie accepts the help of an influential Nazi officer. But it comes at a terrible cost – she must abandon any hope of a future with Leo and enter the frightening world of the Nazi elite.
Yet all is not lost as her newfound position offers more than she could have hoped for … With critical intelligence at her fingertips, Susie seizes a dangerous opportunity to help the Resistance.
The decisions she makes could change the course of the war, but what will they mean for her family and her future?
Letters from Berlin is the third novel from Australian author, Tania Blanchard, but the first that I’ve read. The author has drawn on her own family history and the result is a deeply moving portrayal of life in Berlin and its surrounding communities during the final years of WWII and the tumultuous aftermath of occupation preceding the division of Berlin into East and West.
‘Nazi propaganda and the war had turned former friends and acquaintances into bitter, resentful and untrusting people afraid for their own survival.’
I really liked this inside view on Berlin during this volatile period. As the war drew closer to its end, Nazism took on an intensity that dipped into madness, and combined with the fear of the advancing Russian army, Berliners were trapped in a city that was being destroyed and betrayed in equal measure. This novel is a slow burn historical, taking its time to lay out the history, set the scene, and develop the characters. It’s a compelling read, many of the events playing out with a dreadful inevitability that you couldn’t help but foresee.
This novel intricately explores what it was like to be a German against Nazism. To mourn the losses of your country, to be horrified by the violence within, repelled by the actions of your neighbours and former friends. After all of the suffering throughout the years of the war, for Germany, the end was only a new beginning of a different kind of suffering. For some, this would prove to be too much and the loss too significant. For others, the dream of a unified Germany would sustain until it prevailed. Recommended reading.
Thanks is extended to Simon & Schuster Australia for providing me with a copy of Letters from Berlin for review and for inviting me onto the blog tour.
About the Author:
Tania Blanchard was inspired to write by the fascinating stories her German grandmother told her as a child. Coming from a family with a rich cultural heritage, stories have always been in her blood. Her first novel published by Simon & Schuster Australia, The Girl from Munich, was a runaway bestseller, as was the sequel, Suitcase of Dreams. Tania lives in Sydney with her husband and three children.
Letters from Berlin
Published by Simon & Schuster Australia
Released 7th October 2020