Your Preview Verdict: Letters from Berlin by Tania Blanchard

Your Preview Verdict: Letters from Berlin by Tania Blanchard

From the bestselling author of The Girl from Munich and Suitcase of Dreams comes an unforgettable tale of love, courage and betrayal inspired by a true story

Berlin, 1943

As the Allied forces edge closer, the Third Reich tightens its grip on its people. For eighteen-year-old Susanna Göttmann, this means her adopted family including the man she loves, Leo, are at risk.

Desperate to protect her loved ones any way she can, Susie accepts the help of an influential Nazi officer. But it comes at a terrible cost – she must abandon any hope of a future with Leo and enter the frightening world of the Nazi elite.

Yet all is not lost as her newfound position offers more than she could have hoped for … With critical intelligence at her fingertips, Susie seizes a dangerous opportunity to help the Resistance.

The decisions she makes could change the course of the war, but what will they mean for her family and her future? 

Read some 5 star reviews from our Preview readers here:

A beautiful blend of historical fact and captivating fiction. Walk side by side with Susie as she lives and works in war-torn Berlin in 1943. Can she protect the people she loves by keeping up the pretence of siding with the Nazis while concealing her connections to The Resistance? What dangerous choices will she have to make to help keep them all alive? Wonderfully based on a true story. – Georgina, NSW, 5 Stars

Tania Blanchard is getting better and better with each novel, drawing readers into the heartbreak and tragedy of World War 2 and it’s aftermath. She weaves her story in such a way that the characters simply jump off the page, keeping the audience on the edge of their seat until the final page. Any lovers of historical fiction or family dramas will fall in love with this novel. We hope more is in the way soon! 5 stars. – Angie, NSW, 5 Stars

Wow another fantastic read by this amazing author. The characters draw you in and you just can’t stop reading. Thank you so much for this awesome preview. – Kirstie, WA, 5 Stars

Letter from Berlin is a harrowing tale told by Susanna Gottman through letters written to her daughter, who she tried to after the war. The descriptions are vivid and you can imagine yourself in the midst of Germany in WW2. It is a tale of resilience, sacrifice, and of love, beautifully written and very captivating. – Lisa, QLD, 5 Stars

Well what a fantastic read by Tania Blanchard. There are so many war/romance books on the market these days but this one definitely stands out as a must-read. The book starts with the introduction of the main character Susie. She has fallen in love with a man but has to take drastic steps to protect her family. This book grabbed me right from the start as all of Tania’s books have. It was engaging, easy to read and was a book that kept you up late at night turning pages to see what happens next. I feel a little lost now that the book is finished, the best way to truly know that you have loved a book. – Claire, VIC, 5 Stars

Letters From Berlin is an extraordinary story of courage, hope and love that will leave you feeling an entire spectrum of emotions and in awe of what humanity is capable of. Both good, and evil. This meticulously researched book spans the central characters lifetime but focuses on the period of WW2 in the region of Berlin. It’s impossible not to be consumed by the tragedies faced by the characters and inspired by the determination they show amidst their challenges. A story of love, loss and loyalty, this intense story will keep any reader gripped from the very beginning. – Belinda, VIC, 5 Stars

I love to read historical fiction and was not disappointed by Letters to Berlin. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and it kept my interest from beginning to end. The character of Susanna was well developed and likeable. A great read overall. This was my first Tania Blanchard book and will definitely be checking out others by her. – Susan, NSW, 5 Stars

Tania Blanchard’s research on Nazi Germany is impressive and she continues to introduce the reader to more aspects of life in Germany, thus increasing our knowledge of life at the time. The heroine, Susanna, is naive yet seemingly unaware of the true nature of the Nazis. She seemed to lurch from situation to situation and at times, this seems somewhat unrealistic. Yet reading the Author’s Notes it appears that Susanna’s experiences are not as far-fetched as first impressions would lead one to believe. The book was an easy read and very enjoyable. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys novels set during World War Two. – Debbie, VIC, 5 Stars

Thank you so much for the opportunity to read and review Letters From Berlin by Tania Blanchard. Having previously read and enjoyed her previous books, The Girl From Munich and Suitcase Of Dreams, I was very keen to read this one and it didn’t disappoint at all. I liked the fact that it told the story from the perspective of German citizens during the war and the difficulties they encountered depending on their social status or genetic background. Because I visited Berlin as well as other parts of Germany two years ago I was able to feel myself looking out the window of Julius’ flat to the Brandenburg Gate and also in the countryside around Onkel’s farm. I was aware that the Russians did not exactly represent liberation but learnt more about how they behaved towards the German citizens. Susie is a wonderful character, so brave and I admired her difficult decisions to keep her family safe. I delight in recommending this book. – Liz, NSW, 5 Stars

