From the internationally bestselling author of The Club comes a gripping historical novel of love and betrayal, set in wartime Berlin
In 1942, Friedrich, an even-keeled but unworldly young man, arrives in Berlin from bucolic Switzerland with dreams of becoming an artist. At a life drawing class, he is hypnotized by the beautiful model, Kristin, who soon becomes his ener...more
Friedrich is a good, clear narrator capturing Berlin in the 1940’s, in places the language is staccato which ...more
This novel seamlessly blended fact and fiction in a wonderful manner. It left me feeling very thoughtful.
The story follows the life of Friedrich (a fictional character) through his childhood and into early adulthood. He decides to travel to Germany, despite WWII raging on around Europe. In Germany he meets and falls in love with Kristen (a person that existed in real life). But Kristen is keeping some dark secrets, including her real name- Stella.
I think any ...more
I read a lot of WW2-era fiction and non-fiction, particularly about Nazi Germany and the war in Europe. I learned a long time ago that the term “U-Boat” has two meanings. Of course there is the German submarine. The other is slang for those 5,000-7,000 Jews who “submerged” into hiding in Berlin during WW2. About 1,700 were successful, surviving until the end of the war.
U-Boats were always scrambling to survive, often without ...more
I have to start by saying that I’m a big fan of pretty much any book set, or in any way related to Germany during this time period - so I am a little biased.
I was actually surprised by this book - I’m not big into romance, and I was concerned it would wishy washy but it wasn’t.
The author is fantastic at setting a scene, brilliant use of imagery really help the setting of the book.
Each chapter begins with ...more
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I thought I would - historical fiction is not really my bag, but I found this to be very engaging.
It's the story of Friedrich and Stella (or maybe Kristen?) and at its core, it's a study of people and what we do and how others affect us. Friedrich is Swiss and decides to go to Berlin in 1942. He admires the Germans from afar, feels they are st ...more
Their love story is constricted and claustrophobic.
Thank you Grove Press and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an ...more
To do so, seems tantamount to condemning Har ...more
Arriving in the city of Berlin in January 1942, Friedrich falls immediately under the spell of the woman he initially knows as Kristin, but whose real name is later revealed to be Stella Goldschlag. ...more
As someone who speaks the language, I prefer to read books in the original German when I can. No matter how capable the translator, certain nuances of the original writer's work are invariably lost in translation. However, in this instance I read the (American) English translation rather than the original text.
"Stella" is based, in part, on the life of Stella Ingrid Goldschlag, a German Jewish woman who collaborated with the Gestapo during WWII. She was responsible for exposing nume ...more
Friedrich is a good, clear narrator capturing Berlin in the 1940’s, in places the language is staccato which m ...more
I absolutely love WW2 hist fic, especially drawing on real people/real events (by events I'm talking more than just WW2 actually happened, but like these specific niche events). But this one didn't land for me. Friedrich was soooooo painfully naive; so flipping easy to be taken advantage ...more
World War 2 historical fiction is difficult to write, especially when it touches upon the topics Holocaust and the persecution of Jews.
Takis Würger writes a compelling love story set in 1942 Berlin, where a young, naivé man madly falls for a woman who is not what she initially seems.
Again, it's ...more
Such a person was Stella Goldschlag, a singer and artists' model, Jewish, and also a liar and betrayer. This is her story, fact blended with fiction, as her path crosses with the ...more
Thank you first of all to Readers First for a free copy of Stella in return for an honest review.
This book to me was rather eye opening and offered quite and insight and a revelation into a dark period of history.
The book is set in Berlin in 1942 and follows Friedrich, who after a childhood of feeling lonely and abandoned by his parents in his home county of Switzerland, decided to travel to Berlin, in the hope of discovering the truth and to attend art school. Whilst in Berlin, ...more
He reflects, “Father had told me that telling the truth was a sign of love. Truth was a gift. Back then I was sure that was right.”
That belief is sorely tested later on in life ...more
This book is very different from other books I have read. I loved the history in the book, the story not as much. In between sections of the story was a section listing Jewish people that had been arrested by the Gestapo upon being pointed out by a Jew Catcher. A person working for the Nazi's (usually a Jewish person) denouncing Jewish people in return for their life and often other concessions.
Freidrich a young man from Switzerland travels to Berlin to find out if the rumors he has h ...more
A young man from Switzerland, Friedrich, travels to Berlin to see if the stories and rumours of the war are true. He falls in a love with a young woman, who is hiding her Jewish identity, yet she often leaves in the night and he wonders where she goes. When Friedrich finds out what she is doing and where she goes, he is torn betwee ...more
Friedrich is Swiss, a lonely only child, with a father who is away a lot and a mother who is a drunk. When he was young she was determined he would become the painter she could never be, but after an injury robs him of the ability to see colours, she loses interest and almost seems to forget about him.
While there, he becomes enchanted by young woman called Kristen, who he later realises is called Stella. He falls head over heels in love with her. She has completely bewitched him with her mysterious, fun loving behaviour. It soon becomes clear that fritz is so enamoured with ...more
The writing style of this book is beautiful - the opening chapters detail memorable moments in the main character's childhood home. The way it's written, you feel like you are right there in those memories. Once Fitz travels to Berlin, I felt the pace for me had eroded. I didn't quite understan ...more
In the book, Stella becomes romantically entangled with Friedrich ("Fritz"). The Swedish Fritz lives near Geneva with his alcoholic, anti-semitic, painter, mother, and a wealthy father who imports velvet. Fritz heads ...more