I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher.
There are times when I feel as if there is nothing new to say about WWII and then I find myself surprised by another author's take on the subject. Gillham takes us to 1940's Berlin where Sigrid Schröder plays the role of dutiful soldier's wife. With her husband away at war, Sigrid goes to work each day and comes home each evening to care for her difficult mother-in-law. Her life is like that of most German women except for her secret---she has a Jewish lover. A few chance encounters with several tenants in her building pull Sigrid into the secrets of others and involve her in a dangerous world she never knew existed. Sigrid must choose sides and decide what she believes is right and wrong while Berlin is bombarded by bombs.
I thought this was a wonderful book! It was so interesting to view this slice of history through the lens of a German woman living in Berlin during the height of the war. Sigrid is such an interesting character as she is the perfect hausfrau on the outside but full of unexpected secrets and yearnings. I think the best thing the story does is to remind the reader that not everything is black and white. People are complicated and war can bring out the best and worst in all of us. Sometimes, the difficult choices we make can mean life and death for those around us.
BOTTOM LINE: Recommended. A very compelling read that is difficult to put down. Gillham offers us a look at WWII from a very different perspective and creates a wonderfully complex character in Sigrid Schröder.