A Nazi doctor. A Jewish rebel. A little girl. Each one will fight for freedom - or die trying.
Imprisoned in the Lodz Ghetto, Elsi discovers her mother's desperate attempt to end her pregnancy and comes face-to-face with the impossibility of their situation. Risking her own life, Elsi joins a resistance group to sabotage the regime.
Blonde, blue-eyed Matilda is wrenched from her family in Romania and taken to Germany, where her captors attempt to mold her into the perfect Aryan child. Spirited and brave, she must inspire hope in the other stolen children to make her dreams of escape a reality.
Willem, a high-ranking Nazi doctor, plans to save lives when he takes posts in both the ghetto and Auschwitz. After witnessing unimaginable cruelties, he begins to question his role and the future of those he is ordered to destroy.
While Hitler ransacks Europe in pursuit of a pure German race, the lives of three broken souls - thrown together by chance - intertwine. Only love and sacrifice might make them whole again.
©2016 Gemma Liviero (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
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"Best Book I've Read in a Long Time"
I absolutely loved this book. It's incredibly well-written, emotionally moving, and has fully developed, flawed characters.
Broken Angels tells the story of three individuals -- Elsi, Willam, and Mathilde (possibly spelled wrong because I listened to this so I'm not sure) -- brought together by circumstances of WWII. Elsi is a half-Jewish teenager living in a ghetto in Poland, Willam is a Nazi doctor, and Mathilde is a Romanian child taken from her home and placed in a Lebensborn center for potential Aryan adoption.
This was a detailed, emotional depiction of life in WWII Poland and Germany, but all the more moving for those reasons. I've also rarely seen an author who can give a child a full character, both shaped by nature and circumstance. While not easy to hear about, it was masterfully done. Willem is also a flawed character. His actions can't be characterized as 100% good or bad, which is interesting and honest in a character -- and true to human nature and what our situations hand us.
The book also chronicles horrendous, gruesome events with an appropriate level of detail -- not a gloss over but not enough to make you vomit in your car while listening. So I appreciated that as well. Too many books about this subject matter provide too much gloss.
My only small critique is that it took a long time for the characters' stories to intersect. However, the individual stories were so well-told and crucial to the character development that in the end I retracted this thought. However, just be aware of that if you read this book.
Additionally, the narration was just ok. The man who narrated Willem's part was great, but the woman reading the female parts (first, each character should have gotten her own reader) was a bit flat. The voices could have been brought to life a bit more.
That said, this book is so well-written that I recommend it completely. Anyone who enjoys history and complex characters would enjoy this book, and I will be reading more by this author :)
"loved this book."
I loved this book as well as Pastel Orphans. At times I felt like crying for the characters in this book. The author brought to life the atrocities the German people did to the Jewish people. I will listen again and with my grandchildren. We should never forget.
"A compassionate WW2 German"
Broken Angels tells the story of a young German doctor and his meeting with first a Jewish girl from the Warsaw ghetto and a young girl who has been taken as one who is almost Aryan and able to be educated as a good German though she is Polish.
His compassion and horror about these and others persecuted and used for experiments by the Nazis leads him to live a courageous and double life. The narration by three different voices lends a real poignancy to this book. I love this author and the performance. It was both beautiful and very hard to read but I will remember this book for a long time.
"Wow! Excellent book."
If you enjoy WW2 history, specifically personal accounts of Jewish survival, you'll like this. It's a very moving story and gruesome at times. But an excellent read that I would highly recommend to any adult.
The narrators do a good job of telling this emotional story with clear facts.
This book reminds us of the horrible cost of war and the spirit of goodness that dwells in the heart of certain individuals. I really enjoyed this book, sad as it was.
This book was very easy to follow. The narrators did a great job and it always left me wanting more. I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys stories about Nazi Germany.
"Broken Angels Review"
Yes. I would listen to it again. The whole book was good. The storyline was excellent, the performance of the readers was good. The plot was excellent
w things come to mind. The first was when she killed Willum, the second was when they shot Elsie's mom in front of her. Though there is many memorable parts in the book.
Willum and Matilda
Might want to but it's impossible to do it all in one sitting
A story of love, tragedy, heartbreak, cruelty, hatred, inhumanity, loss of family and childhoods, hunger, disease, future, hope, love, family, hope, everything for one MAN!☹️
"A touching story of"
She brought the characters to life and the hard choices felt real. It's always so hard to hear many of these stories of that time but to see people live again with hopes & dreams is inspiring.
"Beautifully brought to life ..."
This story was written so well that I was taken by surprise at how I was brought into a time a place of such horror, love, and grace. The horrors were so plenty, distasteful, and such that you would think it hard to understand, but I did not only understand but felt every blow, emotionally, mentally, and physically as if I were right there alongside the characters. As well with the good times, I could see, smell, feel, as if I too was there. So well written that it could possibly be true, it sure felt real to me as I listened, and find myself feeling for all of the characters in all of their lives still and wishing none of them had gone through any of the pain and suffering. It could be because these types of things really did happen in that dark time in history and everyone, all humans, should feel sorrow for anyone who suffered during this time but the author pulls it all together in such a seamless and sometimes magical way that make the reader truly a part of the story. It's an excellent audiobook , and I highly recommend it. You'll see and hear things that will stay with you, but isn't that what makes a good story fabulous? Enjoy 😊
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