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Enemies in Love: A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance
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Enemies in Love: A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance

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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  394 ratings  ·  86 reviews

A true and deeply moving narrative of forbidden love during World War II and a shocking, hidden history of race on the home front
This is a love story like no other: Elinor Powell was an African American nurse in the U.S. military during World War II; Frederick Albert was a soldier in Hitler’s army, captured by the Allies and shipped to a prisoner-of-war camp in the Arizona

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Published May 15th 2018 by HighBridge Audio
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Danielle Ciribassi Have you actually read the book, Connie? It's "obvious" that you haven't whatsoever. You should try to do so before writing a comment that has…moreHave you actually read the book, Connie? It's "obvious" that you haven't whatsoever. You should try to do so before writing a comment that has absolutely nothing to do with the story. It simply focuses on the true story of a white Nazi soldier and a Black American woman, their love story, and the REAL challenges they faced. Your great uncle was the exception, not the rule, so please get over yourself and stop making SOMEONE ELSE'S story about you and yours. Write your own book, and stop using your exceptionalism to negate the very real and very COMMON experiences of the subjected minority. (less)
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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Donna
This was not the book I was expecting to read, based on the synopsis given:

“This is a love story like no other: Elinor Powell was an African American nurse in the U.S. military during World War II; Frederick Albert was a soldier in Hitler’s army, captured by the Allies and shipped to a prisoner-of-war camp in the Arizona desert. Like most other black nurses, Eleanor pulled a second-class assignment, in a dusty, sun-baked—and segregated—Western town. The army figured that the risk of
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BOOKED & ROOTED
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


_____
I guess with this being a non fiction account of the union of Elinor and Fredrick this book needed to have some sort of back story and history of the people in the story. Sadly, the lack of shared history (to their children) that was available to Clark, I felt that this 200+ page book was filled with fillers. A beautiful love story that is filled with racism and tons of education on how German POW's were treated in comparison to how black AMERICANS were treated; I almost felt that their
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Dora Okeyo
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I took my time with this book, because anything that involves war always has me either sad, completely guilty or angry at the human race. However, this book had two people that had to overcome that and so much more simply because they loved each other. It's a well written book and I enjoyed reading it. Forget the genre, you'll love this story because it's as heart-breaking as it is inspirational. Thank you Netgalley and New Press for the eARC and my major apologies for taking time to share my ...more
Missy
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an ok book for me. It was more a narrative of where they came from, the history of the Florence, Arizona, POW camp where they met, and how the Jim Crow laws affected the camps and their relationship. The closest story I know to this is the one my mom told me of my Japanese-American aunt -- her parent were married in a camp in California, they had Jell-o for their wedding cake because sugar was rationed, he joined the Army because he was beneficial to fighting the Japanese, he was killed ...more
Andie
Jul 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are so many aspects of history that never make it into history books. Little has been written about the experiences of black women who served as nurses in the military during World War II and even less about the prisoner of war camps that were here in the United States. This book covers both of these subjects, plus telling the story of an African-American nurse who falls in love with a German POW. And finally it tells the story of the challenges a mixed race family had in the America of ...more
Camille
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
What a fascinating read. I actually didn't know there were POW camps on US soil during WW2, and I've read a bit about the war, although mostly from the European point of view.

