The Orphans Of Berlin by Jina Bacarr is a powerful historical novel that consumed me from the start.
The action is set from 1936 to roughly 1942, with a post war epilogue. We hear the events through two alternating voices, both of which are incredibly brave.
Events take place in America, Paris and Berlin. The gaiety of America in 1936 contrasts with events in Europe as the storm clouds are gathering, and the persecution of the Jewish people is beginning to reach beyond Germany.
It is against this background that we find ordinary people committing extraordinary acts of bravery. Despite the fear, even young children stand up for family. It was a time of unspeakable horror, and also great love and bravery.
As we follow the orphans of Berlin, we see an ordinary Jewish family who are united by love and music. Music lifts us beyond our circumstances as we seek to lose ourselves within the melody.
Before the war, we see the pressures put on an American heiress to make a marriage match. She is worth so much more than her fortune. As her character emerges, we witness her strength and her tenacity to travel along the path of righteousness.
Love still blooms in times of war. We share the worry as lives face danger.
Jina Bacarr has constructed a powerful and heart-breaking story. Her fictional tale weaves in factual details such as Kristallnacht, the kinder transport, Berlin zoo etc. I was completely caught up in the action, hanging on Jina Bacarr’s every word. She has written a marvelous, captivating and powerful tale.
I received a free copy from Rachel’s Random Resources for a blog tour. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.