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The Curator's Daughter

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4.30  ·  Rating details ·  163 ratings  ·  60 reviews
A young girl, kidnapped on the eve of World War II, changes the lives of a German archaeologist forced into the Nazi Party and--decades later--a researcher trying to overcome her own trauma.

1940. Hanna Tillich cherishes her work as an archaeologist for the Third Reich, searching for the Holy Grail and other artifacts to bolster evidence of a master Aryan race. But when she
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Paperback, 416 pages
Published March 9th 2021 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published March 2021)
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Karren  Sandercock
1940. Hanna Tillich is a German archaeologist working for the Third Reich, she’s informed she’s being send home and to work as a museum curator in Nuremberg. Hanna’s job at the museum is to open boxes of stolen artifacts, list what’s inside, and wrap each item in cloth and pack them into crates. Not long after she moves back to Nuremberg she receives a letter informing her she’s to marry Kolman Strauss, it’s her duty to her country and she has no choice. Once married Kolman spends a lot of time ...more
Andrea Cox
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.

This book was immersive and atmospheric. It’s always a pleasure to be drawn in to such a wonderful story from the very first page and to not be let go until the book has been finished. It’s a joy to weep over such a lovely, heart-wrenching story.

One complaint: I wish the leading lady would have held on to her virginity until marriage. This backstory has been overdone and felt out of place in
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Nicole
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Award-winning author Melanie Dobson creates another extraordinary time-slip novel that is sure to become a new favorite among her readers. The Curator’s Daughter weaves the historical and contemporary storylines together as Ember Ellis’ present-day work as a Holocaust researcher prompts her to seek out her former teacher Mrs. Kiehl, whose mother had a connection to the Nazi Ahnenerbe. The past and present of both women intersect as the search for answers changes their lives in a way that no one ...more
Susan Snodgrass
Jan 06, 2021 rated it it was amazing
'What sounded good and right was really evil.'

Sometimes you finish a book and you just sit there, unable to allow anything else to penetrate your mind. Because that book was so compellingly powerful.

Melanie Dobson brings readers a time slip novel set in WWII and the present that carries numerous mysteries that propel the reader forward. I was completely caught up in this story and felt every heartache these characters faced. And their joy at times.

Set in Nuremberg in the 1940s and in the easte
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Laura
Dec 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a dual timeline story that takes place in 1940 Germany and the present day. It was a little hard fkr me to keep up with the characters and how they related to each other but what a fascinating story this was.

The atrocities that were committed in World war II are so difficult to read about but then to think that it still happens today is even more difficult to understand. The author definitely gave me a lot to think about.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are
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Rachel
Nov 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Curator’s Daughter by Melanie Dobson is an excellent dual timeline historical fiction that alters between Europe WWII and current day US. This novel is gripping, fascinating, meaningful, and horrifying all at the same time. One is left with the overarching feeling of sadness, but yet there are glimmers of hope sprinkled throughout.

We get to follow two different women, two different generations, two different situations, yet both similar in several common themes. Both Hanna and Ember are inh
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Erin Laramore
Feb 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Another wonderful dual timeline novel by Melanie Dobson! Resounding with themes of redemption, this book tackles heavy topics like racism both past and present, going back and forth between WWII Germany and modern day DC. The past timeline follows Hanna, an archaeologist under Heinrich Himmler, seeking out treasures for the Reich, until the point that her gender disqualifies her from continuing in that capacity. As she returns home, she sees things that cause her to question everything happening ...more
Lori
Jan 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Melanie Dobson's stories are always wonderful and this one is no exception.
I truly enjoyed this novel to the fullest and I loved that it took me away for the evening.
I think it's terrible how people treat others! Just because someone is different is no excuse!
Some events in this book I did not see coming and I know my mouth must've dropped open because of it.
Dobson is an excellent story teller in her own right. So much so that I didn't want the story to end!
I think that whenever you get a story
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Janilyn Kocher
Jan 29, 2021 rated it really liked it
Dobson writes good historical fiction. She combined archeology with the Lebensborn program. The Nazis plundered historical treasures but they also stole thousands of Eastern European children. I like how the author combined both topics into a cohesive story. The book’s themes resonate today. I’m fascinated by both areas and reading The Curator’s Daughter only piques my interest more. It’s uncomfortable genre on manny levels, but endlessly fascinating. Thanks to Tyndall House and Edelweiss for th ...more
Jeanne Alfveby Crea
Feb 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"Words will never penetrate a hardened heart, she said. The persecution won't end until people are willing to humble themselves and love their neighbors."

