It’s 1945 and the Russians are invading Prussia and east Germany. Gisella is living with her Opa and cousin after being sent east to avoid the bombings in Berlin, but now a new danger is hovering on the horizon. For the Russians are brutal as they slowly encroach on German occupied areas. They take no prisoners, leaving death and destruction in their wake.
Gisella is tasked with the difficult challenge of taking her cousin’s two young daughters to Berlin to escape the Russians. She doesn’t want to leave her cousin and grandfather, knowing that she may never see them again, but she must go.
Along the way she travels with family friends, to senile old ladies who are actually quite hilarious because they are constantly thinking that they are in Barcelona or Paris instead of war torn Germany. There is also an injured German soldier who becomes entranced with Gisella and the ‘music’ she creates in his head; two British POW’s who are disguising themselves as SS officers, and a young woman stuck on getting to Hollywood.
From avoiding capture, to Russian pilots shooting at the travelers, to broken down trains, the mismatched band of people make their way to Berlin, all the while, Gisella and one of the British POW’s, Mitch, pretend to be husband and wife as Mitch can’t speak German worth a darn and is bound to be found out.
Once in Berlin, where Gisella is reunited with her Mother, then comes the terror of the day and nightly bombings from the British and the Americans. Mitch and Gisella are slowly falling for each other while the German soldier and the other young woman are bound and determined to break them apart.
Redemption, betrayal and trust are all thrown together as these people await the Russian invasion, which in turn becomes a terror of it’s own.
Will Gisella and Mitch make it? Will they live through the horrors of a bombed out Berlin?
Oh my gosh! This book was incredible. I was so fearful for Gisella and all the terror of getting out of the Russians path. Then I was just on pins and needles while Kurt, the German soldier was trying to get Gisella for himself. I wanted to jump in and pick a fight with him for Mitch’s sake! The terror of the Russian army was fresh in my mind after watching a special on Berlin and what the aftermath of the Russians in Berlin did to the people. Liz Tolsma captured the fear and the true events that happened during those last days of fierce bombing and Russian invasion.
This is a fast paced book with sweet moments between Mitch and Gisella and moments of anger between Kurt, Gisella and Mitch. I was so happy with the ending and I am defnitely going to be looking to read Liz Tolsma’s first book. She took true facts and shaped them into a marvelous story that I highly recommend to anyone who likes a good WWII story.
Five out of five stars.