Sydney 2019. Starts off with the delivery of a package containing hand-written letters posted from Berlin, Germany. They are addressed to Ingrid from her birth mother of whom she never knew, in fact, she didn’t know until the age of 12 that she was adopted. No records could be located then because of the government laws at that time. THUS THE STORY BEGINS… relayed through the contents of the letters, telling of the life and experiences of Susanna Göttmann and her family. Mainly set in Berlin 1943 during World War 11 The Third Reich are becoming relentless towards its people, people end up living in poverty, living in fear of their country-men and the Nazi regime. The Jewish people are being arrested. What I really appreciated the author, Tania Blanchard doing, was how she didn’t dwell on the horrors of the war, the extreme cruelty towards the Jewish population. Yes, the reader read about concentration camps where no-one came home, and other atrocities, but didn’t again dwell on that. We the reader know what happened, but the book is focussed on Susanna and her loved ones. I found the book very touching, showed the love felt, faith, caring, risks taken to help, courage, loyalty, strength and survival. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, will and have, recommended it to friends that I know! – Edith, SA, 5 Stars

Letters from Berlin was a fascinating story to read. I really found myself hooked. It’s a story about a family with a rich cultural heritage and they find themselves in the frightening world of the Nazi elite during World War II. This was a gripping and emotional journey, the characters were well written and had depth. I thoroughly recommend adding this to your reading list! – Peter, SA, 5 Stars

This is an absolutely beautiful book. Tania Blanchard has done a wonderful job of weaving the different parts of the story together. The story is told through Susanna’s eyes, focusing on her life in Berlin during WW2. It is a heartbreaking and uplifting story of love, family and community, as Susanna and her family do what they can to survive the terrible events happening around them. The characters were so believable, I felt I was right along beside them as they went through their journey. I felt particularly connected to Susanna, feeling every one of her emotions and wishing I could do something to help her. I highly recommended this book. I couldn’t put it down. Thank you to Better Reading for my preview copy. – Kim Smith, NSW, 5 Stars

I started reading this thinking it was just another novel telling another episode in the History of Germany during World War 2 even though I am very sympathetic to these harrowing stories. The difference is it highlighted the lives of ordinary Germans who were so against the Nazi regime, and their support of the Resistance. It also highlighted the stress of Jews who were married to Germans and were safe from arrest in the beginning then their safety became unreliable. The fate of the offspring was also highlighted. They were labelled as subhuman and were not permitted to enlist in the German Army. We follow the story of Susie, adopted by a mixed family and her means of spying for the Resistance through her friendship with a Nazi official. All done to protect her adopted family. An enjoyable read for the fans of this era and genre. – Sue, WA, 5 Stars

What a fantastic read! The perfect blend of suspense, emotional moments and history! I especially loved the depiction of familial bonds and the realistic portrayal of civilian life in WWII. – Sarah, NSW, 5 Stars

Letters from Berlin is a beautiful love story told against the backdrop of a horrendous point in history, and the author manages to balance the two expertly. I was thoroughly captivated from start to finish. – Ashleigh, ACT, 5 Stars

I wanted to read this as I loved her previous books, The Girl from Munich and Suitcase of Dreams. This is an unforgettable tale of love, courage and betrayal inspired by a true story. It begins in Berlin, 1943. Leo, the man she loves, and his family whom Suzi has known since childhood, the family that took her in as a child, are at risk because his mother is Jewish. This is a tale a young non-Jewish lass trying to save those she loves, those she considers her family, at a time when the Allied forces edge closer and the Third Reich is tightening its grip on its own people. Naive Suzi chooses a dangerous course but the future of ‘her family’ is all that matters to her. The story is beautifully crafted and captures the intensity of a brutal and unforgiving war. It weaves love, loss, desperation and eventually hope into a gripping journey. I highly recommend it. – Mara, NSW, 5 Stars

