The German House by Annette Hess
Publisher: 4th Estate
Back cover blurb: 12 December 2019
Release date: What if everything your family ever told you was a lie? At the war’s end, Frankfurt was a smoldering ruin, severely damaged by the Allied bombings. But that was two decades ago. Now it is 1963, and the city’s streets, once cratered are smooth and paved. Shiny new stores replace scorched rubble. For twenty-four-year-old Eva Bruhn, World War II is a foggy childhood memory. Eager for her wealthy suitor, Jürgen Schoorman, to propose, Eva dreams of starting a new life away from her parents and sister. But Eva’s plans are turned upside down when an American investigator, David Miller, hires her as a translator for a war crimes trial. As she becomes more and more involved in the Frankfurt Trials, Eva begins to question her family’s silence on the war and her future. Why do her parents refuse to talk about what happened? What are they hiding? Does she really love Jürgen and will she be happy as a housewife? Though it means going against the wishes of her family and her lover, Eva, propelled by her own conscience, joins a team of fiery prosecutors determined to bring the Nazis to justice—a decision that will help change her country forever.
What if everything your family ever told you was a lie?
What if the place you grew up in harboured life changing secrets?
What if your fiancee is not the man you thought he was?
These are the questions that 24 year old Eva Bruhn is forced to ask herself in 1963, when she becomes a translator at the Frankfurt trials.
Eva was a child during the war, and has led a somewhat sheltered life.When she is asked by American investigator David Miller to translate the testimony of the Polish speaking Jews who were imprisoned at Auschwitz, it opens her eyes to a world she knew nothing about.
Of course, she has heard the stories about the War, but could not bring herself to believe that fellow residents of her own country would be responsible for such atrocities.
As part of the trial, the Court make a trip to Auschwitz where Eva is forced to confront her family's past, as she recognises much of the landscape. As she realises that her family have been lying to her for decades, she must make a decision about her future.
Should she continue with the trial, or should she protect her family from the true horrors of their past?
The German House is a difficult novel to describe, it is tough (in subject matter) but enjoyable. None of the characters are particularly likeable, but Eva definitely becomes a different person by the end of the novel, and you cannot help but feel for her.
The German House is available now via Amazon online and all good book shops.
Thank You to the publishers who approved my request via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.