Margarete stumbles out of the bombed-out house, the dust settling around her like snow. Mistaking her for the dead officer’s daughter, a guard rushes over to gently ask her if she is all right and whether there’s anything he can do to help her. She glances down at where the hated yellow star had once been, and with barely a pause, she replies “Yes”.
Berlin, 1941: Margarete Rosenbaum is working as a housemaid for a senior Nazi officer when his house is bombed, leaving her the only survivor. But when she’s mistaken for his daughter in the aftermath of the blast, Margarete knows she can make a bid for freedom…
Issued with temporary papers—and with the freedom of not being seen as Jewish—a few hours are all she needs to escape to relative safety. That is, until her former employer’s son, SS officer Wilhelm Huber, tracks her down.
But strangely he doesn’t reveal her true identity right away. Instead he insists she comes and lives with him in Paris, and seems determined to keep her hidden. His only condition: she must continue to pretend to be his sister. Because whoever would suspect a Nazi girl of secretly being a Jew?
His plan seems impossible, and Margarete is terrified they might be found out, not to mention worried about what Wilhelm might want in return. But as the Nazis start rounding up Jews in Paris and the Résistance steps up its activities, putting everyone who opposes the regime in peril, she realizes staying hidden in plain sight may be her only chance of survival…
Can Margarete trust a Nazi officer with the only things she has left though… her safety, her life, even her heart?
A totally heartbreaking and unputdownable story about how far someone would go to save one life, that fans of The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See will adore.
I really loved Not Without my Sister by Marion Kummerow. So, when I saw that Kummerow had a new book release, A Light in the Window, I knew I had to read it as I really enjoy her writing style and how easily Kummerow can draw you into her stories.
It is 1941 in Berlin and an air raid has just dropped a bomb on the home of Herr and Frau Huber, killing them and their spoilt daughter, Annegrete. Margarete Rosembuam, their Jewish maid is the only survivor. Taking on the identity of Annegrete allows Margarete more freedom in Berlin more so than what she would ever have if she told the SS her true identity. But, her lie comes with a price when Wilhelm Huber, Annegrete’s older brother, becomes aware of her charade and decides to use the ruse to his own advantage.
There are so many things I want to say about the characters in this story, but I am really not sure where to even begin! I have always said that I love stories and characters that can garner a reaction out of me whether it is awe, hate, love, horror, etc. This story certainly did that and I found myself at times wanting to bang my head on my table because Wilhelm was really trying my patience! I absolutely hated him, but yet didn’t. He may not have been sadistic and cruel, but he was still a Nazi and held a lot of the views that Nazi’s held about anyone Jewish. I know this is a hot topic kind of trope of a romance with a Nazi and someone who is Jewish, but both Margarete and Wilhelm really made this story come to life and I think portrayed a love/hate type of relationship with sprinkles of reality.
I wouldn’t say that the ending particularly leaves you on a cliffhanger, but it does make you want to find out what happens next. I am glad to have noticed there will be a sequel to this book!
If you love WWII stories that are a little bit different than the norm, then you will most definitely want to read A Light in the Window.
Marion Kummerow was born and raised in Germany, before she set out to “discover the world” and lived in various countries. In 1999 she returned to Germany and settled down in Munich where she’s now living with her family.
Inspired by the true story about her grandparents, who belonged to the German resistance and fought against the Nazi regime, she started writing historical fiction, set during World War II. Her books are filled with raw emotions, fierce loyalty and resilience. She loves to put her characters through the mangle, making them reach deep within to find the strength to face moral dilemma, take difficult decisions or fight for what is right. And she never forgets to include humor and undying love in her books, because ultimately love is what makes the world go round.