Auschwitz, 1942: This unforgettable novel, based on a true story, brings to life history’s most powerful tale of forbidden love. Set within the barbed wire of Auschwitz, a man and a woman fall in love against unimaginable odds. What happens next will restore your faith in humanity, and make you believe in hope even where hope should not exist.
“I won’t let anything happen to you,” he whispered, pressing a note into her hand. Her entire body trembled when she read it: I am in love with you.
Helena steps off the cattle train onto the frozen grounds of Auschwitz. She has twenty-four hours to live. Scheduled to be killed tomorrow, she is not even tattooed with a prison number. As the snow falls around her, she shivers, knowing that she has been sentenced to death for a crime she didn’t commit.
When a gray-clad officer marches towards Helena and pulls her away, she fears the worst. Instead, he tells her that it’s one of the guard’s birthdays and orders her to serenade him.
Inside the SS barracks the air is warm, thick with cigarette smoke and boisterous conversation. After she sings to the guard, Franz, he presses a piece of cake into her hands––the first thing she has eaten in days. On the spot, he orders her life to be saved, forever changing the course of her fate.
What follows is a love story that was forbidden, that should have been impossible, and yet saved both of their lives––and hundreds of others––in more ways than one.
Fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Choice, and The Orphan Train will be utterly entranced by this unputdownable page-turner. This completely heartbreaking yet beautifully hopeful novel shows that love can survive anything and grow anywhere.
No. of pages:- 364 pages
Date published:- will be published on 9th August 2021
Genre:- Historical Fiction
He was a Nazi, a SS man…she was a Jew…but there are no boundaries for love despite their love is forbidden in the eye of the Reich laws…
When I was in college, I read an article about a Nazi soldier named Franz, who was apparently known as the demon of Auschwitz and his love story with a Slovak Jew named Helena who arrived at the Auschwitz camp. Helena worked at Kannada, a place where many women worked and they were allowed to grow hair and exchange goods in return. While reading that article, I realized that despite the racial laws that forbid Aryans from marrying Jews, there was no boundary for love. Though after the war they moved on with different lives, Franz was arrested for his crimes at the Auschwitz camp but it was Helena who testified for him, citing he saved her life.
This book is loosely based on this true story–the first names were similar but the author has altered the last names. though the events that took place in the book is eerily similar to what happened. Because of Franz’s love to Helena prompted to save Helena’s sister from going to gas chambers and because Helena sang for him on his birthday that made Franz save Helena from execution. Like all her books, the author has done tremendous research and as such, the story was heartbreaking, tear jerking and emotional at times to read. The most interesting part was the court scenes as lawyers had no idea if Helena genuinely in love with Franz or is it just the Stockholm Syndrome. But as we go through the book, we do feel that the love between Franz and Helena was in fact genuine. As always, the brutal conditions at the Auschwitz camp was too disturbing to read, particularly the treatment towards Jews and the fact that this was actually a true story made it more interesting and emotional to read. The book was unputdownable and there were some parts, guaranteed that will make you cry. The story was so beautifully written and for the first time, though I cannot stand the Nazis, I actually felt for Franz at how he worked hard to save his true love!
Overall this is a heartbreaking, tear jerking and emotional book, the one that will not let you put the book down, the one where you will remain hooked into the story until the end–worth five stars!
Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only
Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, “The Girl from Berlin.” Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.
In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.