Warning: This book is sad. Like, really, really sad. It’s also amazing, and I recommend it to anyone who loves character development & stories that tear your heart into pieces … and then put it back together.
Since I’ve surpassed my yearly reading goal already, I’ve felt this freedom to just wander around Goodreads and find crazy good reviews. I stumbled across a review of The Last Innocent Hour by Margot Abbott and immediately got sucked into the story. As you can see by the cover, it’s (hopefully) obviously a historical fiction. As a lover of that genre (exhibits A, B, C, D, and E), I was excited to read this.
Spanning quite a number of years, this book flashes back and forth between the eve of WWII and about 10 years later. Sally, a daughter of the American ambassador to Germany, has come back to Germany after the war as an intelligence officer helping to identify faces in photos. She has an uncanny ability to piece together otherwise obscure details to help investigate officers who committed war crimes ordered by the Nazi party. Being in Germany brings up a lot about her past.
It’s not completely clear at first from what Sally is suffering. She obviously has PTSD, and she attempted to end her life before she became an intelligence officer. As a child, her family spent summers in Germany and were particularly close to the Mayr family. One of the Mayr children, Christian, becomes her friend and later her husband.
Does Facebook still have the relationship status: It’s Complicated? If so, that 100% fits Sally and Christian.
Between Christian being an SS officer, Sally being an American, and Reinhard Heydrich (an actual person who had a huge part in all the atrocities of WWII and the Holocaust) bringing them together at the eve of WWII, this book is one wild ride.
I literally could not put it down.
As much as I hate a review that ends with ‘that’s all I can say without giving away spoilers,’ um… that’s all I can say without giving away spoilers. This book is something you just have to go in without knowing a lot.
This book contains a lot of sensitive material, so if you are sensitive to war scenes and adult situations, this would not be a book for you. However, if you can get past that (the scenes are not graphic, in my opinion), the story is amazing. I can’t recommend this book enough, although I know it won’t be for everyone. I love historical fiction, and for some reason WWII is more on my radar than any other era.
One more note about the book, this is the only book Margot Abbott has written. I can’t believe (a) she hasn’t written more and (b) more people haven’t read this. Apparently, she’s writing another one and I definitely can not wait for it!
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