That Summer in Berlin
by Lecia Cornwall
Publication Date October 11, 2022
Published by Penguin
Purchase Here Buy on Amazon US - Buy on Kobo - Buy at Barnes and Noble - Buy on Waterstones - Buy on Audible - Buy on Amazon UK
Genres: Fiction / Historical / World War II, Fiction / Romance / Historical / 20th Century, Fiction / Women
***I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.***
In the summer of 1936, while the Nazis make secret plans for World War II, a courageous and daring young woman struggles to expose the lies behind the dazzling spectacle of the Berlin Olympics.
German power is rising again, threatening a war that will be even worse than the last one. The English aristocracy turns to an age-old institution to stave off war and strengthen political bonds—marriage. Debutantes flock to Germany, including Viviane Alden. On holiday with her sister during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Viviane’s true purpose is more clandestine. While many in England want to appease Hitler, others seek to prove Germany is rearming. But they need evidence, photographs to tell the tale, and Viviane is a genius with her trusty Leica. And who would suspect a pretty, young tourist taking holiday snaps of being a spy?
Viviane expects to find hatred and injustice, but during the Olympics, with the world watching, Germany is on its best behavior, graciously welcoming tourists to a festival of peace and goodwill. But first impressions can be deceiving, and it’s up to Viviane and the journalist she’s paired with—a daring man with a guarded heart—to reveal the truth.
But others have their own reasons for befriending Viviane, and her adventure takes a darker turn. Suddenly Viviane finds herself caught in a web of far more deadly games—and closer than she ever imagined to the brink of war.
That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall is a historical novel set just before World War II’s outbreak and set in Britain and Germany.
In order to escape a marriage to an unsuitable man, debutante Viviane Alden decides to accompany her sister to Germany to visit their aristocratic cousins. The time is 1936, and the women are promised they will be able to go to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
Vivianne isn’t the typical debutante; she has a talent for photography and isn’t just visiting Germany as a holiday. She has a covert mission to try and photograph Germany’s build-up to the war in order to help convince British leaders that Hitler is a real threat. When Vivienne’s fundamental mission is revealed, she finds herself in a life-threatening situation and she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to return to England.
I enjoyed this book very much. I liked that it showed the build-up towards war and not the actual war itself. Vivianne was one of the few in her family that could see the Nazis for what they were. She used her camera to show her country what was really going on behind all the glamour and beauty of the Olympic Games. Her “holiday photos” were actually photos to expose the build-up of arms in Germany. Vivienne is such a courageous and intelligent heroine in this story, she didn’t want to marry for money and live a life of aristocracy in England, instead, she chose to work for her country and spy on the Germans.
I never realized that the British Aristocracy sent young women to Germany to try and heal relations with Germany before the war started. At that time, it wasn’t known how horrible the situation was in Germany, and that’s why Vivienne’s photos were so important.
Sometimes it’s difficult for me to get into a historical novel right away, but that is not the case with That Summer in Berlin. I was immediately swept away and the exciting pace continued throughout the book.
I highly recommend That Summer in Berlin to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. I received a complimentary copy of this book. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Have you read That Summer In Berlin? Do you enjoy historical fiction set during World War II?