This is an absolutely exceptional read of the struggle of an influential family to stay together during world war II in Germany. Onkel Georg and Tanke Elya are Susanna Gottmann’s Godparents and have raised Susanna (Susie) since she was seven years old when her parents and brother were killed in a car accident in 1931. They also have a son, Leo. 1943 Berlin- As the allied forces close in, the Nazi regime tightens it’s grip on the German people. Onkel Georg’s connections, business dealings and status had kept Tante Elya’s (a Russian Jew) name off the Reich Association of the Jews but they never knew if that was enough to keep her safe. There was also concern about their son Leo (a mischling). Leo can’t understand why Susie has chosen to keep company with Julius Siebenborn who has become an influential Nazi but she is desperate to protect her family in any way possible. This story is told in the perspective of the German people who had to contend with losing their men and boys to fight the war, the constant bombings, food rations, poverty, the Nazi elite and general chaos. This book was inspired by a true story, there are characters you will love and there are those you will despise! An unforgettable family saga of romance, betrayal and courage. I wish to thank Better Reading & Simon & Schuster for an advanced copy of the book to read in exchange for an honest review. – Gloria, SA, 5 Stars

WOW! is how I felt at the end of Letters from Munich I have read Tania’s first 2 books and loved them, but this book takes it to a new level. The emotional rollercoaster you travel with Susanna(Susie) is one I almost didn’t want to end. For readers of historical fiction and especially WW2 and Nazi Germany this book will not disappoint. Throughout the book I was cheering on for Susie and I truly felt like I was alongside her as she made such hard decisions, but at every turn understanding why and how. Tania is using inspiration from childhood stories told to her by her German grandmother and this shows in the emotion and realness that comes through in her writing. I have no doubt this will be a hit along with The girl from Munich and Suitcase of dreams. – Danielle, VIC, 5 Stars

Loved this book. A well-written escape from the real world. – Sally, VIC, 5 Stars

A great historical read for me as I’ve read Tania’s previous books. For fans of Fiona McIntosh and Christine Wells/wartime novels. It packs a punch and has everything. It’s a book that will stay with you after you read it, wanting more and also not wanting it to end but equally as relieved to finish it. – Penny, NSW, 5 Stars

A compelling and captivating novel, which brings to life a love story from a generation past. Engaging writing has the reader eager to turn the page and see what happens next. Five stars! – Stacey, WA, 5 Stars

Towards the end of WWII, the German people lost trust, became suspicious and lifelong friendships were broken to survive in a country no longer safe. Everyone persevered as best they could in an authoritative country no longer their own but overrun by the Third Reich. Susanna Gottmann, raised by friends of the family after the death of her parents, must make a momentous decision at the tender age of 19. Although she loves her adoptive family, her tante is a Russian Jew and to protect them she must marry a Nazi officer. Ironically, being privy to intelligence, brave Susie helps the Resistance and potentially changes the course of the war. Tania Blanchard has written an awe-inspiring story about how this war affected everyone’s lives, how the German people were hoping for the relief of the declaration of peace, and how they began the monumental task of rebuilding their country and their lives. – Thelma, QLD, 5 Stars

Letters from Berlin is hands down one of the best historical fiction stories told, inspired by a true story. Well researched, with believable characters and a plot that has you hooked from the get-go. Be sure to have a box of tissues close by! – Bec, TAS, 5 Stars

Once again Tania Blanchard has crafted a beautiful story that melts the reader in right from the first chapter. ‘Letters From Berlin’ is an engaging narrative about a young woman called Susanna navigating Germany during WWII. Susanna is a woman that displays great sacrifice in challenging circumstances and shows the great lengths a person is capable of going for the sake of their family. – Chesly, WA, 5 Stars

Letters from Berlin was not a book I would normally pick up, but the cover and synopsis had me interested. The book didn’t disappoint. I loved the main character, Susie. She is a young lady with so much love, strength, loyalty and is totally committed to her family. This story gave me a new perspective regarding life inside Germany under the rule of the Third Reich. I read this book under a week as I had to keep turning the page to find out the next developments. Will keep my eyes out for further books by this author. – Julie, NSW, 5 Stars

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. Couldn’t put it down. Read it from cover to cover this weekend. From the first page you are transported into the love story of Susie and Leo. – Kay, QLD, 5 Stars

From page one Letters from Berlin captured my attention with an intriguing storyline. Instantly the main characters touched my heart and soon I realised there was going to be mystery and intrigue to this love story and was hanging right to the end of this fictional story which was based on true events! It was well written and researched a credit to Tania Blanchard! – Rhonda, QLD, 5 Stars

