This riveting WWII novel based on true events will make you question, ” how far would I go to protect my family”?
Sofie von Meyer Rhodes lives a comfortable life with her husband Jürgen and their children. Jürgen’s aunt who raised him lives next door and Sofie’s best friend, Mayim, lives with them and helps Sofie take care of the children while Jürgen works as a scientist in an academic setting. All of this is being threatened as the Nazis begin to take power. Jürgen has been “invited” to join the Nazi party and work on their new rocket science program. Sofie and Jürgen despise everything the Nazis stand for and Jürgen refuses their offer. Soon he is fired from his job, the mortgage on their house has been called in and Mayim is under scrutiny because she is Jewish. Except for Mayim, everything will be resolved if Jürgen joins the rocket program.
Dallam County Texas, 1930
Teens Lizzie and Henry work on their parent’s farm that the family is about to lose. With a severe drought, no rain in sight and a dusty haze from the dust storms settling over everything, their lives continue to be threatened. When tragedy strikes, Lizzie and Henry decide to leave and try to find a life and work somewhere else in Texas.
Huntsville, Alabama, 1950
Lizzie is married and living in Huntsville. Her brother, Henry, has returned from the war and is living with them. Lizzie’s husband is working on the US space program and German scientists, rumored to be former Nazis are brought to Huntsville to work on the rocket program. As the rumors continue to swirl about these new Germans being Nazis and what they might have done during the war, the community begins to ostracize them and violence erupts with devastating results.
Although I have read many novels set in WWII, I was not aware of this secret government project called Operation Paperclip that brought German scientists to Huntsville in 1950 to work on the rocket program. The author does a brilliant job of showing a different perspective of WWII and good people who do bad things (both German and American) out of fear and desperation. It was sometimes difficult to read but The German Wife is historical fiction at its finest and not to be missed.
Thanks to Harlequin Trade Publishing and NetGalley for an advance reading copy of this book.