Thanks to the publisher for sending me a free copy of the book.
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
BERLIN, 1939. The dreams that Amanda Sternberg and her husband, Julius, had for their daughters are shattered when the Nazis descend on Berlin, burning down their beloved family bookshop and sending Julius to a concentration camp. Desperate to save her children, Amanda flees toward the south of France, where the widow of an old friend of her husband’s has agreed to take her in. Along the way, a refugee ship headed for Cuba offers another chance at escape and there, at the dock, Amanda is forced to make an impossible choice that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Once in Haute-Vienne, her brief respite is interrupted by the arrival of Nazi forces, and Amanda finds herself in a labor camp where she must once again make a heroic sacrifice.
NEW YORK, 2015. Eighty-year-old Elise Duval receives a call from a woman bearing messages from a time and country that she forced herself to forget. A French Catholic who arrived in New York after World War II, Elise is shocked to discover that the letters were from her mother, written in German during the war. Despite Elise’s best efforts to stave off her past, seven decades of secrets begin to unravel.
Based on true events, The Daughter’s Tale chronicles one of the most harrowing atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis during the war. Heartbreaking and immersive, it is a beautifully crafted family saga of love, survival, and redemption.
I’m still on a solid historical fiction kick. I’ve been alternating between time periods to keep it fresh, so after recently finishing a book about WWI, I jumped back into WWII with The Daughter’s Tale, and I loved it. It was an engaging read, one to completely immerse yourself in, took me to a new setting, and the pages flew by.
First and foremost, let’s chat about the characters. I felt a real connection with Amanda. She was strong and a fighter, despite everything she couldn’t control falling down around her. She epitomized the “mama bear” label we often toss around today. And while I know her behavior and actions were not the exception, it still felt important to bear witness to her doing everything in within her power to save the lives of her daughters.
I also appreciated the timeline of this story. The book starts in New York in 2015, then jumps back to Berlin in 1933. I’m a fan of this type of mixed timeline because it keeps me on my toes. I’m always looking for the connections, how the past is connected to this specific present. And when it all comes together, it’s such a satisfying feeling for me as a reader. I read books like this always holding my breath just a bit, waiting for the big things to drop and the impact it all has on the current characters. So those moments when everything starts to click into place feels so satisfying.
And finally, the setting and “learning something new” part of it. Part of Amanda’s story takes place in the French countryside, which was refreshing because so many WWII stories take place strictly in Germany and/or concentration camps. It’s difficult to find a story that hasn’t already been told, so any new little tidbit piques my interest. There are some things that happen in the story that I can’t mention, those impossible choices referenced in the synopsis, but I can say this: eye-opening, emotionally intense, verging on mind-blowing depending on your frame of mind as you’re reading. Oh, and it bears mentioning that this book is based on the story of a woman Correa met in real life. That type of inspiration will always grab my attention.
My final verdict: a great addition to the WWII historical fiction genre. I’ll be seeking out Correa’s previous novel, The German Girl and adding it to my summer TBR pile. His writing style is easy to get lost in, and I’m looking forward to doing it again.
Highly recommend. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️
Book stats: Hardcover, 320 pages, Atria Books, May 7, 2019
I’m partnering with TLC Book Tours and Atria Books to share a copy of The Daughter’s Tale with one of you. To enter is really simple: share a recommendation below of a book that taught you something. Read a book that taught you something about history? I’d love to know! Read a biography or memoir that taught you about a way of life you’d never known before? Tell us! Read a thriller that made you aware of how terrified you are of reading after dark? Yes, please!
Giveaway nitty gritty: US/Canadian addresses only. Giveaway will close on Sunday, May 12, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST. Winner will be notified via email early next week and will have 48 hours to respond or the copy will be forfeited to the next name drawn. Good luck!
Thanks to TLC Book Tours for organizing this tour. Follow the rest of the tour stops Here.