Gisela must hold on to hope and love despite all odds in the midst of a war-torn country.
Gisela Cramer is an American living in eastern Germany with her cousin Ella Reinhardt. When the Red Army invades, they must leave their home to escape to safety in Berlin.
However, Ella is a nurse and refuses to leave, sending her young daughters with Gisela. During their journey, Gisela meets Mitch Edwards, an escaped British POW. She pretends she is his wife in order to preserve his safety among other Germans, especially one wounded German soldier, Kurt, who has suspicions about Mitch’s identity. Kurt also has feelings for Gisela and tries to uncover the truth about her “marriage.”
Their journey to Gisela’s mother in Berlin is riddled with tragedy and hardship, but they strive to keep Ella's daughters safe so they can reunite with their mother. During the journey Gisela and Mitch begin to develop feelings for one another beyond friendship. They reach Berlin, but their struggles are far from over. Gisela and Mitch must learn to live for the day and find hope in the darkest of circumstances.
In this moving, historically accurate portrayal of WWII Germany, the characters learn that, even with destruction all around them, some things last forever.
|About the Contributor(s)||Liz Tolsma
Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband and their two daughters. Her son proudly serves as a US Marine. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family.
|Release Date||May 6, 2014|
- Review by Barbara
For this novel, Ms. Tolsma’s inspiration for the first part of the book comes from a quote by Ruth Savine Hildegard Lippert, seventeen years old in February of 1945. She led a group of ten people on a four week flight from East Prussia to Berlin to avoid the advancing Russian army. The second part of the book draws on the experiences of Ms. Tolsma’s Aunt Lillian. Lillian was born in the United States to parents of German descent. They returned to Germany in the 1930’s where they spent most of the war in Berlin.
This book follows Gisela Cramer, her two nieces, three elderly neighbors and eventually a downed British flyer, as they make their way south to Berlin and supposed safety. I could not imagine the trials they went through as they slogged through snow and ice in 20 below temperatures. Fellow Germans were ready to turn in deserters and anyone else opposed to the Reich accosted the frequently, and Russian planes strafed the poor women, children, and elderly as they fled to safety. This novel portrayed the German people at the end of the war as they tried to survive starvation, Allied attacks and the Russian army as it entered Berlin and savaged the survivors. We get a glimpse of the other side of the war.
This was an excellent book and I enjoyed reading it as much as I did the other novels by Liz Tolsma. The fact that this book was based on real survivors’ stories made it all the more fascinating. I downloaded a free Kindle copy from NetGalley.com in return for my honest review. You can find this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-e6, on Good Reads at https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1184269518 and on Amazon.com at http://www.amazon.com/review/R2WQVVD9FRUQXQ.
(Posted on 1/29/15)