About the Book
“Someone had to make a start’”, Sophie Scholl, leader of the White Rose, 21 February 1943 at her trial in Munich.
Munich, 1942. As war rages across Europe, a series of anonymous leaflets, criticizing the brutal Nazi regime, appear on the streets of Germany. Their message, written in secret, is a daring act of defiance.
Natalya Petrovich, a student, knows more than she should. As a member of the secret resistance group, the White Rose, Natalya is risking everything. But even among those she trusts most, there is no guarantee of safety. The Gestapo are everywhere and Natalya knows that falling into the hands of the secret police means torture – and almost certain death.
A page-turning and heart-breaking historical novel about the daring White Rose group who stood up to the Nazis … and paid the ultimate price.
Format: ebook (400 pages) Publisher: One More Chapter
Publication date: 12th March 2020 Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
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The Traitor is set during a dark period of Germany’s history. It shows, through the characters of Natalya and her friends, that not all Germans were Nazis and that some, like her, had the courage to resist despite the risk to them and their families. Those risks become all too evident as the book progresses as well as the desperately difficult moral choices they face.
The book’s title raises the question who exactly is the “traitor”? Is it Natalya and her companions, as the German State would have it, for challenging the word of the Fuhrer? Is it those who inform on others, even if only to save themselves? Is it those in authority who participate in show trials, knowingly compromising their integrity? Is it those who profess allegiance to the Reich whilst in their hearts believing something else?
Personally I would have liked a little more information about the White Rose group, knowing nothing about it before starting the book. For example, how many members it had and how wide was its reach. Having said that, there are more details in the informative Author’s Note, as well as suggestions for further reading and an example of a White Rose leaflet.
I confess I found it hard to understand Natalya’s attraction to the character with whom she gets involved and who becomes a recurring – and influential – presence in her life. He seemed to me to have few redeeming qualities even at the beginning. The opposite applies to Natalya who throughout demonstrates remarkable courage and resilience, even during the darkest of times.
The Traitor vividly conveys the oppressive atmosphere of the time, the constant fear of informers, the brutal treatment meted out to those who dared to defy the Reich and the courage of those who aided the resistance groups.
My thanks to One More Chapter for my review copy via NetGalley.
In three words: Dramatic, emotional, chilling
Try something similar: People Like Us by Louise Fein
About the Author
V. S. Alexander (the pen name of Michael Meeske) is the author of The Traitor, The Magdalen Girls, Her Hidden Life, and The Irishman’s Daughter. He is an ardent student of history with a strong interest in music and the visual arts. Some of V.S.’s writing influences include Shirley Jackson, Oscar Wilde, Daphne du Maurier, or any work by the exquisite Bronte sisters.