My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Set in WWII, White Rose Black Forest centers on Franka Gerber, a German woman who was arrested and imprisoned for belonging to a resistance group opposing the rising Nazi regime. She has been released and has returned to her family’s summer cabin in the forest outside her hometown. She is alone now, as the war and the increasingly oppressive Nazi government have left both her father and her handicapped brother dead. She is lost in her grief and hatred until she discovers a downed Nazi airman with two broken legs in the forest. She considers simply letting him die in the winter snows, but her innate humanity wins and she brings him to her cabin to try to help him. It soon becomes apparent that the airman is not who he appears to be, and Franka becomes involved in a plot that could change the course of the war and give her back a purpose she thought long lost.
The premise sounds good, and the book was not bad, really. It had a decent plot with both the historical side and a decent amount of thriller to keep the action moving along. The characters, including Franka, were a bit underdeveloped and never showed true depth. Some of the plot points, while exciting, seemed a bit of a stretch. The history was accurate for the most part, and the parts that were added to the fictional tale weren’t too much out of place. The writing was simple and straightforward, which made it easy to read, but for a tale with some aspects of romance, could come off as a bit dry. Once the main plotline got moving, it kept pace fairly well. The ending was satisfying, if predictable.
In general, I found the book readable and decent. If you are a fan of WWII-centered historical fiction, this one is a reasonable choice.
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