Read The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff Online

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"Krakow, the City of Kings, was no longer mine. I had become a foreigner in the place I had always called home."September 1939. Overnight, Jewish nineteen-year-old Emma Bau's world is turned upside down when Germany invades Poland. And after only six weeks of marriage, her husband Jacob, a member of the Resistance, is forced to flee.Escaping the ghetto, Emma assumes a new,"Krakow, the City of Kings, was no longer mine. I had become a foreigner in the place I had always called home."September 1939. Overnight, Jewish nineteen-year-old Emma Bau's world is turned upside down when Germany invades Poland. And after only six weeks of marriage, her husband Jacob, a member of the Resistance, is forced to flee.Escaping the ghetto, Emma assumes a new, Christian identity and finds work at Nazi headquarters. As secretary to the charismatic Kommandant Richwalder, Emma vows to use her unique position to gather intelligence for the Resistance, by any means necessary.Poignant, affecting and gripping, Kommandant's Girl is the beautifully written story of one woman's struggle to survive one of the darkest periods in human history....

Title : The Kommandant's Girl
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780778301448
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 395 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Kommandant's Girl Reviews

  • Ana
    2018-10-26 20:54

    Proceed with caution. Spoilers lie ahead. My least favorite genre is historical fiction. I find it dreadfully boring. I tried reading Outlander, A Kingdom of Dreams, The Scarlet Letter, Wolf Hall, Nefertiti, Karen Marie Moning's Highlander series... It has been an epic fail. However, there have been exceptions. The Thorn Birds, The Book Thief, A Tale of Two Cities, The English Patient, Summer of My German Soldier, Corelli's Mandolin... I love those books. So there's hope for me yet. Anway, I'm a big fan of war movies/tv shows. (Has anyone seen Band of Brothers? A masterpiece if I ever saw one) I have always been fascinated by World War II. It's such a dark period of history- dark yet fascinating. So when I stumbled upon The Kommandant's Girl I absolutely had to read it. The verdict? I have no idea how I feel about this book.I smile politely. It is not difficult to keep up appearances with such small talk. “That would be delight…” I start to reply, then stop midsentence, staring at the doorway.“Kommandant Richwalder,” Mrs. Baran whispers under her breath. I nod, speechless, unable to take my eyes off the imposing man who has entered the room. He is well over six feet tall, with perfectly erect posture and a thick, muscular chest and shoulders that seem ready to burst out of his military dress uniform. His large, square jaw and angular nose appear to be chiseled from granite. I cannot help but stare. I have never seen a man like the Kommandant before. He looks as though he has stepped off the movie screen or out of the pages of a novel, the epic hero. No, not a hero, I remind myself. The man is a Nazi.The Kommandant's Girl is set during the Holocaust period. Its protagonist is a nineteen-year-old Emma Bau, a Jewish girl living in the city of Krakow during the German invasion of Poland. Her husband Jacob, a member of the Resistance, is forced to disappear underground, leaving her behind. Emma is forced to forge a new identity: as Anna Lipowski. She is sent to live with Jacob's Catholic aunt, Krysia. The aunt hosts a dinner party (because what else do you do when Nazis invade your hometown) and it is there she meets the handsome Nazi Kommandant Georg Richwalder. Herr Kommandant takes a shine to Emma/Anna and asks her to work for him as his personal assistant. Soon, Emma/Anna is plunged into a dangerous game of lies and deceit. The resistance persuades her to take the job in order to access valuable information. And that's when shit gets real. You know what they say - all's fair in love and war. It's a sad day when you realize your favorite character is a Nazi. *gasp* *oh the horror* *am I crazy?