That Summer in Berlin
by Lecia Cornwall
Publication Date October 11, 2022
Published by Penguin
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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?
Added to my TBR. Yes, that one I said I won’t add any more books to… But this really really is my kind of read! Ooooh, it sound so good.
Thanks for sharing Wendy!
I am sometimes a bit sceptical about War novels as I don’t like to read things that are too emotional, but this sounds like a great read!
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This sounds good and like you I had no idea about British young women being sent into Germany to heal relations. I really like that this takes place before the War and the Olympic setting also appeals to me. Great review!
I never read a story set in build up to WWII time, this might be very sensitive and important time. Excellent review!
This sounds nice, especially since it incorporates a real, specific historical event. Great review.
It is such a good book!
Awesome review Wendy! This one sounds so good!📚💜
Thank you, Susan!
Historical fiction is not my thing. This book, however, sounds like one I could give a try. I would need to be in the mood though.
Thank you, Nadene!
I also enjoy when the stories focus on the build up to war. Great review.
Thank you, Sarita!
I like that you pointed out that this book is about the buildup to the war. Wars don’t happen overnight, and we tend to forget that when we read history. Good review, Wendy!
It was interesting to see how so many people during this time period didn’t see it coming at all, and that seems realistic to me.
I love this period, but have to be in the mood for it. I am going to add this one to my wishlist 🙂
I agree, Kimberly. I can’t read a steady diet of historicals, but I enjoy them now and then.
This sounds like a good one, I’m glad you enjoyed it. That’s interesting about them sending women to Germany before the war started. Great post!
Vivianne does sound like a courageous heroine. And I love that this one is set during the Berlin Olympics in 1936! 😀
The Olympics was a fascinating part of this storyl
What a scary mission. Didn’t know Britain did that either. I enjoy books set in this time period. I’ll have to check it out. Wonderful review, Wendy!
Thank you, Rachel.
Happy to hear you enjoyed it! I think I have an arc of this one.
I hope you enjoy it too!
Sounds a wonderful read. I haven’t read many books that are set in or around the build up to the war either, it’s mostly in the war itself. Great review, Wendy🙂
Thank you, Mallika!
I sometimes find it hard to get into historical fiction too, but usually if I keep reading I enjoy it. Great review 😊
I agree, Jenny. I’ve been reading quite a bit lately and I’m getting more into the historical stuff.
This story does sound very intriguing. I can see how it easily held your attention. Excellent review!
Thank you, Tessa!
This one sounds like a good one it this genre.
It is, Rosie!
This sounds good, but also informative. I love that cover, too. Great review!
Thank you, Deanna!
I am usually apprehensive about reading stories at this point in history but this story sounds lovely! I appreciate your wonderful review letting me know it does not show the war as this is a definite no for me. I’ll see if my library will carry this book!
It wasn’t depressing like so many books in this time period. I hope you enjoy it.
I didn’t know the British sent young women to Germany either. Sometimes I avoid WW2 books, but this one sounds good. Thanks for the review!
I avoided WWII books for a while, but now I have been enjoying them again
Awesome review, this book sounds so good!
Thank you, Rae!