I’ve never read a World War II book before, I’m usually more a contemporary YA/fantasy type reader, but the cover and the plot of this book just captured me and the thought just didn’t let me go until I had it and read it.
And I’m so glad I did. In the beginning, it plants a thought into your head that you probably never had before. That Hitler was human, that to some family, to someone, Hitler was a „normal“ person. To Gretchen, he was uncle Dolf.
Gretchen is a made up character, but everything happening around her are true events. As a German reader, reading this book in English was kind of surreal. The English language put a wall between the image of Hitler in my head (planted there from various school lessons and documentaries), and the character in the beginning of the book. I think it made the purpose of the book even stronger, portraying Hitler as somebody else, something else, a caring uncle, somebody who goes out into the country for a picnic with people he cares about.
But of course it doesn’t stay that way, his past and his future are catching up to him fast. And you, as well as the main character Gretchen, realize who and what he really is. I was out of breath more than once while reading, and even started looking over my shoulder occasionally. This was the first book that actually made me a little bit paranoid, for no reason at all actually, since it’s set in another time, but it hit somewhere way too close to home.
I thoroughly enjoyed „Prisoner of Night and Fog“, and Anne Blankman’s writing style. I can’t wait to see all the characters again in the next book. (Even the „bad“ once. She portrays them so well, and the character development deserve a gold star for itself!)