Edit: Due to the amount of thought I've given this book since finishing it, and it's impact now that it's been stewing in my brain a bit, I'm upping the rating to 4 :)
Fascinating and chilling subject matter. I felt sick at times reading this book about the rise of Hitler in the early and mid 1930's.
A book like this seems a difficult one to write. On one had there are those who want the history and therefore would like less of Martha's intrigues, and others may need Martha's story to keep them going in the face of all that history. Personally, I like the combination, but the book was a bit disjointed in the way it followed the characters. There were a lot of people to keep track of, and yet I felt the amount of history did fall short somewhat. I would have liked more on how such a well educated society fell so completely to Hitler's barbarous grasp. It seems that at first there was too much (well-founded) fear to oppose, but suddenly in the book the masses all seem to be behind Hitler. The ending was rather abrupt as well.
For the short snippet in time this book did really focus on, Larson did do a good job of creating for the reader an idea of what it was really like to be a Berliner in those early years of Hitler.