This historical novel is written by Jessica Shattuck, and it is set over many years from pre-Work War II era up to the year 1991. The story focuses on three women caught in the horrors of World War II in Nazi Germany: Marianne, Benita, and Ania. The three women along with their children are thrown together though the events of the war. Marianne is the strong one. She has three of her own children, and both her and her husband are resisters. They reside in a castle and life seems happy…safe. And then it isn’t.
All three of these women are German and experience the war from different perspectives. Benita is the meek and naive one who finds her son taken from her and is sent to a horrible place. Ania and her two sons have been surviving on their own. Ania is quite resourceful and is able to keep them safe. Marianne is the savior of them both and brings them to the castle. Shattuck looks at the choices they made and how they survived…what they did to survive. They find themselves together towards the end of the war trying to rebuild their lives together. They all have secrets that they have kept from each other…secrets that must be kept if they want to protect their children and they want to live.
The characters in this story are so well-developed and so real. I loved reading all their stories and heart-breaking experiences. This is a must read for fans of historical fiction especially the World War II era.