A Light In The Window by Marion Kummerow

Time to pass the baton to Mandie who has a #booksontour review of A Light in The Window by Marion Kummerow. Thanks to publisher Bookouture for including us in the tour and providing the advance copy of the book. Here’s what it’s all about:

Source: Netgalley
Release date: 20 July 2021
Publisher: Bookouture

About the Book

Margarete stumbles out of the bombed-out house, the dust settling around her like snow. Mistaking her for the dead officer’s daughter, a guard rushes over to gently ask her if she is all right and whether there’s anything he can do to help her. She glances down at where the hated yellow star had once been, and with barely a pause, she replies “Yes”.

Berlin, 1941: Margarete Rosenbaum is working as a housemaid for a senior Nazi officer when his house is bombed, leaving her the only survivor. But when she’s mistaken for his daughter in the aftermath of the blast, Margarete knows she can make a bid for freedom…

Issued with temporary papers—and with the freedom of not being seen as Jewish—a few hours are all she needs to escape to relative safety. That is, until her former employer’s son, SS officer Wilhelm Huber, tracks her down.

But strangely he doesn’t reveal her true identity right away. Instead he insists she comes and lives with him in Paris, and seems determined to keep her hidden. His only condition: she must continue to pretend to be his sister. Because whoever would suspect a Nazi girl of secretly being a Jew?

His plan seems impossible, and Margarete is terrified they might be found out, not to mention worried about what Wilhelm might want in return. But as the Nazis start rounding up Jews in Paris and the Résistance steps up its activities, putting everyone who opposes the regime in peril, she realizes staying hidden in plain sight may be her only chance of survival…

Can Margarete trust a Nazi officer with the only things she has left though… her safety, her life, even her heart?

A totally heartbreaking and unputdownable story about how far someone would go to save one life, that fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See will adore.

Mandie’s Thoughts

Margarete Rosenbaum is a young Jewish girl working as a housemaid in Berlin during 1941. When the house she works in is bombed and she is the only survivor she takes the drastic decision to take on the identity of the daughter of the family she works for in order to escape and stay alive. Everything about her rushed plan seems to be working until the younger son Wilhelm starts looking for his sister and eventually tracks her down. Once again fearful for her life, she is surprised when instead of turning her in, Wilhelm has a proposition for her. She is to continue posing as his sister Annegret so that he can eventually claim her share of the family inheritance. All they have to do is continue to hide this deception from Wilhelm’s elder brother. 

Margarete is continually battling her conscience between saving her own life by taking on the identity of Annegret and feeling like she is betraying her own faith and people. She is fighting to stay alive but is also fighting against embracing the person she must become in order to do that as she sees it as the ultimate betrayal to all the Jewish people that are suffering at the hands of the German army. You can’t help but feel for Margarete as she is forced to compile a list of people who are requesting books that have been banned by Germany, knowing that by doing so she could be sentencing these people to a terrible fate. What is worse she is developing feelings for Wilhelm, someone who should be her sworn enemy. Ultimately those that she considers her friends are the ones that truly put her in harms way and give her the biggest test of her life

The biggest change of character is most definitely in Wilhelm. At the start he is the ultimate spoilt second son of an important family but as his circumstances change and he has to adapt his life you do see him questioning what he is doing, and he starts to get the feeling that he wants to protect Margarete no matter what the cost to him especially as the deception they are both trying to pull off gets complicated.

Having loved a previous book by Marion Kummerow I was well aware that this author writes stories that will draw out every kind of emotion in her readers. Even though these books are fiction there are always true events threading throughout that highlight the trauma’s that many victims in WW2 had to endure and you get the sense that little by little you are getting a deeper picture of the true cost of the war.

There is a hint at the end of the book that this is the first in a series and I for one look forward to learning more of the fate of Margarete and if she ever gets to take back her true identity.

About the Author

USA Today Bestselling author of historical fiction.

Her books are filled with raw emotions, fierce loyalty and perpetual resilience.
She loves to put her characters through the mangle, making them reach deep within to find the strength to face moral dilemma, make difficult decisions or fight for what is right. And she never forgets to include humor and undying love in her books, because ultimately love is what makes the world go round.

Marion Kummerow was born and raised in Germany, before she set out to “discover the world” and lived in various countries. In 1999 she returned to Germany and settled down in Munich where she’s now living with her family.

After dipping her toes with non-fiction books, she finally tackled the project dear to her heart. UNRELENTING is the story about her grandparents, who belonged to the German resistance and fought against the Nazi regime. It’s a book about resilience, love and the courage to stand up and do the right thing.

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