The Kommandant's Girl
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The Kommandant's Girl (The Kommandant's Girl #1)

3.9 of 5 stars 3.90  ·  rating details  ·  6,081 ratings  ·  695 reviews
Based in part on actual events, "The Kommandant's Girl" is a compelling tale of love and courage in a dangerous and desperate times. Unique in voice and evocative in historical detail, this stunning debut faithfully explores the gray area between right and wrong and the timeless themes of home, stuggle and defiance in the face of overwhelming odds.

Nineteen-year-old Emma Ba...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published July 1st 2001 by Mira Books (first published March 1st 2001)
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Tea Jovanović
Hurry up, read this book! Must read! WWII story... Poland... Jews, Germans... Nothing is completely black or white... What would you do if somebody puts you in similar position...? Easy read, in one go... Don't miss it, says editor! :)
Jun 06, 2008 Cathleen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cathleen by: MPPL; Phyllis
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
There is a lot I liked about this book. The most appealing thing is the angle from which Jenoff chooses to tell this story based on historical facts: it is a romance book that just happens to have a major historical event as its backdrop. I would venture to call it a romance thriller because you're definitely on the edge of your seat for some of the events.

Emma is a Jewish girl during the German invasion of Poland. She has just gotten married when her family is moved to the ghetto of Krakow (whe...more
Jennifer Eckel
A standard paragrah in Ms. Jenoff's book includes at least 2 uses of the word Okay. How do you feel? Okay. For a novel set in Poland in the depths of WWII this word is inappropriate. It's frequency made me cringe.
Ms Jenoff also had issues with time. The phrase, it was the second winter of the war and the Kommandant could tell that the war was going badly.
Excuse me, that would be the winter of '40-41 and Germany stood supreme on the European Continent. The book roughly covers only the time frame...more
I mentioned when I wrote my review on The Book Thief, how dismayed I felt when realizing that the story was set in WWII Germany. It seems to me that the market for fictional stories of the war, especially the persecution and massacre of the Jews, has been saturated.

While The Book Thief surprised me by being completely fresh in its story telling, The Kommandant's Girl, stuck to the conservative game plan and told a familiar and unimaginative story.

To be fair, the book is set in Poland, not German...more
Pamela Pickering
I would probably give this book 2.5 stars. It seems I'm alone as most other reviewers gave this book 4-5 stars so I wonder if I'm missing something. I guess I expected more from the book. It was an easy read, too easy I guess would be the point. It just sort of had the feel of a Harlequin Romance and at $13 I would expect more substance. I found the main character a little frustrating at times. She was always so jumpy. In my opinion if someone is "working undercover" and is that jumpy she would...more
Celeste Miller
SHOW, DON'T TELL. Which is not what this book does. But that's okay, it's a super-fast read, good for long car trips/plane rides, etc.

I felt like it could use a few more edits, and the dialogue sounded a bit too modern and slangy for WWII Poland. (I was not buying how often Emma said "Okay" to everyone including the Kommandant.) Character development took a back seat to plot elements, and the Kommandant never seemed like a real person to me.

However, if you're looking to write an adventure/suspe...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
DNF at 48%

I just couldn't go on anymore, my limited reading time is way too precious to be spent on this kind of crap. With absolutely no depth, no feeling, with an annoying clumsy Mary Sue as a heroine, with only the tell, never the show, and written in modern English first person narrative, this book reads like a bad NA romance. And for a book placed in the Nazi occupied Poland during WWII, that is not okay. Okay being the operative word here, as it is used several times within dialogues suppo...more
Barbara Kinsky
I found this novel brilliant! I cannot seem to understand why a lot of people gave bad reviews. I think they read too much into the characters. I found it a good thriller/romance and could not put the book down and have now ordered the 2nd book in the series. I loved the different characters and was holding my breath many a time.
Emma Twosouls
Modern American English doesn't really work for a Polish mid 20th century first person narrative. Okay??

I really wanted to 'wind up the pace in the middle'. Foe me there where far to many implausable coincidences created to fit the predictable plot.

