My rating: 5 of 5 stars
A thrilling, chilling and dark page-turner. The book is a combination of three stories: Marijke de Graaf, Karl Muller, and Luciano Wagner.
At the age of twenty-two, Marijke de Graaf dreams to play on a stage of a famous conservatory in New York. But being in a middle of the great war, Marijke and her husband join a Dutch resistance. And her kind heart can’t resist helping a few Jewish people that come their way. In early 1943 de Graafs are discovered by Nazis and sent to separate concentration camps in Germany. And that’s when Marijke is given a choice, to meet a slow dreadful death in the labor camp, or join the camp brothel. What choice young violinist will make? And will she ever see the end of the war?
Since his arrival at the camp, SS officer Karl Muller throws himself into work. And to thoroughly understand his mission at the camp, Karl gets acquainted with Hitler’s politics. However, while in a process, Karl is seriously distracted by a sweet young Dutch girl from the brothel, and falls in love with her. And in early 1945 Karl has to make a decision, to live up to his father’s expectations and die at the hands of American’s as a furher’s true follower, or to run with the love of his life and live happily ever after in a quiet house far away from Germany.
And finally, our last character Luciano Wagner finds himself in a middle of an Argentina’s Dirty War. The young boy is abducted, violently tortured and finally imprisoned for a cause that he supports. During his incarceration, Luciano spends time analyzing the relationship with his father, his sexual orientation and political views. Was it all worth it? Would have he done it all over again if the substances were different? And most importantly, we he ever be able to see his family again?
The book contains many many heartbreaking parts. To be honest, it was very hard to read the book, especially Marijke and Luciano’s stories. This novel is a must-read for lovers of historical fiction. And before you do so, pour yourself a big glass of wine, you will surely need it.