In 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?
From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she’s ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.
It’s been a long time since I’ve reviewed any kind of historical fiction, in fact, I don’t think I’ve reviewed any for the year of 2014.
UPDATE: After checking my Goodreads, it seems that I technically haven’t reviewed any historical fiction, unless you’re counting Lady Thief, but that’s up for debate. I, personally, wouldn’t consider it historical fiction, either way.
I’ve been vying for something historical and juicy to come my way, so when I opened the door this past week and the mailman was holding Prisoner of Night and Fog in his hands, I was pretty damn happy. Warning beforehand, though, I’ll be posting some light spoilers so if you haven’t read yet, tread carefully, but I’ll try to keep things vague.
To be completely honest, any talk of the Holocaust makes me squeamish. Number the Stars? Read it in the fifth grade, admittedly still traumatized. The Book Thief? Cried for days. Just thinking about it now has me misting up. Anne Frank’s diary? Won’t even discuss it. So, in turn, Prisoner was quite the challenge I was a bit hesitant to face.
But I am ever so glad that I did.
Most historical YA’s that I’ve read are based off fabricated characters, but Prisoner included some pretty well known German’s, including Eva Braun and the man himself, Adolf Hitler. What really stood out among other things for me, was that Hitler wasn’t just a man in talks, he was actually present throughout the novel, and we weren’t dealing with any other civilian, we’re hearing the story from a girl who was apart of his inner-circle, and best friends with the oh-so elusive Eva. I have yet to read any novel that actually brings Hitler, in person, into the writing and, as twisted as it may be, I liked getting to see the man up close and personal, fictional or not. Reinhard, Gretchen’s brother, though, was hands down my favorite character, only because he was so cynical and so psychologically demented, that he was almost unbelievable, but then of course you’d put him in a room with Hitler and things would sort of start to make sense. It was interesting how he was brought into the situation regarding Hitler’s psycho diagnosis, and put things into a rather intriguing perspective. While the story left off logically at the end of Prisoner, there was a bit more I would have liked to see of the man, during the novel, and, of course, in the sequel. Even though it was fun while it lasted. Daniel, the Jewish reporter from the Munich Post was another odd being that I loved, loved, loved. You want to talk about forbidden romance? How does Hitler’s golden girl and a Jewish journalist sound to you? I thought that was pretty darn amazing, and seeing him opening up Gretchen’s eyes was equally enjoyable. They made a lovely pair and I can’t wait to see where their travels have taken them in the upcoming sequel. My only complaint is that I want more Eva and I’m not exactly sure I’ll get her, considering the circumstances.
The mystery surrounding Anne’s 1930s tale served as a hub for the story as a whole, but the romantic elements managed to give the story a great balance without taking away from the history.
Admittedly, while reading Prisoner, you can tell that Blankman went through some rather thorough research before even touching a page, though just enough information was packed into the novel that didn’t feel like just any other history lecture.
So far, all we know about Prisoner‘s sequel is that it will kick start in 1933, just as Hitler’s been elected as an official, and will resume Gretchen and Daniel’s story. The amount of danger that is evidently lurking is crazy, and I can’t wait to see where Anne takes her readers next.
Any fan of mystery and mayhem will fall head over heels for Prisoner of Night and Fog.