* Before you judge me, let me explain. I like complex characters. For me, the most interesting and intriguing character was Herr Kommandant. It makes me question my morals. He's not good, but he's definitely not evil either. My common sense waged a war with my emotions. Emotions: Maybe he's just lost and confused.Common sense: No, he's a Nazi.Emotions: He's so gentlemanly, he can't be bad.Common sense: He's a Nazi.Emotions: He's such a lost soul.Common sense: He's a NAZI!Common sense can be a real beyotch sometimes. “I was a good man once, Anna,” he says suddenly. “The change in me came about over time, so slowly I didn’t notice.” It is the first time I have heard him admit to wrongdoing.“You still are a good man,” I offer, moving closer to him and taking his hand in mine. “You still can be.”He shakes his head, pulls his hand from mine. “It’s too late for that.”The other characters were kind of... meh. The aunt was annoying and gave really bad advices. Marta was ok but uninteresting. I didn't care about Jacob at all. Emma was... meh. She is described as being smart, kind and resilient. In some ways that's true. I can't imagine living in German-occupied Poland and going through all that. But I just couldn't figure her out. I couldn't love her. Self-denial, thy name is Emma. She was a walking contradiction. She was willing to risk everything to help the resistance and her family, but at the same time she's attracted to Herr Kommandant. She felt quilty for deceiving him. She obviously had feelings for him. In one chapter she waxes poetic about how she met and fell in love with her husband and in the next, she bangs the Kommandant. She gets pregnant and is unsure of who the father is. The baby is probably Herr Kommandant's. No problem, she'll lie to her husband and pass the baby off as his. I'm like girl stahp.The ending is vague, I was left with many questions. I would have loved an epilogue, but the author decided I didn't deserve one. The face I see in my mind is not that of the Nazi who lorded over the city from high atop Wawel, or who held a gun to my chest on the bridge. No, he is gone. Instead, I see the man who walked into Krysia’s the night of the dinner party, who caught my eyes and didn’t let go, who brought me to new places in my body and held me afterward as I slept. The man who asked forgiveness as he lay dying on the railway bridge. I realize then that it was not only he who died in that moment. The Kommandant brought Anna to life, and when he was gone, she was, too. Anna Lipowski, I think. The Kommandant’s girl. I wonder if I will miss her. A questionnaire is included at the end of the book. Discussion Guide QuestionsTHE KOMMANDANT’S GIRLDo you agree with Emma’s decision to keep the paternity of her unborn child a secret from her husband? Why or why not?Emma kept secrets from both of the men in her life - the Kommandant and Jacob. Do you think real intimacy is possible in such circumstances?In a perfect world, what do you think Emma genuinely wanted to happen between her and Georg, and between her and Jacob?Pam Jenoff is careful to portray the Kommandant as a sympathetic character, despite his allegiance with the Nazi party. Did you like his character? Were you able to look beyond his political ties and feel sympathy for him? Why or why not?

