Shadows of Berlin: A Novel

· Sourcebooks, Inc.
1 review

About this ebook

"Reminding us that history is made up of infinite individual choices, Shadows of Berlin is a masterful story of survival and redemption." — Pam Jenoff, New York Times bestselling author of The Woman with the Blue Star

A captivating novel of a Berlin girl on the run from the guilt of her past and the boy from Brooklyn who loves her

1955 in New York City: the city of instant coffee, bagels at Katz's Deli, ultra-modern TVs. But in the Perlman's walk-up in Chelsea, the past is as close as the present. Rachel came to Manhattan in a wave of displaced Jews who managed to survive the horrors of war. Her Uncle Fritz fleeing with her, Rachel hoped to find freedom from her pain in New York and in the arms of her new American husband, Aaron.

But this child of Berlin and daughter of an artist cannot seem to outrun her guilt in the role of American housewife, not until she can shed the ghosts of her past. And when Uncle Fritz discovers, in a dreary midtown pawn shop, the most shocking portrait that her mother had ever painted, Rachel's memories begin to terrorize her, forcing her to face the choices she made to stay alive?choices that might be her undoing.

From the cafes of war-torn Germany to the frantic drumbeat of 1950's Manhattan, Shadows of Berlin dramatically explores survival, redemption and the way we learn to love and forgive across impossible divides.

"A tribute to resilience and starting over. This is heart-wrenching and memorable." — Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

Ratings and reviews

1 review
Shirley McAllister
April 24, 2022
War is a horrible thing, it changes everyone and everything it touches. Once anyone has been through a war they are never the same again as before. This is never truer than those brave souls that survived the holocaust during WWII. Those that survived often wonder why me? Why was I chosen to survive when other's perished? They often had to do things they would never have done if not for the circumstances and they feel remorse for the acts they were forced to commit. Many cannot find a way to forgive themselves. This is such for the story of Rachel, a young teenage Jewish girl during the holocaust. She survived and others she knew did not. She survived terrible circumstances and had to watch other's be taken away to die. She committed an act she cannot forgive herself for in order to save the lives of herself and her mother. Rachel now lives in New York with her husband Aaron. Aaron is a Jew but he never fought in the war. He worked in safety in New York. He does not understand Rachel and her moods and strange reactions to certain things. He does try. Aaron wants a child, Rachel does not. Rachel sees ghost of those past on. She hears them speak to her. Her mother and the girl in the beret. She remembers and she has nightmares. Her uncle and a counselor try to help her cope with the past, however it takes someone from the past and a special painting to help her move away from the past and into the future. This was an audio book and I loved the narration. The voice of Aaron was my favorite. What a character. I could just picture him. What a great job the narrator did. This was a great story of pain and redemption. I really enjoyed it and I do recommend it. Thanks to David R. Gillham for writing a great story, to Suzanne Toren for the wonderful narration, to R.B. Media for publishing it and to NetGalley for allowing me a copy to listen to and review.
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