Prisoner of Night and Fog
Summary: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?
For so long she had believed in Hitler’s lies, seeing shadows where there should have been light.
Not anymore. Not ever again.
Prisoner of Night and Fog is one of my most anticipated reads for 2014 – maybe even the most anticipated read of the year for me – and I am happy to say that it does not disappoint.
Anne Blankman weaves together a tale about a young girl named Gretchen Müller, a girl who has grown up under the wing of her adoptive “Uncle” Dolf, who happens to be none other than Adolf Hitler himself. Gretchen believes and takes to heart everything he says. Yet, when she meets a handsome Jewish reporter named Daniel and eventually falls in love with him, Gretchen realizes that everything she thought she knew has been a lie.
One of the best aspects of Prisoner of Night and Fog is the research behind it. Just from reading the story, the massive amount of time Blankman has put into researching this story is quite evident. Each little detail is inserted into the story with pinpoint accuracy, from the details about Hitler’s rise to power to simply the atmosphere of Gretchen’s small German town, and as someone who loves history I absolutely ate it up. Even more clever is the way Blankman manages to hide small historical references within the story (like cleverly making Gretchen’s best friend Eva Braun).
Gretchen is a character that is strong and believable. She starts off as Hitler’s pet, his golden girl: naïve, trusting, dutiful; but by the end of the story she is someone entirely different. She became someone who stuck up for what she believed was right, and actively tried to fix what wasn’t.
One of the book’s flaws, however, is the romance. Daniel and Gretchen meet and fall in love; yet for some reason I never truly felt any true sparks behind them. I really liked the concept of their romance – a Jew and Hitler’s golden girl falling in love is quite a unique idea for a forbidden romance – but, unfortunately, I never truly felt the connection between them.
In the end, I felt the concept was a bit stronger than the execution. The writing was a bit dull and monotonous throughout, but I was fully engrossed in the story and the wonderfully researched historical aspects regardless, and am definitely excited to see what happens to Gretchen in the sequel.