  • Lindsay
    2018-11-09 23:50

    5 stars! What an excellent historical fiction novel! I thoroughly enjoyed everything about the storyline. I find it hard to believe this was written 10 years ago and there hasn't been more hype surrounding it.The story revolves around nineteen-year-old Emma in war-torn Poland, whose husband flees underground to help the resistance fighters. She takes on a new identity as Anna, to hide her Jewish heritage. Wanting to do whatever it takes to help her husbands' cause, Anna takes a job as the Kommandant's personal assistant and from there the story evolves into Anna's secret mission to find information to help the resistance. I always find it very interesting to read about war-time resistance groups and how they secretly planned Nazi sabotage. How brave and courageous these resistance fighters were!I absolutely loved Emma/Anna. She was such a kind, loving, naive and determined woman who got caught up in her fight against the Nazi's. I found her inner confusion about her feelings toward the Kommandant very interesting as she struggled between her duty for the resistance and her growing feelings toward the enemy. The author, Pam Jenoff, packs a lot of history, suspense and emotion into this well-written debut novel! All characters were very well-developed and the atmosphere she creates is unforgettable. I had a hard time putting the book down and when I wasn't reading it, I was certainly thinking about it. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I am really looking forward to reading the sequel, "The Diplomat's Wife"!

  • Tea Jovanović
    2018-10-23 02:30

    Hurry up, read this book! Must read! WWII story... Poland... Jews, Germans... Nothing is completely black or white... What would you do if somebody puts you in similar position...? Easy read, in one go... Don't miss it, says editor! :)

  • Crumb
    2018-11-17 00:43

    Brilliant. I give this book five stars without hesitation. Emma Bau has just married the love of her life, Jacob, when the Nazis come and occupy Poland during WWII. It is a dangerous time in Poland, made even more so by the fact that they are Jews. Although Jacob wants to be with his wife, he has strong ties to the resistance movement and immediately goes underground. Emma is stricken by this, but goes to live with her parents in the ghetto. The conditions in the ghetto are terrible: food is scarce, disease is rampant. In the dead of night, a member of the resistance smuggles Emma out of the ghetto. She is to start her life over again as a gentile with Jacob's Catholic aunt, Krysia and a little boy, Luckasz, whom lost his mother in the ghetto. And just like that, Anna Lipinski is born.Krysia thinks the best way to introduce Emma as "Anna" is by having a dinner party. Krysia teaches Anna about Catholic customs and even gives her a crucifix to wear for good measure. Everything is going well until the Kommandant arrives. The Kommandant takes an immediate liking to Anna and wants her to come work for him as a personal assistant. What happens between them next.. well..let's just say that it gets pretty complicated!When historical fiction is done right, you should feel like you are transported back to that era - and I did. I truly felt like I was on a journey with these characters; a marker of excellent historical fiction. Pam Jenoff has such a beautiful way with words. I could tell that the author put a lot of time and dedication into this debut. I fell in love with Anna and I felt her struggles as if they were my own. When I give a book 5 stars, I give it such a rating because I love everything about the book: the writing, plot, characters, etc. I never wanted it to end. I will definitely be reading the next two books in the series: The Ambassador's Daughter and The Diplomat's Wife. This book is not one that will soon be forgotten.

  • Jennifer Eckel
    2018-11-19 04:56

    A standard paragrah in Ms. Jenoff's book includes at least 2 uses of the word Okay. How do you feel? Okay. For a novel set in Poland in the depths of WWII this word is inappropriate. It's frequency made me cringe.Ms Jenoff also had issues with time. The phrase, it was the second winter of the war and the Kommandant could tell that the war was going badly.Excuse me, that would be the winter of '40-41 and Germany stood supreme on the European Continent. The book roughly covers only the time frame 1939 through early 1941, yet the killing camps are already built (not a fact) and no attention made to the victories of 1940. The killing camps were built after the Russian invasion when the Nazi's realized that their Einzengruppen could not handle the killing fields.- The book barely mentions the privations Pole's faced as food rations were cut and cut again for these Ubermenschen. True the heroine has priveleges as a mistress to a senior Nazi, but she seems oblivious and unsure as to why she opposes the Nazis. The heroine in her innocence seems shallow. True she grows, but never quite resolves or feels passion for anything. She drifts."Schindler's list" which has the same location as this book, and "The ZooKeeper's Wife", or even The Painted Bird give a far far better portrayal of life in occupied Poland during WWII.

  • Cathleen
    2018-10-24 23:50

    2 1/2 stars. My book group liked this much more than I did, though even fans admitted to being distracted by the frequent use of "okay" by a young woman in this time (and to her Nazi supervisor, no less) as well as disappointed by the mash-up of coincidences in the last fourth of the book. It felt a little wrong, too, that I was much more tense in some of her early spy efforts than in the climactic danger scene. It's not a bad book, but it seemed to skim the surface in a lot of ways, and I had simply hoped for more in which to invest. I will say I really liked the character of Krysia, and secondly, it was interesting how Jenoff could create empathy for a Nazi Kommandant. Emma, though admittedly young, struck me as more self-absorbed than I would have hoped in a heroine in these circumstances, and I thought it significant that (view spoiler)[it was a much greater sacrifice for her to put on a cross necklace than it was to sleep with a man not her husband (hide spoiler)].

