The Kommandant's Girl

The Kommandant's Girl

by Pam Jenoff

Overview: In her luminous and groundbreaking debut, bestselling author Pam Jenoff shows the unimaginable sacrifices one woman must make in a time of war Nineteen-year-old Emma Bau has been married only three weeks when Nazi tanks thunder into her native Poland. Within days Emma’s husband, Jacob, is forced to disappear underground, leaving her imprisoned within the city’s decrepit, moldering Jewish ghetto. But then, in the dead of night, the resistance smuggles her out. Taken to Krakow to live with Jacob’s Catholic aunt, Krysia, Emma takes on a new identity as Anna Lipowski, a gentile.

Emma’s already precarious situation is complicated by her introduction to Kommandant Richwalder, a high-ranking Nazi official who hires her to work as his assistant. Urged by the resistance to use her position to access details of the Nazi occupation, Emma must compromise her safety—and her marriage vows—in order to help Jacob’s cause. As the atrocities of war intensify, Emma must make choices that will force her to risk not only her double life, but also the lives of those she loves.

Debbie Weiss (02/11/18): I have read a few other books with similar story lines, but The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff is written exceptionally well. The war is on, Emma Bau is Jewish but trying to survive by taking on a new Gentile persona after her husband, a member of the resistance, is called away for the cause. A situation presents itself where Emma can help the resistance by getting "close" to a high-ranking Nazi officer. At first it is just duty --- but then human feelings become involved... One never knows how he or she will react to difficult situations, especially in times of war. I sympathized with Emma's predicament and shared the terrible despair that she felt with her.
Rating: ****

Dale Israel (12/25/17): If you liked The Orphans Tale by Pam Jenoff, you will also like her first novel The Kommandants Girl as well. She knows how to weave a good tale that begs the reader to quickly turn the page to see what happens next. It is also very thought provoking . I often had to pause and ask myself ... What would I have done under similar circumstances? Jenoff is a talented author who I enjoyed meeting at the Jewish Book Festival. I cannot wait to see what other books she has to share with us. This was an excellent book....I highly recommend it.
Rating: *****

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