This book is about much more than the love story between two individuals. It covers the treatment of POWs as well as this of Black nurses and soldiers during the war (or should I say mistreatment). So you won't just be reading about Frederick and Elinor. I found the whole thing so interesting. The love story allows to make
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Melissa Brown
The real-life inspiration behind the author's work--how a German POW and a black nurse would meet let alone fall in love and marry--had in it the seed of a spark. Sadly, that never fully materialized for me in this story. Frederick and Elinor's relationship seemed like a hazy, elusive shadow, partly due to the fact, I'm sure, that the author had only interviews with people who knew them and letters and scrapbooks to go by, since she could not interview the couple. Where Clark delves into the ...more
Valkyrie Franco
Jan 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned so much more then I thought I would reading this. Also it started to reflect social issues we have today. However the players have changed. I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist Since I have experienced it when people discover my ethnicity or my boyfriend’s run in with customers or even police, I can speak more the issues concerning the LGBT community and the focus on that. Human rights shouldn’t be a political or even religious agenda. Doctors shouldn’t deny healthcare to a child of a ...more
C.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A few weeks back I saw an interview with this book's author and was fascinated. I spied the book at the Chicago Public Library, so I swooped in and grabbed it. Enemies in Love is not really a “romance,” it is a non-fiction book about the slow integration of the country and the issues surrounding it, and how those issues swirled around one particular couple, Elinor and Frederick, a black nurse and a German POW who met at a POW camp during WWII. It is amazing, and sometimes really heartbreaking, ...more
Connie Johnson
Oct 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wish I knew more about their specific love story. Yet I enjoyed learning about their lives and experiences before and after they met. I knew little about the German POW camps in the USA, and I appreciated that Elinor had as a black woman and then nurse in the military.
Ashley Marie
-sigh-
So, I actually don’t know how I feel about this. Especially considering that this book is a non-fiction. Like I can’t imagine judging someone’s life like I do with fiction books. Ya feel? With that said, I do think this is a great educational read. It touched on POW (Prisoner of War) camps that were in America during WW2..Which I never knew that we had hundreds of camps spaced out in America where Germans and other soldiers considered as enemies were placed! This book also touched on how
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Susan Ludwig
The story was fascinating, especially how they met and carried on their relationship. The author certainly researched well.
Jaime
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I did a speed read of this for a project at work. It was a really interesting story, covering an aspect of WWII history that doesn't get discussed very often. The writing style was very engaging, so it was an easy, quick read that offers you a nice blend of historical and personal details.

Unfortunately, the subjects of the book, Elinor and Frederick, passed away before the author began doing her research, so the book is based on interviews with relatives and friends, as well as some scrapbooks,
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BRITTANY MARTIN
Today in “ I would like the time I wasted on this back “
I will give the author credit on their research on poor treatment of the African American members of the armed forces I wasn’t surprised but it was qwhite educational.

OTHERWISE
1. They fool around in the OR like an 1940’s grey’s anatomy episode (Ellis and Richard would NEVER)
2. Knocks her up she gets an dishonorable discharge. War is over so he gets released from POW camp and is shipped back to Germany immediately starts fooling around with
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Pam
Nov 27, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The history of racial discrimination in the US military during WWII has been well documented. Clark expands that narrative with details about the plight of African American nurses who joined the Army and were poorly treated and underutilized. That part of the story was told with some depth—even outrage. The “love” story was stiffly rendered. Picture a stone being skipped over the surface of still water...the author barely touched on the personas of the main characters. I felt like her research ...more
Julia
Nov 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very unique story. I found the book to be quite compelling. I would highly recommend it.
Nissa
I really enjoyed this book. Easy to read but hard to put down. I would highly recommend reading this book.
Dawn
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
This was a very interesting read. It showed so many similarities between race and what an irony that we fought in WWII, when we were segregating and treating other humans in a terrible way.
Mj Brodie
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
'Enemies in Love', despite the kind of corny title, is one of the most moving books that I have read on the injustice of the Jim Crow era. Written by Alexis Clark, a journalist and former editor of Town and Country magazine, the book has a breezy style that you would expect from a journalist who has a background in lifestyle writing but that makes it all the more engaging for a broad readership.

Ms Clark’s story centers on the relationship between a black Army nursing officer, Elinor Powell, and
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SundayAtDusk
Enemies In Love turned out to be a highly readable book about a romance between a black Army nurse and a German POW; as well as about the discrimination against black nurses during WWII; and about how POWs were used during the war as much needed labor in the United States. Elinor Powell became an Army nurse in order to have a better paying job and to help wounded American soldiers. Not only did she soon discover black nurses were treated badly, and were only suppose to care for black soldiers, ...more
Lacey
3.5 stars.

