War Girl Ursula by Marion Kummerow
Berlin 1943: Compassion is a crime.
A prisoner escapes. A guard looks the other way.
Why does Ursula Hermann risk her life and brave the Gestapo to save a man she barely knows?
Ursula has always lived the law, never broken the rules in her life.
That is until the day she finds escapee British airman Tom Westlake and all the right she’s worked so hard to maintain goes wrong…
And she does nothing to stop him.
Torn with guilt about what she did, Ursula battles with her decision when suddenly Tom returns, injured and pleading for her help.
This is her opportunity to make things right.
But shadows from the past tug at her heart, convincing her to risk everything, including her life, in order to protect a man from the nation her country is fighting.
As they brave the perils and dangers of the ever-present Gestapo, will Ursula find a way to keep Tom safe?
Or will being on the opposite sides of the war ultimately cost both of them their lives?
I have read and loved Unrelenting by the author and I am a huge fan of her writing style. She knows exactly how to write straight to the hearts of her readers. After already being astounded with her writing abilities, I was desperate to read this!
The novel opens in Berlin, January 1943, at the wedding of Ursula Klausen and Andreas Hermann. However, only Ursula is present. Andreas is buried deep in the eastern front, fighting in the war! I don’t know if it is because I married a soldier myself at just 17 years old and the catastrophic events of 9/11 occurred just a month later. But the vulnerability and loneliness of Ursula’s plight really struck a chord with me. There she goes again Kummerow hits me straight in the feels with her opening pages! 🙂
Ursula’s young brother Richard, is also away at war, at the fragile age of just 17 years old. She lives with her mother and sisters Anna and Lotte. Lotte is extremely anti-Hitler and despises the policies of the Nazi’s so much so, she is often shushed by family members for fear of someone overhearing her cast off comments. Anna longs for an education, which is virtually unheard of in Nazi Germany society. She settles for nursing school in an attempt to appease her parents and the Nazi government.
The atmosphere of being inside Nazi Germany, with real life German citizens is written incredibly well. It details exactly how fascism takes hold of a nation. Goebbels suggests in his speeches great things await those who are worthy! Ursula desperately wants to be deemed worthy. Ursula is by no means a rule breaker, she the typical ‘good girl’ that follows the rules and does as she is told. That is until she is forced to witness the atrocities herself………
With young rebel Lotte sent to relatives in the countryside with her mother and Anna at nursing school. Ursula must begin her own role to contribute to the greatness of the Fatherland. She is assigned a detail at a local prison, a prison that will open her eyes to the sheer brutality of Nazi rule. At the prison she meets a wealth of characters and she begins to develop empathy and even sympathy for their situations. So much so, she becomes known as the ‘blonde angel’.
When Ursula receives a devastating Telegram regarding her husband. She finds comfort in the words of the prison priest. But cracks are beginning to show and Ursula is waking up to the inhumanity that surrounds her. Months go by and she is forced to watch further barbaric practices when the mass executions begin. Has Ursula started to realise the Nazi regime for the morally unjust government that it is?
When there is a shell strike at the prison and a young British Captain escapes, Ursula stands by allow it. Why has Ursula, in her own words, suddenly become a disgrace to the Fatherland? What if she is caught and who is the young escapee?
This is a novel of the characters, their lives and the aftermath of their actions or inaction. Living with a continual element of fear, the captain and Ursula begin to bond. Ursula is faced with the difficult task of coming to terms with the brutality she has ignored and the propaganda she has believed. This novel reads right to the very last page and leaves you with an emotional cliff-hanger of an ending that will have you begging for the next in the series! A fabulous historical fiction novel 5*
*The novel is available free to #KindleUnlimited members!