The Girl from Munich
Romance, Historical Fiction
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It’s 1943, and the war is turning against Germany.
Charlotte (or Lotte), has grown up in Hitler’s Germany, living a life of privilege in her upper-class family. Loyal to her country, she has plans for her future – just like everyone else. She dreams of a fairy-tale wedding to her childhood sweetheart, and working as a photographer. But as the war begins to ramp up, the life Lotte once knew begins to crumble around her, and she is forced to question everything she thinks she knows about love, freedom, her leader and her country.
Lotte is just a girl, with dreams of a career in photography that are cut short by her parent’s disapproval. She instead settles into her position as secretary for the the Luftwaffe (Aerial Warfare Branch).
As Germany falls to the Allied Forces, Lotte is forced to flee, not knowing whether she will ever see or hear from her family again. Her old life gone, Lotte is forced to create a new one, but has tough decisions to make in the process.
The story of Charlotte (or Lotte), by Tania Blanchard, is an incredible insight into what life was like amidst the chaos of World War II – from a German Civilian’s perspective.
When we are first introduced to our main character, Lotte, it seems she is a somewhat naive girl, sheltered by the world by her privileged upbringing. She dreams of travel and a lavish wedding to her childhood sweetheart, and making a living with her photography.
But as the war rages on, Lotte is forced to find work elsewhere, ending up at the Luftwaffe, while her fiance is sent to the front-line. As her story unfolds, Lotte is forced to grow up, accept reality and learn a new way of living in order to survive.
Blanchard shows us the ways in which war changed people and took away the normalcy of life and replaced it with unimaginable scenarios. She describes in detail the sacrifices people were forced to make, from a civilian perspective, proving that no-one was left untouched by the war.
Blanchard shows us, through the character Lotte, that there was so much lost and so much to rebuild, even in the years after the war. It is a sad reality, but one that encapsulates so much history, in such a meaningful way – shining light on the small triumphs and moments of happiness, and proving that even in the darkest of places, there is hope for a better life.