To say this book is about a couple's struggle to be together despite their extremely different backgrounds is a bit misleading. It's more of a study of the trials of Jim Crow and the hidden history of American POW camps. It makes sense; Elinor and Frederick Albert's story was shaped by the racist politics and restrictions of their country. Elinor would have never met Frederick had racist segregationist practices not prevented her from serving in Allied hospitals or abroad. Frederick,
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Linda
Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an unusual love story with a background of World War II and the sad state of race relations in this country. Elinor grew up in a suburb of Boston that may have had lots of New England abolitionists in its heritage, because she grew up fully integrated as a black child in a white community. Her bright but house-bound mother even was an admired and recognized Girl Scout leader. All that changed when Elinor wanted to go to nursing school, and then join the Army as a nurse--for she soon ...more
Lady Alexandrine
This book offers an unique insight into the lives of Elinor Powell an African American and army nurse and Frederick Albert a German prisoner of war. When they met the World War II was an on-going calamity, destroying human lives, whole families, cities and countries. In Germany Adolf Hitler spread hate and racist propaganda. In America Jim Crow was the law and lynching of black men was commonplace. At that difficult time it was a complete anomaly that a mixed-race couple found love and comfort ...more
Rachel
The story sounded really intriguing and I did love all the background historical information, most of which I didn't know, especially the bits about the German POWs and their interactions with blacks in the US and that they even had German and Italian POW camps in the US in the first place. And that is not even mentioning how idiotic white people were back then and the blatant racism that permeated everything and made it impossible for African-Americans to advance in any career. I was honestly a ...more
Gregory
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is what I call a Love Story!! The Story of Elinor and Frederick Albert who fell in love during the midst of The Second World War. Both individuals continued their relationship after the war and endured Racism on all sides. Despite the obstacles, both Elinor and Frederick had managed to stay together and create a family.

This couple predated The Lovings by 25 years and its good that their story is finally being told. I couldn't put this book down and it pulled no punches in the brutal
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Laverne Brewster
Nov 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.50 Stars. (BW/WM& R US M) This audiobook is poorly read by Allyson Johnson. To be more fair to the narrator, I’ll concede that this is the telling of a true and my have influenced the narrator’s presentation. The author places more emphasis on the racist practices of the United States Military toward Black nurses in general than the love story between Elinor Powell and Frederick Albert. During WWII, the US Military is a segregated organization where White supremacy is a tenet; therefore, ...more
Michael
Aug 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book mentioned somewhere (perhaps the New Yorker?) and put in for it at my public library.

The book has a four page introduction that is written in first person narrative style from the perspective of Elinor, the World War II African American nurse - but the book's contents otherwise are a third person historical narrative based on (and reflecting) extensive research.

My father served in World War II and I think of myself as knowing quite a bit about its history, but in reading this I
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RJ Koch
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it. Had a good bookclub discussion about it. Learned some things. Remembered some things. I was not aware of German POW camps in America and I was in AP History in high school. More about Jim Crow. German POW were treated better than black nurses! White supremacy was a fit for both American and German cultures at the time (1944). Segregation. Truman didn't integrate the armed forces until what, 1952?

Was it really a great romance? A great love story? It's non fiction. Only one of the
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Meghan
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating book on a true story. I learned a lot in this book - I had had no idea that 10's of thousands of POWs had been kept in the states. German, Japanese, and Italian POWs were held all over the US, picking cotton, working in canning factories, harvesting potatoes, etc. And at the same time, the armed forces were crying out for nurses while simultaneously blocking experienced and qualified black nurses from enlisting. There were a small amount of black nurses who were allowed in to treat ...more
Jeanne
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Alexis Clark came upon a mention of Elinor Powell in a book. It said that this African-American nurse had met and married a German POW, Friederich Albert, without providing more info. The author could not let that pass. She had to know more about this highly unlikely story. In addition to researching much about the era that these people inhabited, Alexis interviewed as many of the remaining friends and family she could in order to produce this remarkable book.

This book takes us through the awful
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