Monday, May 9, 2022

The School for German Brides - Aimie K. Runyan

There’s a wealth of World War II fiction just waiting to be read these days, told from many different points of view. Land girls, air taxis, nursing, codebreakers and more. Aimie K. Runyan gives us another view point in her latest historical fiction novel - The School for German Brides

What's different you ask? The book takes us to 1938 - 1939 Germany and is told from the sympathetic view of three young German women. One of them, Tilde, is Jewish. She and her mother make a living as seamstresses. Hanna has been sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Berlin. Her aunt is determined that Hanna will marry well. Hanna has other ideas, but her future is already written when an SS officer takes an interest in her. The third woman is Klara and her future looks just like Hanna's. I quite liked all three women and thought they were well drawn. The reader can't help but behind them. And of course there are those on the other side of the equation. Just as well done and you can't help but dislike them!

Now, about the School for German Brides. There actually were Bride Schools that taught the skills needed to be the (supposedly) perfect SS wife. Runyan has also woven historical figures and settings into her novel. 

Runyon does a great job of giving us an inside view of Germany at this time. She makes it personal as we see it through the girls' eyes. Their stories build towards an inevitable meeting of the three. Lives hang in the balance and their bravery, sense of rightness and their own ideals are called upon. There’s love, loss and hope and an ending is satisfying. 

Fashion funnily enough plays a large part in uniting these three women. I really enjoyed the descriptions of fabrics, patterns and the dresses worn. 

WWII fiction fans, this one's recommended for you. See for yourself - read an excerpt of The School for German Brides.   #BooksofHCC   @harpercollinsca

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