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Daughter of the Reich: Book summary and reviews of Daughter of the Reich by Louise Fein

Daughter of the Reich

A Novel

by Louise Fein

Daughter of the Reich by Louise Fein X
Daughter of the Reich by Louise Fein
  • Readers' rating:

  • Publishes in USA 
    May 12, 2020
    560 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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About this book

Book Summary

For fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, a spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.

She must choose between loyalty to her country or a love that could be her destruction…

As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows about her world will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn't know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. Together, they dream about when the war will be over and plan for their future. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty's universe—or can love ultimately triumph…?

Propulsive, deeply affecting, and inspired by the author's family history, Daughter of the Reich is a mesmerizing page-turner filled with vivid characters and a meticulously researched portrait of Nazi Germany. In this riveting story of passion, courage and morality, Louise Fein introduces a bold young woman determined to tread the treacherous path of survival and freedom, showing readers the strength in the power of love and reminding us that the past must never be forgotten.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Louise Fein's Daughter of the Reich is so real--a beautifully written and emotional wrenching journey into World War II tumult and tragedy. Amazingly, this novel is both sweeping and intimate. Although the book brings history to life, its dynamic characters present a timely truth we should all grasp and embrace: We must stand up against those who preach hate." - Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen's Secret

"I adored this book because not only is it beautifully written, it also tells a familiar story from a very unfamiliar perspective: that of a naïve German teenager caught up in the rise of Nazism, and her gradual realization of the inhumanity driven by Aryan fanaticism. Louise Fein's characters help us understand how so many people were taken in by Nazi propaganda, and the terrible, heartbreaking dilemmas they faced trying to protect the people they loved. This is historical fiction at its absolute best." - Liz Trenow, New York Times bestselling author of The Forgotten Seamstress

"Beautiful and absorbing — a vital story of kindness, and a reminder that humanity can flourish in the darkest of times. The ending, in particular, was breathtaking and wonderful." - Caroline Hulse, author of The Adults

"Heartbreaking and thought-provoking story about forbidden love during Nazi Germany. Had me gripped to the very end." - Luke Allnutt, author of We Own the Sky

"Daughter of the Reich is an incredibly moving, utterly captivating, beautiful story of love, courage, and the strength of the human spirit. It was both heartbreaking and hopeful at once. The ending had me in tears." - Rhiannon Navin, author of Only Child

"Daughter of the Reich is a wonderful book. The Romeo and Juliet story of a young couple in Leipzig, Germany, in the years before the second world war is poignant and heartbreaking enough, but when you factor in the chilling message that anyone is capable of possessing the most appalling attitudes towards their fellow humans, and worse, then this becomes a book for our time. I cannot recommend it highly enough." - Gill Thompson, author of The Oceans Between Us

The information about Daughter of the Reich shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Reader Reviews

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Jessica F. (Revere, MA)

A Different Perspective
This novel offered a different perspective on Nazi-Germany. Often times we read about Jews who were persecuted and their suffering in concentration camps. Here we see several perspectives: steadfast Nazis, compassionate by-standers, innocent Jewish people, and the daughter of the Reich who is torn between what her family believes and what her heart believes.

This novel is wonderfully written with rich characters, setting, and the portrayal of deep emotions of all involved. There are enough twists and turns to keep the pages turning. There are many gut-wrenching moments but there are also times of joy and happiness.

Daughter of the Reich would be suitable for book clubs and anyone over 16 years old, as there are some sexual references. Overall, a lovely novel for anyone who enjoys this genre!

Mark S. (Blauvelt, NY)

Moving Debut Novel
After a sluggish start, the pace of this novel picks up quickly and becomes difficult to put down. I loved Fein's choices to tell the story from Herta's point of view and to make the story span such a long period of time. Not only does it bring the story to life, but it also provides a glimmer of what life in Germany must have been like back then, especially since the are characters that span the entire spectrum of ideologies. As someone who has taught Elie Wiesel's Night, this book could be an interesting companion/supplemental piece in high school. It would also be a great choice for any adult book club.

Mary Lou F. (Naples, FL)

Who to believe
This book shows how people can rationalize what they are told even though in their own mind, they know some of the "facts" are distorted. Author does really well mixing the facts with the fiction of the story. One of those books you don't want to put down until you finish.

Miriam B. (Lakewood Ranch, FL)

Daughter of the Reich- outstanding
I loved Daughter of the Reich by Louise Fein. The story of Hetty, the daughter of a German SS officer who falls in love with Walter, a Jew is so human and so engaging. It is a coming-of-age story where Hetty comes to understand how Hitler and other Germans in command could indoctrinate a whole nation to hate Jews and others. The fact that this story is based in the author's history makes it all the more meaningful. In this book Kristallnacht and the Kindertransport come to light for the reader. The plot moves quickly and there are some really satisfying plot twists. The ending was amazing and I could not recommend this book more highly. This book would be great for book clubs- I will be suggesting it to several. Well done.

Marcia H. (Sarasota, FL)

Daughter of the Reich by Louise Fein
I found Daughter of the Reich by Louise Fein "a beautifully written and emotionally wrenching journey " as it said on the back of the book. Though I found the brainwashing of Hetty and her blind worship of Hitler disturbing, her character's growth and her growing love for Walter had me rooting for her against the growing evil she faces. The ending had me tearful and was wonderful. It was one of the books you close and say "what a wonderful story". I highly recommend it!

Sherilyn R. (St George, UT)

Daughter of the Reich
Daughter of the Reich is the well-written, well-researched story of Hetty, the daughter of a high-ranking Nazi and Walter her Jewish friend from childhood who saves her from drowning. As teenagers they become lovers and their resulting dilemma sets the stage for the novel. This is the story of how Hetty through her relationship with Walter moves from a highly indoctrinated follower of Hitler to a realization that everything she has been taught and believed is wrong.

The author was adept at portraying the emotions and feelings of a young girl confused and perplexed by the world unfolding around her.

This is an intense emotional book told from a rather different perspective than other WWII fiction. I would highly recommend for all historical fiction readers. And, I'm recommending this one as a book club read.

...27 more reader reviews

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More Information

Louise was born and brought up near London. After a law degree at Southampton University, she worked in Hong Kong and Australia, and enjoyed travelling the world before returning to London to settle down to a career in law and banking. She holds a master's degree in creative writing from St Mary's University, London. Louise lives in the beautiful Surrey countryside with her husband, three children and small dog.

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