Beth has lived in Germany for eight years, and she has learned to blend in speaking and dressing like a German, but the one thing that hasn't change is her American way of thinking and her tender heart. Beth cannot leave the country because she gave away her visa to a friend who needed to leave the country.
Beth has been living with her uncle and aunt, helping to care for Liesl, her beloved niece. One day her uncle brings home a former student, Josef, to come an live in their attic while he finishes medical school. Josef is fluent in English because he attended college in Boston, but he serves the Germans now as a medic.
Beth and Josef grow close, and join a resistance group known as the "White Rose." When Josef is arrested for his anti-Nazi activities, Beth does the unthinkable, marrying him and sharing in his concentration camp sentence.
This was a wonderful book, that accurately portrayed life in Germany during WWII, with meticulously done research that enriched the book. This story told the story of the bravery and sacrifice of heroes, who endured the unimaginable in the concentration camps. This book did a good job of accurately telling of the horrors and inhumane treatment that the prisoners of the centration camps suffered, yet it was described in a way where I got a full sense of the levity of the situation, yet it wasn't too overwhelming.
So much of this book is based on true historical events, I feel like I learned so much. The author took such a sad, horrific time in history and told a compelling story glistening with rays of hope that kept me reading. The story was so much more inspiring because it was based on true events.
Josef was a good honorable, intelligent man, who doesn't just stand by but was willing to take action to save his country. There was depth and internal struggle to his character, because he wanted more than anything to protect Beth and keep her safe, even though she insisted upon staying at his side.
Beth was a beautiful woman inside and out, willing to make large sacrifices with no second thought to her own safety, putting others first. At first I thought she was insane for staying by Josef's side and into the concentration camp, but at the same time I immensely admired her loyalty. Their relationship was truly tested and refined by fire till it rang true.
One thing that was interesting was that Beth and her family were Quakers, and that backround made her good at being still before God and seeking his guidance. Her faith saw her through so much. But because Quakers focus on looking "in" rather than looking to God's word I felt that a very important foundation of faith was missing.
Faith, hope & love are strong themes in this book, as Josef and Beth were tested to the brink. There was a full cast of characters who added color and depth to the story. When I picked this book up I was afraid that it would be terribly depressing but instead it was utterly engaging full of action, suspense, danger, drama, and touches of humor, as well as a realistic view of what the German's did in Germany and elsewhere. Definitely a book that I would highly recommend.
This book was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review, through Netgalley.