  • Lucy
    2018-10-22 00:57

    I mentioned when I wrote my review on The Book Thief, how dismayed I felt when realizing that the story was set in WWII Germany. It seems to me that the market for fictional stories of the war, especially the persecution and massacre of the Jews, has been saturated.While The Book Thief surprised me by being completely fresh in its story telling, The Kommandant's Girl, stuck to the conservative game plan and told a familiar and unimaginative story.To be fair, the book is set in Poland, not Germany, and the story is based on a real life event the author discovered while doing her research in Poland.Emma Bau, a newlywed whose husband has escaped to help the resistance movement, finds herself in the Jewish Ghetto living with her parents. During one night, she is awoken and smuggled out of the ghetto and set up to live as Anna Lipowski with her husband's non-Jewish aunt. At a dinner party one evening, Emma/Anna meets Kommandant Georg Richwalder, a high ranking Nazi party member, and his attraction to her leads to his hiring her to be his assistant. As his assistant, she is expected to and in fact, wants to, help the resistance by acting as a spy whenever she can. To Jenoff's credit, she attempts to give her characters depth by allowing Emma/Anna to become attracted and attached to the Kommandant, understandable considering the short length of her relationship with her husband, and considering the kind of man Kommandant Richwalder appeared to be: fair, hard working and heartbroken from his wife's earlier suicide. As their relationship progresses, she is ultimately asked to betray her marriage vows and use her relationship with the Kommandant to gain urgent information for the resistance.The story is interesting and even well told (except for the end when the author tried to tie up too many loose strings for plot purposes), but that interesting and well told story has already been done. Many times. Unfortunately for Jenoff, whether this particular story is true or not doesn't make its telling any more consequential. In spite of its familiarity, I'd recommend Pam Jenoff's account to anyone who hasn't reached their own personal threshold of World War II Jewish fiction.

  • Judi Anne
    2018-10-26 03:55

    in Krakow, Poland during the Nazi invasion, Emma has only been married to Jacob for a couple of months. Jacob feels that his duty is joining the resistance and so he leaves Emma with her parents. Soon the Jewish people are rounded up by the Nazis and taken to live in the ghetto. Jacob’s friends manage to get Emma, along with a toddler who’s mother was killed, out of the ghetto. She is given false papers and they arranged to have her and her “little brother” live with Jacob’s aunt. To save her life and get her out of the ghetto she becomes a Gentile named Anna.Anna is hired by the Kommandant for office work. She lives in fear every day that someone will find out she is Jewish. The Kommandant is especially kind to her and the closer they get Anna is forced to make difficult choices for the good of the resistance.This is a story of love and loyalty set in extreme times in Krakow. I loved the story and it kept me turning the pages. I’ve read a lot of WWII novels but none like this one. I highly recommend this book to anyone that likes WWII stories.

  • Cheryl
    2018-11-04 22:42

    There is a lot I liked about this book. The most appealing thing is the angle from which Jenoff chooses to tell this story based on historical facts: it is a romance book that just happens to have a major historical event as its backdrop. I would venture to call it a romance thriller because you're definitely on the edge of your seat for some of the events.Emma is a Jewish girl during the German invasion of Poland. She has just gotten married when her family is moved to the ghetto of Krakow (where Jews were kept hidden from the rest of the city). Her husband, a resistance fighter, arranges her escape from the ghetto and sends her to live with his wealthy aunt. As always, there is a catch: Emma must pretend to be a Pole named, Anna. She must take a little orphan and raise him as her little brother. Soon Anna (who is really Emma) is working for the resistance, and in love with a Nazi. As you can tell, this is where the story takes shape.There are so many stages of climax here, that I can't tell more of the story without having spoilers. I will say that the pacing and tension here was just right to keep me moving on to the next chapter, waiting to see what happens next, while still learning more about each character. The story is also powerful because you know the main character's secret and it keeps you worried with her, for her. This definitely makes me want to read the next book in this series.

