Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Lettters from Berlin by Tania Blanchard

I actually read this book last year, and wrote this review then as well, but just never posted it! So better late than never!

Also, be sure to check out the guest post that Tania shared which you can find here


I have been aware of Australian author Tania Blanchard for a few years now, but this, her third book, is the first I have actually read which is an oversight on my part, and one I intend to rectify.

The books opens with an Australian woman, Ingrid, sitting with her pregnant daughter to open a packet of letters from her biological mother and telling the story of her family in Germany in WWII. The reason I mention this is that you could think that this is a dual timeline novel, travelling back and forward in time, but really it is not. The current day is only the beginning and then the end so, in effect, frames the actual story rather than being part of the story. It also almost reflects how the author's family learnt the actual story of their own family. 

Susie Gottman has been raised by her godparents, Onkel Georg and Tante Elya, since the death of her parents and brother in a car accident.  She has grown up on the family estate, Gut Birkenhof, just outside of Berlin.

Georg and Elya have what is now deemed to be a mixed marriage, in that Elya is a Russian Jewish woman, which isn't a good thing to be in Nazi Germany. Whilst new mixed marriages are illegal, existing marriages provide some protection to Jewish people and Georg is doing everything he can to protect his wife and son, Leo, who is classified as a mischling. Georg is basically landed gentry, and he uses his position to cultivate relationships with powerful Nazi's in order to provide protection to his family. This doesn't necessarily go down well with the neighbours, who are suspicious both of this situation and the fact that Elya is Jewish.

When Susie moves to Berlin and becomes a nurse, close family friend Julius offers to take Susie under his wing which gives her access to information that she can pass through to the resistance. But Julius has his own agenda when it comes to Susie and is not afraid of a bit of emotional blackmail to get what he wants. Meanwhile, Susie is dealing with the feelings that she has for Leo.

As the war continues, the Russian's are approaching Berlin, and the intensity of life in Nazi Germany increases, along with the distrust between friends and neighbours. The threat to Susie's loved ones increases, and even high ranking German officials begin to turn on each other.

I enjoyed reading about the German resistance in this book. I have read so many books over the years which featured French resistance and Polish resistance, but I don't think that I have read many about German resistance. In fact, I have read several books this year where the German story is being told. 

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the review copy.

Goodreads summary

From the bestselling author of The Girl from Munich and Suitcase of Dreams comes an unforgettable tale of love, courage and betrayal inspired by a true story

Berlin, 1943

As the Allied forces edge closer, the Third Reich tightens its grip on its people. For eighteen-year-old Susanna Göttmann, this means her beloved adopted family including the man she loves, Leo, are at risk. His mother – Susie’s godmother – is forced to register as a Jew and wear the Star of David, bearing the resentment of the village she has always called home.

Desperate to protect them any way she can, Susie accepts the help of an influential Nazi officer. It means she must abandon any hope of a future with Leo and enter the terrifying world of the Nazi elite.

But all is not lost as her newfound position offers more than she could have hoped for … With critical intelligence at her fingertips, Susie seizes a dangerous opportunity to help the resistance.

The decisions she makes could change the course of the war, but what will they mean for her family and her future?


  1. I thought I had this on my Kindle but I don't! It must have been enormously difficult to have a Jewish wife in Nazi Germany and to do the best that you can to protect your family. I will be putting this on my TBR

    1. I hope you enjoy it if you do read it Mystica!

  2. i'm seeing a lot of war books this week.
    sherry @ fundinmental

    1. There's always quite a few war books around Sherry!

  3. I have not read much about German resistance within the country during the War ... so this seems a new interesting angle. thx for the review.

  4. I haven't read many about the German resistance either. This novel sounds like one I would enjoy. Glad you liked it!



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