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This review features some minor spoilers.
Set in 1930s Germany, Hetty, the daughter of an SS officer, falls in love with a Jewish boy. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, just about everything.
Although this historical fiction novel includes their romantic entanglement and the powerful force that brings them together over and over, this book is far from a romance. It’s moreso about Hetty’s gradual change of heart when it comes to Hitler and the Nazis and her development from a brainwashed child to a young woman in a very difficult situation.
This book is not a romance, but it is definitely a book about relationships. The bond between Hetty and the love of her life is incredibly sweet. (I adored Walter’s bad jokes. More book characters need to tell bad jokes.) It is also tremendously heartbreaking and tragic. Hetty’s friendship with her maybe-not-so-perfect best friend and the complicated relationships with her family members round out the story, moulding Hetty’s life into something so life-like, you can almost reach out and touch it.
This is a timely novel that, at times, felt too modern and all too real. Both thought-provoking and nauseating at times, Louise Fein’s Daughter of the Reich is a powerful punch to the heart.
And yes, there was weeping involved in reading this book.
RATING: 5/5 stars