  • Cristina
    2018-11-05 00:48

    I love WWII fiction, especially if it has the element of romance. I live for those books but sadly, a lot of them aren't very good. The blurb for The Kommandant's Girl had me totally intrigued and seemed right up my alley. Unfortunately, it was a disappointment.There's only one way I can describe this story...it felt breezy. Superficial. Also, the dialogue felt incredibly American and the conversations, at least to me, didn't seem to have a lot of depth. It was suppose to be a story filled with history, suspense, intrigue and romance, but instead, it was a lot of internal dialogue and it felt rushed. The burn of any type of push and pull between the heroine and the anti-hero was non-existent. I think the one thing that bothered me the most was the immediate attraction of our Jewish heroine to the high-ranking Nazi, the anti-hero. And when I say immediate, I mean immediate. He walks through the door, they lock eyes and the rest of the room fades to black. It's overly dramatic, it doesn't feel genuine and why the heroine, who happens to be Jewish, would be immediately attracted to a Nazi, came across as unbelievable. This book had a few good parts but unfortunately, certain topics were glossed over and the overall story was poorly executed.

  • Celeste Miller
    2018-11-15 01:59

    SHOW, DON'T TELL. Which is not what this book does. But that's okay, it's a super-fast read, good for long car trips/plane rides, etc. I felt like it could use a few more edits, and the dialogue sounded a bit too modern and slangy for WWII Poland. (I was not buying how often Emma said "Okay" to everyone including the Kommandant.) Character development took a back seat to plot elements, and the Kommandant never seemed like a real person to me.However, if you're looking to write an adventure/suspense/romance novel, I'd use this an example of how to raise the stakes and never let characters get too comfortable.

  • joyce g
    2018-10-29 00:00

    Quite a beautiful story.

  • Olivia
    2018-10-24 04:40

    This novel epitomised for me everything that is cynical, vulgar and manipulative about the romance genre. For the first hundred pages Jenoff does a pretty good job of creating the plight of a Jewish girl in Krakow during the Nazi occupation. Emma is recently married but her husband, a member of the Resistance, goes into hiding. Emma, along with her parents, is forced into the Ghetto. She is then rescued and given a Christian identity and eventually hired as secretary to a Nazi Kommandant where, it is hoped, she might be able to perform invaluable work for the resistance. So far so good. The prose, if uninspired, is simple and self-contained; the characters are engaging and the detail of description is convincing. You feel there might be a good story to tell here. Until the descriptions of the Kommandant’s good looks, his olive skin, his strong demeanour, his underlying vulnerable side start coming thick and fast and what we have is the usual cliché of the romantic hero. Emma begins blushing, palpitating and going weak at the knees several times a day and succumbs to “the chemistry” between herself and the Nazi. Now the plight of the Jews in Krakow takes a backseat to the soft porn of romance genre fiction. Emma is encouraged by the resistance to sleep with the Kommandant so as to get access to his secret papers which she dutifully does. What follows are pages and pages of her hot blooded dilemma. She retches; she blushes; she flinches; she gets jealous when the Kommandant shows any interest in other women. I’m afraid at this point I cast this novel aside. If you want to read a truly complex and moving novel about a woman sleeping with the enemy I suggest you try Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky where all the moral complexities of such an act are treated with great subtlety and artistry. This, on the other hand, is just pulp. It’s a shame Pam Jenoff, who can write quite well, feels the need to pimp her talent to overtly commercial aims, cynically exploiting the Holocaust as the backdrop for titillating formulaic soft porn fiction.

  • Pamela Pickering
    2018-11-20 00:36

    I would probably give this book 2.5 stars. It seems I'm alone as most other reviewers gave this book 4-5 stars so I wonder if I'm missing something. I guess I expected more from the book. It was an easy read, too easy I guess would be the point. It just sort of had the feel of a Harlequin Romance and at $13 I would expect more substance. I found the main character a little frustrating at times. She was always so jumpy. In my opinion if someone is "working undercover" and is that jumpy she would have been busted very early on. She also seemed to take risks that placed her fellow resistance fighters and family in jeapordy.

  • Alona
    2018-10-28 23:56

    Why did I read it?Another attempt to play the Jwish girl "falls" for the high ranking Nazi.Och... I should know better!

