Jennie's Reviews > In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin

In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
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's review
Apr 01, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: gr-first-reads, non-fiction, read-in-2011, read-in-may
Read from May 04 to 07, 2011

I have always carried with me an interest in World War II, particularly Hitler’s rein in Europe. I read Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City but wasn’t a huge fan of certain parts of the story. Yet, part of the story I fell deep into so when I saw this book available as a giveaway on Goodreads I decided to give him another chance. I am so glad I did because this book was different than anything I have ever read. Rather than telling the story of the Holocaust directly, this follows the build up to Hilter’s Germany. Told from one family’s experience it provides a wide range look at what an American saw during the beginning of what was to come.

This is such a different perspective than many of the books I have read in this time period - I really enjoyed the fresh look. It was very interesting to see how outsiders reacted to the violence and discrimination for the Jewish community, as well as, Hitler in general. The slightly differing opinions of Dodd and his daughter's view on the city and Nazi rule gave for an interesting comparison. You could almost see the naive assumptions Martha makes when absorbing unprovoked attacks on Americans. I could feel the weight of her rose colored glasses, and as the story progresses I began to feel them getting lighter and lighter until the true horrors emerged that she could no longer ignore.

I would recommend this book to everyone, especially if you enjoy reading about historical events in this time period. This book packs action and a unique perspective leaving the reader deep in thought over this new window to the Hitler rein.

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Reading Progress

05/05/2011 page 93
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