It is the 1930s, pre-war Germany. At the start of the book, we meet twelve-year old Hetty Heinrich, her brother Karl and his best friend Walter. In a few years, the rise of Hitler and the spread of Nazism start to overtake their lives. Hetty’s father is rising in the ranks of the SS and Karl is following in his footsteps. At first, Hetty is taken by the promises of Hitler and vows to also follow in line believing the propaganda. At age sixteen, her friendship with Walter reignites and grows into love. Walter is Jewish and his family is suffering. He educates Hetty about all the lies she’s been told and she quickly learns that everything her family stands for is wrong.
The tender love story between Hetty and Walter reminded me of Romeo and Juliet as all odds were against them. Seeing the rise of Nazism through the eyes of a German girl offers an interesting and different perspective to the WWII oriented books that are generally written. I enjoyed Daughter of the Reich – it has a YA (Young Adult) feel which may serve well to reach younger readers who need to be reminded of this horrible period in history. Worth reading for all ages.
Many thanks to NetGalley, HarperCollins/William Morrow and the author for an advance copy.
Rated 4 out of 5 stars.
Publication Date: May 12, 2020.
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