  • Lucy
    2018-11-03 04:57

    I wasted a whole train journey reading this. Why did I dislike this book, you ask? Well, let's just say I wish I had left it on public transport.Well, for one, the characters, for the most part were awful. There were three varying degrees of characters in this book. Stage 1: Oh wow, these characters have substance! I feel for them, and at times they are pretty complex. These two characters Krysia and Georg Richwalder. I really appreciated how Jenoff tried to make Richwalder into somebody rather than a stereotypical Nazi.Stage 2: These are the majority of the characters in this book. They had little or no character development, likewise, little or no character and yet they are meant to be important characters. For example, Jacob, Marta and Alek. I didn’t really have much of a strong opinion on them.Stage 3: The most annoying character in this book was Emma. She had no real personality apart from the fact that she was incredibly innocent/ naive and stupid. She is constantly dropping things and jumping around the place. I was at a loss how she ever became a member of the Resistance – with such a vital job – as she was sure to give the game away.Another thing which was badly done was the writing. It was so full of clichés it was hard to digest and it felt far, far too modern for 1939-1941. Emma kept saying Okay. No, this was not okay. The plot, above all, was predictable, which I suppose was ok as I could read it quicker.I was pretty interested in it as often I couldn't put it down. However, the ending was ridiculous, silly and melodramatic.I would say that the passing of time in this book felt that it should have been slower. A lot of time was spent reading about passages about how a month had passed since the last chapter. I suppose, I thought those months that passed could’ve been filled with foreshadowing, character development or what have you.There was another thing that irked me. It was a blatant historical error. It is 1940-’41, when Germany is doing well in the war. Yet, Richwalder tells Emma that Germany was doing badly in the war… well, at that point they weren’t.

  • Barbara Kinsky
    2018-11-03 04:42

    I found this novel brilliant! I cannot seem to understand why a lot of people gave bad reviews. I think they read too much into the characters. I found it a good thriller/romance and could not put the book down and have now ordered the 2nd book in the series. I loved the different characters and was holding my breath many a time.

  • Rachel
    2018-11-02 22:48

    As Emma is so fond of saying, this was just ok. The subject matter was not what I thought it was going to be. When I read the back of the book, I assumed that Emma was going to be a collaborator and I was very interested in reading a book from that point of view. I've always wondered what it would have been like for women who slept with the German soldiers in order to have food and shelter. Did they feel guilty for sleeping with the enemy? Did they not feel guilty because they were providing for their children and families? Did some of them love the German men they slept with? Unfortunately, those questions will have to be answered by a book that is much better written than this one. Emma has got to be one of the stupidest members of the Resistance that I have ever read about. If you were a Jew in Nazi Poland, and had to keep your identity and marriage a secret, would you be so stupid as to carry your marriage certificate in your pocket while at your job WORKING FOR THE NAZIS?? And then accidentally pull it out while reaching for a Kleenex that you put in the same pocket? I mean, really?? I know that the Resistance members were just regular people and not trained spies, but you would think that Emma would have the common sense to leave that shit at home. I did like the way that the Kommandant was written. Jenoff did a good job of making him a three-dimensional character, as opposed to an out-and-out evil monster. Jenoff's biggest problem, though, was that I was much more interested in the Kommandant as a character than I was any of her heroes. I would rather have learned more about what made him tick than read paragraph after paragraph of Emma pining for her husband (who didn't seem like an interesting person in the slightest).

  • Rachel
    2018-11-11 00:51

    The most disturbing part of this book is how likeable the Kommandant is and how the reader can understand Emma falling for him. Emma's internal struggle as she begins to recognize her affections for Georg and her moral battle of being repulsed by herself for carrying those affections for him are drawn very well. Unfortunately Jenoff choked in wrapping it up and blew the ending. (view spoiler)[Georg was her most complicated, well fleshed out character and much more interesting than Emma herself. It would have been much more advantageous to Jenoff to carry him through the rest of the series. (hide spoiler)]

  • Oana
    2018-10-24 04:59

    DNF at 48%I just couldn't go on anymore, my limited reading time is way too precious to be spent on this kind of crap. With absolutely no depth, no feeling, with an annoying clumsy Mary Sue as a heroine, with only the tell, never the show, and written in modern English first person narrative, this book reads like a bad NA romance. And for a book placed in the Nazi occupied Poland during WWII, that is not okay. Okay being the operative word here, as it is used several times within dialogues supposed to happen in '40-41. Ugh. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. There are a ton of cheap B novels out there having a lot more substance than this (acclaimed) thing.

