I’m a fan of suspense (clearly), and while this book moved at a slower pace than I usually read, I enjoyed this story cover to cover. The story takes place towards the end of WWII, and German Anton Starzmann moves to a small town where he answers an ad placed by Elisabeth Herter. Elisabeth is looking for someone willing to take on her and her three children after her husband dies. Anton, a former friar, marries Elisabeth and realizes the weight of the responsibility he has for his new family, while constantly looking for ways to show his opposition to the war and Hitler.
Anton’s perspective of the story drew me in as he struggles through the war. He witnessed tragedies committed by his own people, and wrestled with his past and God while doing his part to thwart the Nazi regime. I loved being a part of the journey Anton went through, as he struggles between the very real dangers to his family with the realities of being caught by the SS as he relays messages for the Red Orchestra. Anton begins to fall in love with his family, despite Elisabeth’s cold demeanor, and takes his role of provider and protector seriously. But Anton has to do something, and can’t sit by and let his small town be overrun by Nazi propaganda. The author’s notes at the end show that this story is based on facts from her own family, making it even more incredible to read. Despite the horrors of war, Anton brings hope and humor to unimaginable circumstances. This is definitely worth five stars!