I received a gifted galley of THAT SUMMER IN BERLIN by Lecia Cornwall for an honest review. Thank you to Berkley Publishing Group, PRH Audio, and Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review!
Publication Date: 10/11/2022
Rating: 4 / 5
THAT SUMMER IN BERLIN is set in the summer of 1936 when Germany hosted the Berlin Olympics, showing off for the world while WWII was brewing in the background. The book follows Viviane Alden, a young woman who travels to Germany with her sister as a tourist, but with a ulterior motive to make use of her photography skills to capture information about what Germany is really up to, working with Scottish journalist Tom. Viviane and her sister stay with a proud German family who are fiercely loyal to Hitler, at least on the surface. There is danger around every turn and Viviane must find out who she can and cannot trust.
My mother is a huge fan of the Olympics and (as a result) I had the opportunity to attend the Atlanta games which was a fantastic experience. I was therefore instantly intrigued to learn more about this particular Olympics summer since I hadn’t read anything in this setting. I really found the way the author portrayed Germany to be fascinating (and often disturbing).
We get a lot of insight into the Germany family members that Viviane stays with on their feelings for Hitler and it is sometimes troubling to read. Women’s roles are to give birth to loyal children, children are taught to obey without question and turn in anyone who expresses free thought. While not always easy to read, I think it is important to see how easily people were swayed and how easily it could happen again.
This book had a good mix of strong characters, romance, history, and intrigue and the stakes felt very high by the end of the book. I really enjoyed this one and definitely recommend it to the historical fiction fans!