The 'storyteller' in this book invented a story to describe the horrors of Nazi/Holocaust monsters as actual vampirish monsters. This is an interesting approach. I wonder if this book may have been better if this format, as an allegory, had been the only one.
The story tells of a modern-day woman researching her grandmother's experience as a Jew in Nazi Germany and does, quite a lot of the time, read like a text book with explanations of how the Nazis rose to power, the ghettos and so on. I did glaze over these parts. Likewise with the story of the Hitler Youth (not quite so much here though). To be fair to the author, I have studied this part of history in some depth and actually teach it. Nevertheless, I feel that it needs some further personalisation instead of the information dumps that regularly creep up. Besides that, the relationship between the young Jew and the SS Officer is really original and interesting.
The modern-day parts are a bit cliched with the heroine being unaware of how 'hot' she is, cheesy romantic stuff, but the task of being asked to kill an old, popular man is the pivot to the story. There are some thought provoking, ethical and emotional aspects to consider.
The saddest part was that I worked out the 'twist' fairly early on, so it was a predictable part of the conclusion. However, I did enjoy the ending.
Overall, I do like this book. It is easy to read even though I skimmed some parts (as the baking parts drag a bit and I'm not a baker). Even though I feel the Nazis are done to death, there is a new generation who possibly won't think that way. There are some original elements to this tale, so well worth reading.
Published by Hodder and Stoughton 26 March 2013
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