Title: Prisoner of Night and Fog (Prisoner of Night and Fog #1)
Author: Anne Blankman
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release date: April 22nd 2014
Buy on: Amazon | B&N | BookDepository
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.
I´m not a history buff (that´s my brother), what I know about Hitler is what I was taught in school (years ago) and sometimes I had read a history book more for gossip that for other thing, just because I want to know more about a character that caught my attention in a movie or novel, but that´s it. So all my knowledge of Adolf Hitler is on from the period of the World War II, I didn´t know much about him before the war, which is part of the plot or the background of this book, since Prisoner of Night and Fog follows Gretchen Müller a seventeen year old German girl that is very close to Adolf Hitler, in 1931.
Gretchen was educated from childhood that Jews are monsters, subhumans, all Germany's problems are due to them and that she never must speak to them; also because his father died protecting her "uncle" Adolf Hitler, her family has a "safe" place in the National Socialist party and she is one of the favorites of his "uncle" Dolf, and she goes to picnics with him, sometimes goes out to with him to his favorite restaurant and he visit her family home regularly.
So when she´s approached by a young Jewish journalist that claims to have evidence that could prove that her father didn´t died a hero or martyr trying to save Hitler, but that he was killed, she´s initially don´t believe him because of her prejudices and because everyone in the National Socialist party have told her many times how it was that her father died heroically, but then she discovers something that can refute everything she knows about his death. Thta´s why she decides very reluctantly to ally with Daniel Cohen, the Jewish journalist and they slowly unraveled the truth about what happened to Gretchen´s father. Besides she realizes that many of the things she was taught by her family and her uncle Dolf about the Jews aren´t true.
I usually don´t read many books of the genre historical fiction, because I know me and it takes me a long time to read them, mainly because I spend a lot of the time googling some facts or person mentioned in the book to see if it´t true to the history (that happened to me with this book), but since I read the synopsis was very curious to read it. I read the author's notes and it said that most of the events and characters are real, the only fictional characters are Gretchen, her family, all the people in the boardinghouse where she lives and Daniel Cohen. But the only name besides Adolf Hitler that I recognized was Eva Braun, who in the story is Gretchen´s best friend.
About the main characters: Gretchen is a very naive and trusting girl that really believes everything that had been taught about the Jews, she respects and loves her uncle Dolf and she´s afraid of her brother Reinhard. And Daniel he´s a young journalist that is following a story about Gretchen´s father, he wants to succeed as a journalist but he´s also a good person that care for others.
Overall, although I felt the beginning a little bit slow, I did liked the story, it´s written really well and it´s surrounded by mystery, intrigue, clandestinity, secrets and the last chapters are very interesting and engrossing.