"Whoever owned the definitions, tweaking familiar words for their own use, could influence the morality of a people."

"What sounded good and right and true was really evil."

"The more people know about the past, the more we can work together to expose and end the cycle of hatred." "I'm afraid it will never end, Ember. Not if people continue to t
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Greta Halliday
Jan 09, 2021 rated it really liked it
This dual timeline historical fiction story is a totally gripping and emotional read. Beautifully written and well researched it is a story of joy and sorrow, laughter and tears and is a must read for readers wanting to understand more about the atrocities that were dealt to the Jewish community during the Second World War. A really poignant storyline. Thanks to the author, Netgalley and Tyndale House Publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this wonderful book.
Jordan Lynch
The Curator's Daughter was not quite the book I was expecting, but I was nonetheless pleased with the story. Dobson tackles a tough topic and a unique viewpoint of an overdone time period in her latest novel and gives readers a dual timeline narrative full of suspense, history, and hard truths.

One storyline follows Hanna Tillich, a German archaeologist working for the Third Reich. Although Hanna doesn't necessarily agree with everything Hitler is preaching, she values her job and the history her
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Becky B
Ember has spent years trying to recover from the trauma of her years in her father’s Aryan cult commune in Idaho. After the FBI raid and her parents’ deaths, she changed her name, moved to the other side of the country and tried to blend in as a normal high school teenager. But now someone from the cult has found her and is sending her threatening notes at work. She is working on her dissertation on resistance to the Nazis during WWII, but she’s having trouble finding accounts of people who did ...more
Jessica Higgins
Mar 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A great blend of historical and contemporary makes for a terrific read!

In 1940, archaeologist Hannah Tillich is searching for the Holy Grail for Himmler’s antiquities group. As a child who went through Germany’s defeat and humiliation in the great war, Hannah is proud of the Third Reich and their work to reunite Germans. But when she learns that she has been reassigned to work as a museum curator in her home of Nuremburg, she finds the façade begins to crumble. Soon she is forced to marry a SS o
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Linda Klager
Mar 29, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow, the author did a lot of research for this book. I learned a lot about how Hitler's Regime treated the Jewish people. It was a very difficult time for God's chosen people.

I also learned there were good and bad individuals in Germany. Some would not let fear of death detract from them aiding the Jewish people. It is so good that they did and it really brings home the point that "God is a God of Hope!"

The story went back and forth beginning in 1999 in Idaho with a woman who got married at a v
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Rebecca
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
"Whoever owned the definitions, tweaking familiar words for their own use, could influence the morality of a people . . . Twisting their language. Writing fiction instead of fact. Re-creating their past and eliminating the hard truths for their future."

Sometimes you just know. You know when you have stumbled upon a story that will transport you far beyond the limits of mere words on a page, creating space for you to wonder what is priceless, Who is worthy of worship, what must be said, what the
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Carol Pennington
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This excellent Christian Fiction novel about World War II takes a very unique and effective approach. While concentration camps and persecution are definitely explored in this story, that is not its main focus. Rather the main focus is about overcoming hatred and the numerous ways it manifest itself.

The authors use of two points of view and two different time periods adds additional layers of intrigue to this amazing story. I also enjoyed learning things I never knew occurred in Germany during
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Pamela
Mar 28, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The lives of three women are connected in this relevant, well researched novel that takes the reader on an exciting journey back to WWII Germany and present day Martha's Vineyard. The focus of the story is Hannah Tillich, a German archaeologist and Ember Ellis a Holocaust researcher and doctorate student. When Hanna is forced to marry a SS officer and work as a museum curator in Nuremberg, she quickly begins to see behind the Nazi facade. To add to the Nazi dream of having the perfect "Aryan" fa ...more
Jodi
Feb 25, 2021 rated it really liked it
Every life has a story. When the Nazi regime began to snuff out the Jewish race, Hanna, an archaeologist working as a curator, collects the stories of the people who begin disappearing from Nuremburg and hides their stories so they will not be forgotten. Told from the point of view of three different women, The Curator's Daughter takes you back to one of the greatest atrocities in human history. During the story, Hanna works to preserve the past, while Lilly seeks to uncover her past and Ember u ...more
Scott County Library System
This review by librarian Christine Barth first appeared in the March 2021 issue of Library Journal.

Ember Ellis needs to finish her dissertation for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, but she cannot find documentation of a German citizen who resisted the Nazis in the city of Nuremburg, which has a long and notorious history of anti-Semitism. Under the pressure of deadlines and threatening anonymous letters, Ember travels home to interview an old teacher about her grandmother. Grandmothe
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Loraine
Hanna is an archaeologist in Germany during World War 2; but because she's a woman, the SS sends her back to Nuremberg to be a curator logging in the many items they are confiscating from Jewish homes. Ember is a student working on her PhD, and her dissertation will be on people who helped the Jews during World War 2. Her research leads her to Nuremberg and Hanna's story.