Why did the kommandant say the 'war was gong badly' (for Germany)at a time when it clearly was not, why would he carry a 'six shooter', Emma counts his two fired rounds and calculates that there are four left. Really unless he is cast as a wild west e...more
This book was scary on so many levels: the very fact that it was taking place during the Holocaust, with lots of Jewish characters was number one. Then, the main character is working for the resistance. The Nazis we encounter are real people, with friends and lives and worries and joys, which only brings home the idea that the Nazis who were in the camps and ghettos were real people too - and yet, look at what they did. That said, it's not a thriller or a horror novel; if anything, it leans more...more
Apr 07, 2009 Jen rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jen by: Carey
Shelves: airplane-books
This was a fine book, but it's been done before. The story was very predictable, and I never really felt the tension. There are parts of this book (she's undercover in WWII for heaven's sake) that should be very tense, but I really didn't feel it. The characters that Jenoff wanted you to like and sympathize with were well drawn out, the others, not so much, so there is little investment in many of the important relationships.

It was a quick read, and not terrible, but if you want to read a reall...more
I couldn't finish this book. I understand it's Jenoff's first book, but there is far too much showing not telling. Emma's change of emotions is far too sudden. We're told that she starved in the Ghetto, but in terms of the book, it feels like she was only in the ghetto for five minutes. Even taking into account the difference in time (it helped that I had just read Defiance), she still feels so passive and "oh dear me" that it is hard to like her.
Viviane Cordeiro
Me and my WWII universe - I mean, I cried in this one, A LOT! Even thou it is extremely predictable, I couldn't stop wondering where the author was planning to go.
I even felt bad when I noticed that I was in love with a Nazi soldier - the last time I felt this way was when I watched 'Inglourious Basterds' with my lovely Daniel Brühl. And let's face it: Kommandant Richwalder is more likable than Jacob, I know that his work for the resistance had to take him away from the story but even when he w...more
It's just a quick historical romance read - if that's not what you're looking for, don't read it. It's nothing special, but it's not bad for the type of book it is. Spoilers below, by the way.

Unlike some other reviewers, I didn't think the dialogue was too modern. People tend to think that old folks talked much more formally than we do, but besides obviously dated slang (like groovy or tight or words like that), people spoke pretty similar to how we do now. The word okay, or instance, has been u...more
Jennifer Kim
Wow! What a great read! I'm torn between giving it four stars or five stars....

As good as this book is, there are predictable elements in the book, but I loved the richness of the characters in this book. From Emma to Kommandant, the characters are so rich, so full of emotion and conflict.... In a book like this, it would be easy to create a caricature of a character, albeit a resistance fighter or a Nazi kommandant, but her characters operate on a gray scale. No one is truly good or bad. They a...more
I didn't mean to not finish this book. I just put it down and never felt inclined to pick it up again.

It's the story of a Jewish girl in Nazi Poland who with the help of a Catholic Society Matron and the Polish resistance passes as a gentile and then gets a job as a secretary for a Nazi leader to spy on him.

It should have been an exciting, emotional book, but I found myself bored. Scenes that should have been riveting (such as the heroine attending Catholic Mass and taking the bread and wine whi...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Young wife must flee the Jewish ghetto in Poland.

Young wife leaves her elderly parents behind in said Jewish ghetto in Poland.

Young wife goes to work for the senior Nazi leader of Krakow.

Young wife has sex with the senior Nazi leader of Krakow.

Young wife works with Jewish resistance to steal documents from the senior Nazi leader of Krakow.

Young wife has sex with her Jewish Resistance husband.

Young wife has sex with the senior Nazi leader of Krakow.

