Review Blog

Jul 01 2014

Prisoner of night and fog by Anne Blankman

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Headline, 2014. ISBN 9781472207821.
In just a few hundred pages, Anne Blankman has truly unravelled a unique story which is both compelling and sympathetic. With fresh and original characters, she manages to revive a piece of history with an engrossing original storyline intertwined with true events. From the very beginning, Anne delivers a beautifully crafted masterpiece and seduces readers to fall in love with every character, good or bad. It's a coming of age story that's prominent for its historic settings and disarming plotline which stimulates the main character's growth.
The book takes place in Munich 1931, a few years prior to Hitler's utmost height of power. The National Socialist Party holds Munich in their tight hands and Hitler is hypnotizing his audiences with patriotism. After the chilling event of her father's death, seventeen year old Gretchen Muller dwells in the shadow of her Uncle Dolf. Fallen victim to Hitler's patriotic deceit, she disarms the lies of her father's death bit by bit and hunts for the truth. With ploys and ferocity brandished at the ready, Gretchen joins forces with quick-witted Jew reporter, Daniel Cohen much to the utter dislike of her family.
As each chapter begins, Anne Blankman grants the reader lyrical storylines entangled with disbelieving plot twists and world building backgrounds. She presents us with a tale like no other and charmingly bestows us with characters we love to hate or we just simply adore.
An additional few pages of the Author's Note provides keen readers with an insight to Anne Blankman's fictional and non-fictional characters with bonus content on Gretchen's Munich. Teaching this novel to a class will bestow them an alternative view on Munich in 1931 and those who allied themselves with Adolf Hitler. The book can be well compared with The Book Thief written by Markus Zusak as they both offer a young and unpredictable girl's view on this exclusive part of history.
Samantha May (Student)

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