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February 13, 2023

That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall ~ a Review

by Donna Huber

Hilter is in power and the European elite are trying to establish alliances through marriage, as they have been doing for centuries. Germany is hosting the Olympics and the world is watching. Julia is invited by her Godfather to visit Berlin for the Games and her half-sister Viviane is sent as a chaperone. Viviane's mother is hoping that Viviane will find a husband as she ended her engagement without giving a reason. Viviane doesn't want to go as she has already seen how dangerous Fascism can be. But when called upon to use her photography skills to capture images of important targets (factories, soldiers, etc). Now that is something she is more than happy to do.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall
October 2022; Berkley;978-0593197943
audio, ebook, print (464 pages); historical fiction

While I read a lot of WWII fiction, not many books focus on the years leading up to the war. I knew that Germany had hosted the Olympics in 1936 (thanks to the legend Jesse Owens) but I didn't really think about what the world was (wasn't seeing) in Germany at the time. 

While Hitler did some whitewashing before the world arrived (the No Jews Allowed signs were removed, some of the fervor of his followers was tamped down, etc.), not everything was hidden if only people were looking. In That Summer in Berlin, Viviane and her reporter contact do see what is hidden. 

Julia is a good foil to Viviane. She is your typical young female socialite - she wants to marry well and sees her opportunity in Berlin with one of her Godfather's sons. She gets caught up in the fervor of the Fuhrer. 

There is no author note or historical notes so I don't know if the story is based in fact or purely the author's imagination. It is conceivable that the actions in the book took place as Britain did use female spies during the war. 

While there is danger and suspense, there is also romance and I feel that this book falls somewhere between deeply-rooted biographical WWII fiction and romantic WWII fiction.

The writing is good and the story really held my attention. 

Buy That Summer in Berlin at Amazon

Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour

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