From the author of Paris Never Leaves You, Ellen Feldman’s The Living and the Lost is a gripping story of a young German Jewish woman who returns to Allied Occupied Berlin from America to face the past and unexpected future
“A deeply satisfying and truly adult novel.” —Margot Livesey, New York Times best-selling author of The Flight of Gemma Hardy
Millie (Meike) Mosbach and her brother David, manage to escape to the States just before Kristallnacht, leaving their parents and little sister in Berlin. Millie attends Bryn Mawr on a special scholarship for non-Aryan German girls and graduates to a magazine job in Philadelphia. David enlists in the army and is eventually posted to the top-secret Camp Ritchie in Maryland, which trains German-speaking men for intelligence work.
Now they are both back in their former hometown, haunted by ghosts and hoping against hope to find their family. Millie, works in the office responsible for rooting out the most dedicated Nazis from publishing; she is consumed with rage at her former country and its citizens, though she is finding it more difficult to hate in proximity. David works trying to help displaced persons build new lives, while hiding his more radical nighttime activities from his sister. Like most of their German-born American colleagues, they suffer from conflicts of rage and guilt at their own good fortune, except for Millie’s boss, Major Harry Sutton, who seems much too eager to be fair to the Germans.
Living and working in bombed-out Berlin, a latter day Wild West where drunken soldiers brawl; the desperate prey on the unsuspecting; spies ply their trade; werewolves, as unrepentant Nazis were called, scheme to rise again; black markets thrive, and forbidden fraternization is rampant, Millie must come to terms with a decision she made as a girl in a moment of crisis, and with the enigmatic sometimes infuriating Major Sutton who is mysteriously understanding of her demons.
Atmospheric and page-turning, The Living and the Lost is a story of love, survival, and forgiveness of others and of self.
Millie has returned to her native Germany after WWII. She is here to do a job for the government but she has a hidden agenda. She is hoping to find out what happened to her parents and her little sister.
Millie is amazed at the level of depravity which is rampant and accepted in this post war Germany. She struggles with her anger and her guilt throughout this novel. Her guilt is a unique situation for the reader…you have to read this to find out!
There have been tons of WWII books lately. So, to find one which has a different take is tough. This one hits that mark. You usually do not have a book about the aftermath. This one covers this and more! The struggle to find out about your loved ones, to find a place to live, and the survivors guilt is brought to life in the novel. Add in the great characters and you have a very good novel!
Need a story you won’t soon forget…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!
I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.