This was NOT a character I could get behind. She...more
May 08, 2008 Linda rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all persons
Recommended to Linda by: I saw it advertised on B&N
This was an intensed story of the world war in Poland. The Jews were being severely percocuted by the Regime. One of the main characters Emma changed her name to Anna and became a spy for the side of the Jews since she was a avid Jew believer.Her husband went underground to try and salvage the Jew protesting. Anna became the kommandant's lover to get information that would have her husband fight against this ghastly war and the persocution of their fellow jew brothers and sisters.This was a wond...more
Generally, I liked The Kommandant's Girl, by Pam Jenoff. This WWII story about a young Jewish woman certainly was a good love story, but to me, Jenoff missed an opportunity to go into more depth about the grave situations this woman faced. I think I was expecting more drama, but ended up with a fluffy love story set in a dangerous time. Because of that conflict, the story didn't seem to work. A bit of a disappointment. Will I read another Jenoff book? Maybe.
Made it about halfway through before losing interest. Just another WW2 book that relies solely on the time's dramatic, awful events to be exciting and worth reading, rather than relying on quality writing, engaging characters, unique views, etc. (And although I don't know how it ends exactly, it was starting to feel very predictable--I've got a pretty good guess about what the second half of the book must be.) It certainly wasn't bad or anything, just not worth continuing on when I had library h...more
Meaghan Allen-harris
This book made me feel sympathy for a Nazi. That is one of the hallmarks of good writing; making a heinous character human and portraying people not as one-dimensional placeholders, but as people truly are; individuals with both positive and negative traits, no matter how far to the extreme those tendencies reach.

Anna finds herself trapped in a Jewish ghetto in Poland after only a few weeks of marriage to her resistance fighter husband, who is forced to continue his work away from Anna. Thanks t...more
I didn't hate this book...but I didn't love it either. About 1/3 of the way through, I debated whether or not I was even going to finish The Kommandant's Girl. It was an easy read, so I decided to finish it anyway. The writing was simple, a little too simple for me, to the point of almost being abrupt or choppy at times. I feel like the characters were not really developed and most of the time I found Emma/Anna to be too naive, too nervous, and a little bit annoying.

One of the reasons I decided...more
Emma has only been married 3 weeks when her Jewish husband disappears, joining the Resistance during WWII. Emma goes to Krakow to stay with Jacob's aunt and takes on a new name, Anna to hide her Jewish identity. His aunt, Krysia is a widow and was married to a well known musician. Krysia has a party and invites well known Nazi officials. Kommandant Richwalder takes an immediate likening to Emma and offers her a job as his assistant. The Resistance sees a great opportunity for Emma/Anna to learn...more
I have mixed feelings about this book. On one hand, It is a fast read and I found myself wondering what was going to happen next. On the other, I found myself having a hard time with some of the details, which left me scratching my head a few times.

I think the timeline was a little skewed and while I understand this work is fiction, You can not write a book about WWII and have the time line be off. It is just to big of a historical event. I agree with some of the other reviewers who say the main...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really enjoyed this book. It was a nice story that intrigued me, but was not as heavy as other books I have read on WWII/Holocaust. It may be implausible, but it was a nice read for a trip and it kept me reading.
Katie Manners
I really enjoyed this book, it is sad but also a love story at the same time. I really liked the Kommandant, which I found strange considering his role. I would recommend this book to anyone...
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Question About Ending 2 14 Apr 15, 2014 02:00PM  
Ending with Emma/ Kommandant 4 71 Mar 13, 2012 01:29PM  
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Pam Jenoff was born in Maryland and raised outside Philadelphia. She attended George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and Cambridge University in England. Upon receiving her master’s in history from Cambridge, she accepted an appointment as Special Assistant to the Secretary of the Army. The position provided a unique opportunity to witness and participate in operations at the most senio...more
More about Pam Jenoff...
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“I'm so sorry. I love you. I never could have hurt you.” 6 likes
“Anna is something wrong " he asked his brow furrowed.

Yes I want to say. You ran a prison camp for Jews. You keep my parents locked in the ghetto. You let your wife's father be killed and would kill Jacob too if given the chance. Your wretched Gestapo came to our house and now Lukasz might have to leave us. Let me count the ways. Of course I did not dare to say any of this. "No Herr Kommandant " I replied managing to keep my voice even. "Everything is fine.”
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