That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall
Publication: October 11th 2022 by Berkley Books
Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII
Taken from Goodreads: In the summer of 1936, while the Nazis make secret plans for World War II, a courageous and daring young woman struggles to expose the lies behind the dazzling spectacle of the Berlin Olympics.
German power is rising again, threatening a war that will be even worse than the last one. The English aristocracy turns to an age-old institution to stave off war and strengthen political bonds—marriage. Debutantes flock to Germany, including Viviane Alden. On holiday with her sister during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Viviane’s true purpose is more clandestine. While many in England want to appease Hitler, others seek to prove Germany is rearming. But they need evidence, photographs to tell the tale, and Viviane is a genius with her trusty Leica. And who would suspect a pretty, young tourist taking holiday snaps of being a spy?
Viviane expects to find hatred and injustice, but during the Olympics, with the world watching, Germany is on its best behavior, graciously welcoming tourists to a festival of peace and goodwill. But first impressions can be deceiving, and it’s up to Viviane and the journalist she’s paired with—a daring man with a guarded heart—to reveal the truth.
But others have their own reasons for befriending Viviane, and her adventure takes a darker turn. Suddenly Viviane finds herself caught in a web of far more deadly games—and closer than she ever imagined to the brink of war.
My Thoughts: Another WWII book that I devoured and can not stop thinking about. In this book, we meet Viviane. She comes from a privileged family but sees the world, not through rose-colored glasses. Through the lens of her camera, she sees things that others would rather she not. When the opportunity comes for her to go to Germany during the 1936 Olympics, she takes it.
I very quickly became in awe of Viviane. She does not give in to her family’s requests of her. She pushes herself to become a better person, a person reliant on herself. Viviane knows that getting married and having babies is not what will make her happy and decides to work towards her dreams. In the era of this book, a working woman was not someone high society accepted. Yet it does not deter her from keeping doing what she loves.
The relationships that Viviane makes while visiting Germany are special. I enjoyed watching her with the German family that she and her sister stay with. She was kind and respectful but was not willing to accept their word as truth. She kept her values intact while also understanding that not all Germans are Nazi’s. I worried about her trust in a few characters but had faith that all would work out in the end for her.
That Summer in Berlin is an enthralling story of pre-WWII Germany. I highly recommend it to any historical fiction reader.
**Thank you Berkley for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
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About Lecia (Taken from her website): I was born in the wrong century. I must have been. I’ve always been more comfortable with history than modern life—except for essential modern conveniences like flush toilets, hot running water, immersion blenders, and iPads.
Originally from Ontario, I now call the foothills of Canada’s Rocky Mountains home. I am the author of sixteen novels. The Woman at the Front (October 2021) was my first historical fiction title. It is being followed by That Summer in Berlin, coming this October! I write full time, love gardening (though many plants come to my house just to die), knit (and purl!), adopt stray creatures (usually cats), and create magical worlds from cardboard, paint, and glue. If I’m not at my desk working on my next book, you can find me walking my dog ( Andy, the indefatigable chocolate Lab) by the Bow River, or volunteering at a local museum.
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