Actual deserves a 3.5, maybe almost a 4! The only reason I gave it a 3 was because the beginning was a bit slow for me but other than that it was a pretty compelling read. I am a huge fan of Historical Fiction.
Plot-wise, the author did a great job of building up on real life events and Hitler’s frightening ascend to power. There were a few times that I looked up certain situations to see how they differed and besides the fictional characters, the timeline was pretty true to real life. As I mentioned before, the beginning was slow for me, but maybe it was because I went into this book expecting one thing and got another. I had to remember myself that when it comes to Historical Fiction, it is all in the details and with that I trudge along and was rewarded ten-fold with an exciting climax and end.
For the most part I appreciated every character that came into play, and I use the term “appreciate” because I loved the protagonists and I disliked the antagonists. But I appreciated how Blankman painted this grey picture of the characters and made them the flawed humans that they were. Gretchen was, by no means perfect. There were times when her thoughts would truly disgust me, and how she really had to go to war with her preconceived ideas of Jewish people. She was a weak character at times, and I really wanted her to be stronger, which she did get stronger at the end.
Another thing that comes into play in this book is the mental health perspective. My favorite character was in fact the psycho analyst and the diagnosis he gave to certain people, including Hitler. It was frightening, but completely intriguing to delve deeper into the mind.
Very interesting book and although I do want to know what happens next, I probably won’t be picking up the next book yet…
Oh and can I just say her brother is an ass!!!