  • bookworMyra
    2018-11-04 23:45

    The fact that the book was based on the Holocaust, and that the book was so fairytale-ish did the Holocaust no justice.I think the book did not portray the Holocaust in the way that it should've been portrayed. To me, it made the Holocaust seem insignificant, and that doesn't do it any justice. Part of why I think this is because of the ending of the book. Though, I must admit that I enjoyed the ending, it didn't seem to fit. I was really hoping that the protagonist would be able to represent all of the Jews that had suffered through this, but the way everything worked out in her favor isn't right, because in reality, that was hardly the case. She didn't tell us if Emma/Anna ever made it to Jacob, but made it seem like she was going to make it to Jacob and live "happily ever after". I think that in order for the readers to feel at least .1% of the pain the Jews must've felt, she shouldn't have made it a "happily ever after" ending, only because the book is very loosely based on a real event (the Holocaust). Also, in the story, Emma/Anna is trying to escape from the Kommandant for the last time, who by the way is heavily drugged. During her getaway, she gets caught by a Nazi. . .and this Nazi just so happens to be the Kommandant. I did not get that at all, because the Kommandant could not have woken up that easily from being drugged, and since he is a high-ranking officer from the early 1900s, I'm assuming her had never done drugs before, so this particular drugging should've hit him hard. But it didn't. And then, during her escape, before she gets caught by the Kommandant, she encounters her father. That shouldn't have happened, because majority of the Jews who had been sent to concentration camps and been seperated from their relatives almost NEVER heard from their relatives again, unless they were in the same camps. And even then, it was a small chance. Just the fact that Emma/Anna had that full closure from everyone important to her did great injustice to the victims of the Holocaust, and because of that, the book was not as great as it could have been.Aside that, the book was ok-ish. Maybe a little more than ok. I had really liked the concept of a Jew falling in love with a Nazi, only because if it had happened in reality, and they made their love public, it might've changed a few things about the Holocaust, it could've softened up hearts and let the hushed voices speak up. I had cried a lot, especially towards the end of the book, when she finds her father bone thin and sickly looking and when she finds Krysia dead.

  • rubywednesday
    2018-11-02 22:48

    I don't know how I even finished this one.It started on a bad note, with the dumb ackowledments before the book even starts. The author mentions how she never knew about the Polish resistance until she got talking to a couple of holocaust survivors on a train. Now, I think it's wonderful that people learnt this way but if you are a grown, educated adult going to write fiction about ww2 I expect you to learn these things yourself by research and, like, general awareness of the facts.The book was mostly fine but it was all surface level stuff.Lots of telling and very little showing. Nothing about the voice or language suggested it was set in Poland in the early 1940's in any real way. There were inconsistencies in the dialogue and the facts. Emma showed zero emotional insight into her predicament and you never got the sense she had any real feelings at all. Events that should have been tense and devastating were just boring. The writing was clunky, juvenile and shallow. It should have been an emotional book but it only made me feel annoyed.

  • Emma Twosouls
    2018-10-26 03:30

    Modern American English doesn't really work for a Polish mid 20th century first person narrative. Okay??I really wanted to 'wind up the pace in the middle'. Foe me there where far to many implausable coincidences created to fit the predictable plot.Why did the kommandant say the 'war was gong badly' (for Germany)at a time when it clearly was not, why would he carry a 'six shooter', Emma counts his two fired rounds and calculates that there are four left. Really unless he is cast as a wild west enthusiast, he would almost certainly have had one of the very best automatics which the Germans were world famous for.'Kommandant' is an appointment, not a rank, what was his, for it would have been the correct way of address.The last two chapters did have me engaged and page turning, sadly to encounter yet more almost comic and certainly melodramatic coincidences. I picked up this book to try and have a break from the early 19th c novels which had been the feature of my pleasure reading for the last 3 years, I shall happliy return to them.

