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March 7, 2023

Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Adolf Hitler is still a distant rumble on the horizon, but a Jewish spymaster and his courageous spies uncover a storm of Nazi terror in their own backyard.

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

book cover of historical fiction novel Code Name Edelweiss by Stephanie Landsem
March 2023; Tyndale House; 978-1496460660
audio, ebook, print (432 pages); historical fiction

During the depression as Hitler started putting his plan in place to take over Europe, he was also working on a plan to take over the United States starting with Hollywood.  People were out of work and it was easy to convince them that the Jewish people were the reason that times were so bad.  In Hollywood, many of the movie studios were owned by Jewish people who had lots of money.  If Hitler could push his agenda in this area of American life, he was confident that he could control the country.  Code Name Edelweiss is based on a true story about a Jewish lawyer and a group of amateur spies who foiled Hitler's plan for America.

Liesl is the daughter of German immigrants.  She lives in a German community with her two children and her mother.  She tells everyone that she's a widow because it's more acceptable than admitting that her husband left her and she has no idea where he is.  She has a good secretarial job at MGM studios but when she's fired, she struggles to find a job.  It's the depression and the few available jobs are given to men and not women - even though Liesl is the sole supporter of her small family.  She hears about a job with a lawyer and when she applies, she's told that she's not what he was looking for....however, he wanted to recruit her as a spy for reporting on the rise of fascism in her German neighborhood.  Her assignment was to work as a secretary at an office where a group of Nazi sympathizers is working to get more members in their group.  She has no idea of who else is in the spy network and learns to trust no one.  As she gets deeper into this group, she is appalled at their beliefs and their plans for America and works hard to make a difference.  What started out as a   job to make money to feed her family, ended up as a plan working to end the anti-Jewish movement in Hollywood.

This story was a bit slow in the beginning but keep on reading -- it gets a lot more exciting and is well worth the read.  From a personal viewpoint, I knew that there were Nazi sympathizers in America but I had no idea that there was such a concentrated effort to influence Americans to support Hitler.  This book was well written and well researched and a real eye-opener for me.  It has intrigue, a bit of romance, and a lot of bravery by the people working on the spy network.

Buy Code Name Edelweiss at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  

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