Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein
You know how nervous you can get about a book that so high on your wish list that you're afraid it won't meet your soaring expectations? Wunderland by Jennifer Cody Epstein was that book. I still remember scenes from The Gods of Heavenly Punishment by Epstein. So, I also knew from that experience that Jennifer Cody Epstein tears your heart into tiny bits and then sets them on fire. Still, I got to Wunderland as quickly as I could because I was so excited about it, even knowing what I was probably getting into.
Wunderland is the story of two German girls, school friends, one of whom becomes a Nazi (a member of the BDM, the girls' version of the Hitler Youth) and the other who finds out she's half Jewish. A contemporary/historical blend, the second storyline is about the daughter of the Nazi, who receives her mother's ashes and a bunch of unsent letters that explain everything her tight-lipped mother would never tell her.
Highly recommended - Perfectly paced, devastatingly realistic, clearly well-researched, and magnificently plotted. The author firmly, painfully plants you in her characters' shoes to tell a bittersweet story about a friendship tested, a mystery revealed, and the horror of war. Wunderland is one of the best books I've read, this year. Not an easy read but one that will make you feel the emotions of the characters, for better or worse.
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