Berlin, 1939: The inspiring true story of Libby Schulze-Boysen, a German girl who refused to back down to the Nazis. In the face of evil, she vowed to live by the truth––or die by it.
“Be brave. Don’t run. Fight.” With her eyes tightly shut, tears rolling from under her dark lashes, she felt his lips gently touch her burning cheek. The train on the platform whistled, and he disappeared into the steam.
Nineteen-year-old Libby moves to Berlin to escape her suffocating family––but instead of offering freedom, the city is under siege by the Nazis. Jewish books are burned, storefronts smashed and every day innocent people vanish into thin air. Libby cannot––will not––turn a blind eye.
When Libby meets Harro, she knows there’s more to him than his dazzling smile and cornflower-blue eyes. The whip marks on his back, scars from the SS, tell his true story: he is a resistance fighter.
Libby and Harro fall madly in love, devoted to each other and to tearing down Hitler’s regime. Knowing they can make the greatest difference from the inside, Harro works for the Air Ministry, infiltrating government secrets.
Together, they smuggle classified documents and hold clandestine meetings in the middle of the night, with blackout curtains and a single candle burning. Under the cover of darkness, they distribute leaflets, exposing the Nazis’ hideous lies.
In the frostbitten winter of 1942, Libby is certain the Gestapo is stalking them––their every move watched, their phone calls recorded. In the end, they must decide what is more important: to be free or to be brave? To survive or to stand up for the truth?
Fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Alice Network and The Lilac Girls will be utterly gripped by this heartbreaking page-turner. Based on a true story, this beautiful novel shows that even when our freedom is stolen, we still have a choice…
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle ARC
No. of Pages: 351
Date of Publication: October 13, 2021
My Rating: 5 Stars
"Bravery in the face of fear." Every day Libertas and Harro lived could be their last. When they met their lives would be changed forever. Libertas was a film reviewer, and had hoped to make that a career. But her home city Berlin had come under Nazi occupation thus the very freedom she longed for was obliterated. Not fully knowing how far she would go, she knew one thing. She would fight. How she did not know.
When Libertas met Harro, he was able to trust her - with the scars that marred his beautiful body, and with his story. As a resistance fighter he would do anything to defy Hitler and his minions. Libertas and Harro were kindred spirits. They did not allow Nazi propaganda to sway them, although being born German. Re-education and gradualism was at play for German citizens in Berlin. Could the pair work together, despite unrelenting danger, both pushing fear aside and demonstrating incredible bravery in their efforts?
Harro used his work in the Air Ministry office to inflitrate the regime, to learn secrets. To trade secrets. To smuggle secrets. However, in order to do so, trust was paramount. Libertas's role was no less significant. Who would they work with and could they find others who shared a similar purpose without betrayal playing a hand?
What an incredible story based on the lives of Libertas and Harro Schulz-Boysen. They were a strong pair of resistance fighters, using whatever contacts they could find to futher the cause they relentlessly undertook. They displayed a hope that proved their reality. They developed a careful plan of rebellion, one that would eventually cost them their lives. However, they did not live a life of fear, instead, they led a life of bravery.
Ellie Midwood has done it again. She has penned an astonishing story based on true characters. This love story showed how Libertas and Harro displayed amazing bravery despite the bleakest of times. Heartbreaking throughout, with a devastating end, it was a story well told. One that needed to be told and one that will not soon be forgotten.
Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.