  • HÜLYA
    2018-11-18 03:33

    Çok güzel etkileyici bir hikaye idi.Sonunda değişik bir roman okudum.Arastirmalarima gore devamı da var..Seriyi çok ara vermeden okumak istiyorum.. Aynı anda iki erkeği seçebilirsiniz...Dusmaniniz bile olsa.İlk gordugumde kapağı ile beni cezbeden Kumandanın Aşığı isimli kitabı okurken büyük keyif aldigimi söylemeliyim.Okurken ahlaki olarak çok da etik olaylar belki de yaşanmiyor..Ama savaş zamanı...Savaşta başınıza çok şey gelebilir..Ailemizin sevgilinizi herseyinizi kaydedebilirsiniz öyle değil mi??Vatanı için savasan bir direnişçi ile evlenen Emma'yi hayat öyle bir yere getirir ki kendini biz Nazi Komutanı ile birlikte bulur...Şartlar,ulkenin ve ailesinin bulunduğu durum..Bir de Yahudi olması kimliğinin gizlenmesi anlamına gelmektedir....Önyargılarını bir kenara bırakarak okumanızı tavsiye ederim..

  • Laura
    2018-10-27 03:44

    A beautifully written piece of historical romance fiction, set during the backdrop of world war two. A young Jewish girl is barely surviving and living in the ghetto with her family, until a chance encounter with a young German officer whom she meets after adopting a secret persona.As you'd expect, the story is completely compelling and meets all the expectations you have after reading the synopsis. The author is a respected historical researcher, and this shows throughout her writing. Obviously passionate about the authenticity of her work, Jenoff shows her dedication to incorporating minute details which are woven beautifully through the characters and settings of her novel.This book also has a sequel and a prequel, so it is worth reading these soon after so that the story flows as it should.

  • Chelsea
    2018-10-30 00:38

    This book was scary on so many levels: the very fact that it was taking place during the Holocaust, with lots of Jewish characters was number one. Then, the main character is working for the resistance. The Nazis we encounter are real people, with friends and lives and worries and joys, which only brings home the idea that the Nazis who were in the camps and ghettos were real people too - and yet, look at what they did. That said, it's not a thriller or a horror novel; if anything, it leans more towards a romance.One of the best novels set during the Holocaust that I've ever read, if only because I'm half convinced that it all really happened.

  • Jen
    2018-11-07 04:45

    This was a fine book, but it's been done before. The story was very predictable, and I never really felt the tension. There are parts of this book (she's undercover in WWII for heaven's sake) that should be very tense, but I really didn't feel it. The characters that Jenoff wanted you to like and sympathize with were well drawn out, the others, not so much, so there is little investment in many of the important relationships. It was a quick read, and not terrible, but if you want to read a really tense WWII book, this would not be it. I will say though - who is the editor? There are a lot of typos and mistakes in the book.

  • Chris
    2018-10-25 03:56

    I couldn't finish this book. I understand it's Jenoff's first book, but there is far too much showing not telling. Emma's change of emotions is far too sudden. We're told that she starved in the Ghetto, but in terms of the book, it feels like she was only in the ghetto for five minutes. Even taking into account the difference in time (it helped that I had just read Defiance), she still feels so passive and "oh dear me" that it is hard to like her.

  • Priscille Sibley
    2018-10-28 02:53

    Jenoff pulled me in with this debut that I'd been meaning to read for years. Her way with setting is skilled and her ability to bring an empathetic characters to life, despite choices which are morally questionable at times is wondrous. Nothing is clear cut and I like it that way. There were a couple of convenient coincidences, nevertheless, the book was mesmerizing. I strongly recommend.

  • Miranda
    2018-10-27 21:56

    Nope. Not even for a date with Hayley Atwell would I read or support this novel. Nazis are not romantic.