Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum
Genre: General/Literary Fiction
When I Read It: 2008
Synopsis: For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy's sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald. Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother's life. Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Usis a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.
Why I Loved It: I like historical fiction, especially books that surround the WWII era. And the story itself was so well-written and engrossing that I finished this in a day. It's been a while since I've read it, but there are certain parts in the book that I still remember so well until today. Memorable characters and events, great writing, and a believable, heart-wrenching story.
"Life is so often unfair and painful and love is hard to find and you have to take it whenever and wherever you can get it, no matter how brief it is or how it ends."