Title – The Night I Danced with Rommel
Author – Elisabeth Marrion
Genre – Historical Fiction
Length – 200 Pages
Publication – June 2013
My Rating – 5/5 Stars
‘May I have this dance, Hilde?’ asked Field Marshal
Rommel, opening the Grande Ball held in his honour.
Did this dance save the life of Hilde’s Polish friends?
Hilde had come a long way since her dream of becoming a singer was shattered when her father made arrangements for her to work as a housekeeper in Berlin at the tender age of fourteen.
Until then, although poor, Hilde led a happy and protected life with her family on their small-holding in East Prussia.
Hilde’s life is thrown into turmoil in Berlin during the late 1920’s, early 1930’s. Having Polish friends meant it was becoming increasingly unsafe for her to stay there and she finds a new life in the Harz Mountains. This taking her still further away from her home and her beloved younger sister, Erika.
In Goslar, Hilde meets her husband, Karl, a young officer in the German Army.
When he joins the 7th Panzer Brigade led by General Erwin Rommel at the beginning of WW II, Hilde is left to bring up their children in war-torn Germany.
After Rommel’s promotion to Field Marshal, Karl follows him to Africa, later Italy and ultimately Karl is posted to the Russian front. Hilde’s story is based on facts and is told by her youngest daughter, Elisabeth
By the end of this book I was quite emotional to say the least. It’s a wonderful and interesting story to read. I was a bit conflicted with my feelings, finding the story so enjoyable when it’s based not such a horrible point in time for many…It show you the effects of war from a different perspective and leaves you contemplating what it must have been like for those innocents caught up in the war not to mention all those soldiers some of whom I’m sure felt forced into serving.. it must have been very hard on so many people.
The story follows Hilde, a very likable character and her life.. growing up, making friends, finding love..in the end I felt so much love for Hilde.
We all know what happened, we’ve all heard of Hitler or Anne Frank but there must be so many other tales out there.. untold. It’s really interesting and educational to have a story told the way this one is, reminds you that these things happened to real people.
The story was very well written, in short sharp bursts which made the book fast following and very easy to read. There were also great insights into German propaganda which I didn’t really know about until I read the book. It must have been so hard for the people not knowing who or what to believe.
Most people, including myself have a very 1 dimensional view of WWII. Germany bad.. plain and simple.. but it’s not that simple is it? The author has managed to make me think about what it must have been like not only for Jews but also German soldiers and citizens caught up in the war.
I couldn’t fault this book with anything.. all I know is I didn’t expect the emotional response it had with me as I read the last few pages. It really made me think how lucky I am to have my family to go home to every night.
This is a very emotional and thought provoking story which I highly recommend you read
My thanks go to the author for allowing me the chance to read/review her work. I have two more books from Elisabeth on the TBR list.. keep a look out for reviews on my blog in the near future!