– Is this the only answer? Doesn’t look? Not to see? He breathed a sigh of relief and felt a sudden hatred for the man he had always adored. And some time ago he thought he would always love his father.
Where to start this review? Perhaps it is clear from the simple statement that there is a real trend for war literature today. Although I’ve read a lot of novels in this atmosphere lately, I’m glad I found novels that surprised me. These are more positive surprises.
It was the same in the book “Berlin Girl”. Published by Filia Publishing House. Its author is Kate Hewitt. Don’t despair because of the novel’s overly ambitious title and cover. I am sure that this story will catch you as it caught me. The author has a really good writing technique. When we add an interesting story to it, we get an almost perfect novel.
The first things. The “Berlin Girls” campaign is conducted in two directions. In 1936, we met young Liesel Scholz. The girl lives in a beautiful Berlin mansion. His life is a real idyll. At least that’s how he sees them. 1936 was the peak of the Third Reich’s prestige. The Olympic Games are held in Berlin. Hitler wants to show the whole world a new, strong Germany at any cost. He certainly manages it. Liesel is also personally watching the opening ceremony of the Games. All this is due to his father, who was a Nazi and worked in the government. However, he seems to be doing just what he needs to do. In particular, he is at least ambiguous about Hitler. However, he tells himself and his family that you have to do your job and obey his orders. Already, a man’s resistance will not change anything. From month to month, men become more involved in their work. He has no idea what the consequences of his involvement will be.
Many thanks to the author for his commitment to historical truths. He skillfully introduced the most important Nazi politicians to the pages of his novel. Liesel talks to Reich Marshall himself. However, the most important thing is the atmosphere of the time we come across in the pages of the novel. Liesel’s dilemmas are, in fact, questions that every apple can ask itself.
Kate Hewitt shows how the Nazis gradually gained absolute control over society. Why did people put up with it? Why didn’t they protest? This is what the protagonist tries to understand by discussing with his parents.
Meanwhile, after the war, American Captain Sam Houghton arrives in Frankfurt. His task is to find the most important Nazis and help them be tried. She hires a translator named Anna. Over time, the soldier gets closer and closer to his German worker. He does not know the secret that the woman is hiding.
Why is Anna so involved in her work? Looking among thousands of personal files of party members? What happens when the truth comes out?
Sam, who did not take part in the war, observes the defeated Germans. He tries to form his own opinion on how to treat them. Does everyone deserve condemnation and revenge? How should he understand what happened before and during the war? Should he believe in his heart or in his teaching?
“Berlin Girl” is my favorite novel. First of all, the author does not try to whitewash the Germans and present them as Hitler’s next victims. Yes, it shows different attitudes and behaviors, but to provoke difficult questions and even more difficult answers. The dilemmas faced by American Captain Semin are equally interesting. I must admit that while reading the book, I involuntarily answered the questions that appeared in the pages of the book.
Maybe the end of the novel will seem too childish to some – I feel the same way. Well, I will not hide that it is not difficult to guess what Liesel and Anna have in common. However, this does not exclude the “Berlin girls”. It’s a really good novel. The author is committed to historical realities, and the plot tries to ask difficult questions based on it and understand the behavior of the characters. Did they have a choice? Were they the hostages of their time? Or did they play the roles of their choice?
Despite the weak lid and soft cap, it is definitely worth reaching for the “Berlin Girl”. This is not an easy book. It is a novel that motivates the reader and forces him to take a position. I definitely recommend.