What an amazing book. The strength of people and how far they would go for family and the struggle to survive. It was a book that had me turning the pages long into the night. Thank you for the opportunity to read this book. – Jodie, NSW, 5 Stars

WOW, WOW, WOW, what a read!!! The best love story I have ever read. Keep the tissues handy!! Based on true facts to start the story, this is a love story full of love, tragedy, the effects of World War II, beguilement and mistrust, back to love. I could not put the book down. Susanna’s story is so moving, loving and sad at times. She triumphs in the end though. So many loving but sad moments. Very touching. Her life with her godparents is so loving, and her love for Leo. But then Julius beguiles her and in the end abuses her feelings so badly. The tragedy of life in Germany during World War II is so revealing. True love triumphs in the end. Get the tissues for the end. Would love to see this book made into a movie. – Glenice, VIC, 5 Stars

This book was beautifully written full of heartbreak, heartwarming and determination all at once. I loved it from beginning to end. Every page was full of emotion and events that I did not expect and shows that true love does prevail in the end despite not following the trajectory you would expect. – Justine, NSW, 5 Stars

You had me at the Preface! I was quite surprised at how much of a page-turner this book was and how quickly I got through it – in 7 nights it was fully read and I was sad it was over. The characters were rich in-depth and you saw the stark contrast of good versus bad as well as in their situations. War brings out the best and worst in people and that was evident in the words used to describe the characters and what was happening to them. I felt like I was right there with them. The author cleverly used her grandmother’s letters and research she undertook to really bring this story to life, interwoven with facts and truth in between the fictional story. A great read from start to finish, I devoured it from front cover to back cover! – Melanie, VIC, 5 Stars

I’ve read many books based on wartime in berlin and this is one of the better ones! Was hard to put down and wanted MORE. – Emmah, VIC, 5 Stars

I didn’t want this story to end – every page of this exciting historically inspired fiction turned itself! Susie’s bravery, torment and anguish whilst trying to save her family and her love is romantic, set amongst the repugnance of the Nazi persecution of the Jewish people. I cheered Susie as she stood up for herself, her beliefs and her family, in the face of violence and danger; and wept with her in times of tragedy. This book intertwines an enchanting love story with history; with characters so real and vibrant – it’s a story you won’t easily forget or want to put down! – Nicole, QLD, 5 Stars

Loved this book. A well-written escape from our everyday lives. A beautiful story. – Sally, VIC, 5 Stars

Letters from Berlin by Tania Blanchard is a great story. I have been a fan of Tania since her first book, so was excited to read this. This is a story of life in Germany during the second world war, and life after the war. It was well written, and I read the book in one sitting, could not put it down. The story characters are fictional, but as it is based on fact, makes it more real. I loved it. – Fay, VIC, 5 Stars

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                  Publisher details

                  Letters from Berlin
                  Author
                  Tania Blanchard
                  Publisher
                  Simon and Schuster
                  Genre
                  Historical Fiction
                  Released
                  07 October, 2020
                  ISBN
                  9781760852054

                  Synopsis

                  Berlin, 1943. As the Allied forces edge closer, the Third Reich tightens its grip on its people. For eighteen-year-old Susanna Göttmann, this means her beloved adopted family including the man she loves, Leo, are at risk. His mother – Susie’s godmother – is forced to register as a Jew and wear the Star of David, bearing the resentment of the village she has always called home. Desperate to protect them any way she can, Susie accepts the help of an influential Nazi officer. It means she must abandon any hope of a future with Leo and enter the terrifying world of the Nazi elite. But all is not lost as her newfound position offers more than she could have hoped for … With critical intelligence at her fingertips, Susie seizes a dangerous opportunity to help the resistance. The decisions she makes could change the course of the war, but what will they mean for her family and her future? From the bestselling author of The Girl from Munich and Suitcase of Dreams comes an unforgettable tale of love, courage and betrayal inspired by a true story
                  Tania Blanchard
                  About the author

                  Tania Blanchard

                  Tania Blanchard was inspired to write by the fascinating stories her German grandmother told her as a child. Coming from a family with a rich cultural heritage, stories have always been in her blood. Her first novel published by Simon & Schuster Australia, The Girl from Munich, was a runaway bestseller, as was the sequel, Suitcase of Dreams. Tania lives in Sydney with her husband and three children.

                  Books by Tania Blanchard

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