The next pick on my 2014 Most Anticipated list is a historical novel that immediately piqued my interest because the main character's Uncle.... Adolf Hitler.
Not only does it have that impressive pulling point, but the Goodreads synopsis sounds stellar as well
In 1930s Munich, danger lurks behind dark corners, and secrets are buried deep within the city. But Gretchen Müller, who grew up in the National Socialist Party under the wing of her "uncle" Dolf, has been shielded from that side of society ever since her father traded his life for Dolf's, and Gretchen is his favorite, his pet.
Uncle Dolf is none other than Adolf Hitler.
And Gretchen follows his every command.
Until she meets a fearless and handsome young Jewish reporter named Daniel Cohen. Gretchen should despise Daniel, yet she can't stop herself from listening to his story: that her father, the adored Nazi martyr, was actually murdered by an unknown comrade. She also can't help the fierce attraction brewing between them, despite everything she's been taught to believe about Jews.
As Gretchen investigates the very people she's always considered friends, she must decide where her loyalties lie. Will she choose the safety of her former life as a Nazi darling, or will she dare to dig up the truth—even if it could get her and Daniel killed?
From debut author Anne Blankman comes this harrowing and evocative story about an ordinary girl faced with the extraordinary decision to give up everything she's ever believed . . . and to trust her own heart instead.
You're probably wanting some more details (just like me) and Anne was kind enough to answer some questions for me.
Romantic historical thriller.
2 I love the premise that Adolf Hitler is the main character's uncle. What sparked this idea?
I've been fascinated by World War Two since I read Anne Frank's diary when I was twelve. A few years ago, I stumbled across a book about Geli Raubal, Hitler's real-life half-niece. She shared his luxurious Munich apartment when he was still an emerging politician. From most accounts, he was genuinely fond of her. I couldn't stop thinking about what her life must have been like. How had Hitler treated her? What did she think of his politics? What her position been in the elite Nazis' hyper-masculine world? The idea of writing about a girl close to Hitler was irresistible. But I knew I needed the freedom of having a fictional main character, so Gretchen Muller slowly took shape in my mind. She's a seventeen-year-old student: sensitive, smart, and tough. Although she calls Hitler "Uncle Dolf," he's actually a beloved family friend she's known for years. How, I wondered could I make Gretchen realize what her cherished idol really stands for? How could she break free from the hold he has on her? Once I had my answers, I started writing.
3 What sort of research did you need to do for this novel?
A lot! Historical fiction doesn't need to be true, but it has to be right. I felt a tremendous responsibility to portray Hitler as accurately as possible, not only because he was a real person but out of respect for his millions of victims. I read biographies, Nazis' memoirs, social histories, psychological profiles, you name it. I studied Hitler's autobiography Mein Kampf and his early speeches. Primary sources were helpful, too. Old maps and photographs can give you a great sense of time and place. I watched old news reels and Nazi propaganda films like "Triumph of the Will." Seeing Hitler on screen gave me additional insight--how did he walk? What did his voice sound like? Those are the small details that can make a story catch fire.
4 Are you able to share a secret about one of the characters, the world, something that inspired something about the world/characters?
I have to be careful how I answer this! PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG has lots of twists, and I don't want to give anything away. But I can give you a clue that, right now, only my editor, agent, and critique partners know: Pay attention to everything Hitler says to Gretchen in PRISONER OF NIGHT AND FOG. His advice becomes VERY important in the forthcoming sequel (which will come out in April 2015).
5 What 2014 release are you most excited for?
I can only pick one? This is a cruel question! :) There are so many great books I'm looking forward to reading in 2014. One in particular is SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch, about a chakram-wielding warrior fighting to protect her people and her destiny. I adore fantasies and gutsy heroines, so this book went right to my TBR list.
A huge thank you to Anne for taking the time to answering these questions. I'll be sure to keep her hint in mind while reading Prisoner of Night and Fog (also had no clue this was not a stand alone).
If you want to learn more, check out the author's website, or the publisher's website for more information.
Prisoner of Night and Fog will be in stores April 22, 2014. Pre-orders for this title are already up, and you can get your copy at the following retailers
Barnes and Noble
Let me know in the comments what you think of the cover, the synopsis, or if the Hitler connection intrigues you as well. Also, check back soon for a contest where you could win one of my featured titles (be sure to pay attention to these Question and Answers as they'll help).