Dobson did an excellent job of flowing between the dual timelines without losing the plot in either one. She gives an excellen
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Christine Barth
Mar 04, 2021 rated it really liked it
This review by librarian Christine Barth first appeared in the March 2021 issue of Library Journal.

Ember Ellis needs to finish her dissertation for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, but seh cannot find documentation of a German citizen who resisted the Nazis in the city of Nuremburg, which has a long and notorious history of anti-Semitism. Under the pressure of deadlines and threatening anonymous letters, Ember travels home to interview an old teacher about her grandmother. Grandmothe
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Margaret
3.5/5 stars

I have read three of Melanie Dobson's previous historical fiction books, each of them I enjoyed for their unique storyline during WW2. With The Curator's Daughter she again has written a dual time period story with the past during the war. The difference is that this one takes place in Germany with a story I was unfamiliar with.

Without divulging parts of the story not mentioned in the blurb, this story showed a side of the Nazi reign that I knew nothing about and for that I am gratefu
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Mary
Apr 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Melanie Dobson writes powerful novels that touch you deeply, cause you to think, and may just play a role in changing your life, leaving you more empathetic and serious about the choices you make. This book is set in 1940 Nuremburg as the third Reich extends its control over citizens and its territory as it seeks world domination. Hanna Tillich, a German archeologist, is caught in the tentacles of Hitler’s regime, wondering what has happened to her Jewish neighbors.

The other portion of this tim
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Tanya
Apr 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow!! Can I please give this more than 5 stars????? This is hands down my favorite book of the year! I finished this book in 2 days because I could not sit it down. From the minute you begin reading you will not want to stop!! This book is written to perfection!! Such a beautiful story of redemption! This author knows how to write a beautiful time-slip novel.

This is the second World War 2 book I've read this year and I learned so much from this book. I'm shocked at things that happened during t
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Amy
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Even in January, I know that The Curator's Daughter will be on my list of one my best reads for the year. It is probably the best time-split that I have read. Usually in a split-time book, one story line keeps me more interested than the other. Both the historical and contemporary storylines kept me wanting to read late into the night.
The historical story told the story of German archeologist Hanna Tillich who is told to return home to work in her hometown museum in Nuemberg. She is soon forced
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Winnie
Mar 07, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Talented writer Melanie Dobson deftly weaves two different timelines into a fascinating, though heart-rending story of redemption, forgiveness, and courage. The main characters are multi-layered and flawed, but believable and realistic. With settings in Nuremberg, Germany during World War II, and modern-day America, the two stories intersect and combine with another smaller side-story which ties them all together.

Some comparisons are drawn between what happened in Germany and the formation of fa
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Maureen Timerman
Mar 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2021
This read quickly became a riveting page turner, as we live in the time of great evil in Europe, to the present day life in America

Hanna Tillich rather naively works for the Third Reich as an archeologist, and she loved her job and felt she was helping her country.

The evil government has other ideas and she is soon married to someone she didn't want to marry, and a mother to a young adopted child, but throughout all that is playing out around her, we see she does her best to help to tell the sto
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Karyn
Mar 21, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This dual timeline historical fiction is based on frightening truths of events in Germany during WWII.
It is set in Nuremberg in the 1940s and in present day America. The lives of three women Hanna, Lilly and Ember that are connected over the years and through family is told in an intriguing, emotional and gripping story. I enjoy a multi generational saga and this didn’t disappoint. The Curator’s Daughter shows how history can repeat itself if individuals choose to turn a blind eye and do nothin
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Brenda
Jan 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Loved, loved this dual-timeline book about choices, war atrocities, heartache, forgiveness, love and redemption with an incredibly remarkable twisty plots and sub plots. The characters are flawed which is believable. There are secrets and mysteries galore, all beautifully written. War stories are both horrific and sobering but we can learn so much from them, not just historically but about humankind's capacity for cruelty and kindness. The pursuit of creating the perfect Aryan race is a common t ...more
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Writing fiction is a fun excuse for Melanie to explore ghost towns and old houses, travel to unusual places, and spend hours reading dusty books and journals. She writes both contemporary and historical fiction with threads of romance and suspense.

Melanie is the award-winning author of almost twenty time-slip, historical romance, suspense, and contemporary novels including Catching the Wind, The
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