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The School for German Brides

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In this intriguing historical novel, a young woman who is sent to a horrific "bride school" to be molded into the perfect Nazi wife finds her life forever intertwined with a young Jewish woman about to give birth. Germany, 1939 As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother's death. Thrown into a life of luxu In this intriguing historical novel, a young woman who is sent to a horrific "bride school" to be molded into the perfect Nazi wife finds her life forever intertwined with a young Jewish woman about to give birth. Germany, 1939 As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother's death. Thrown into a life of luxury she never expected, Hanna soon finds herself unwillingly matched with an SS officer. The independence that her mother lovingly fostered in her is considered highly inappropriate as the future wife of an up-and-coming officer and she is sent to a "bride school." There, in a posh villa on the outskirts of town, Hanna is taught how to be a "proper" German wife. The lessons of hatred, prejudice, and misogyny disturb her and she finds herself desperate to escape. For Mathilde Altman, a German Jewish woman, the war has brought more devastation than she ever thought possible. Torn from her work, her family, and her new husband, she fights to keep her unborn baby safe. But when the unthinkable happens, Tilde realizes she must hide. The risk of discovery grows greater with each passing day, but she has no other options. When Hanna discovers that Tilde hiding near the school, she knows she must help her however she can. For Tilde, fear wars with desperation. The women must take extraordinary risks to save the lives of mother and baby. Will they both be able to escape with their lives and if they do, what kind of future can they possibly hope for?


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In this intriguing historical novel, a young woman who is sent to a horrific "bride school" to be molded into the perfect Nazi wife finds her life forever intertwined with a young Jewish woman about to give birth. Germany, 1939 As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother's death. Thrown into a life of luxu In this intriguing historical novel, a young woman who is sent to a horrific "bride school" to be molded into the perfect Nazi wife finds her life forever intertwined with a young Jewish woman about to give birth. Germany, 1939 As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother's death. Thrown into a life of luxury she never expected, Hanna soon finds herself unwillingly matched with an SS officer. The independence that her mother lovingly fostered in her is considered highly inappropriate as the future wife of an up-and-coming officer and she is sent to a "bride school." There, in a posh villa on the outskirts of town, Hanna is taught how to be a "proper" German wife. The lessons of hatred, prejudice, and misogyny disturb her and she finds herself desperate to escape. For Mathilde Altman, a German Jewish woman, the war has brought more devastation than she ever thought possible. Torn from her work, her family, and her new husband, she fights to keep her unborn baby safe. But when the unthinkable happens, Tilde realizes she must hide. The risk of discovery grows greater with each passing day, but she has no other options. When Hanna discovers that Tilde hiding near the school, she knows she must help her however she can. For Tilde, fear wars with desperation. The women must take extraordinary risks to save the lives of mother and baby. Will they both be able to escape with their lives and if they do, what kind of future can they possibly hope for?

30 review for The School for German Brides

  1. 5 out of 5

    Thomas

    Four bright stars for an absorbing book of historical fiction, set in Germany, August 1938-December 1939. The book is narrated by two women, Hanna Rombauer and Mathilde Altman. Hanna is a German woman engaged to an SS officer who rapes her because he can. Mathilde "Tilde"has a German father and a Jewish mother. Her father divorces her mother when he realizes that being married to her will put him in danger. There is a 3rd prominent person, Klara Schmidt. Klara and Hanna become friends in the BDM( Four bright stars for an absorbing book of historical fiction, set in Germany, August 1938-December 1939. The book is narrated by two women, Hanna Rombauer and Mathilde Altman. Hanna is a German woman engaged to an SS officer who rapes her because he can. Mathilde "Tilde"has a German father and a Jewish mother. Her father divorces her mother when he realizes that being married to her will put him in danger. There is a 3rd prominent person, Klara Schmidt. Klara and Hanna become friends in the BDM(Bund Deutscher Madel), a Hitler youth group that their parents/ guardians insist that they join. Hanna is staying with her Aunt and Uncle, because her mother has died and her father believes that she will be better off with his brother and wife. Klara was hoping that SS officer Friedrich Schroeder would ask her to marry, but he decides to ask Hanna. Although the title and blurb suggest that the main focus of the book is a school for German brides, this does not happen until more than halfway through the book. Both Klara nad Hanna are sent to this prestigious school to learn how to be proper wives for German officers. I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. Thank You William Morrow for sending me this book.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    About the book: “In this intriguing historical novel, a young woman who is sent to a horrific "bride school" to be molded into the perfect Nazi wife finds her life forever intertwined with a young Jewish woman about to give birth.” World War II and the Holocaust… The untold stories are countless. The School for German Brides is one such story. A school to train women into being perfect Nazi wives. Just as the war begins, Hanna’s mother passes away, and she’s sent to live with relatives and then m About the book: “In this intriguing historical novel, a young woman who is sent to a horrific "bride school" to be molded into the perfect Nazi wife finds her life forever intertwined with a young Jewish woman about to give birth.” World War II and the Holocaust… The untold stories are countless. The School for German Brides is one such story. A school to train women into being perfect Nazi wives. Just as the war begins, Hanna’s mother passes away, and she’s sent to live with relatives and then matched with an SS officer. Her mother had allowed her to be independent, but that is not ok in her upcoming role, so she’s sent to school to unlearn and relearn how to be a “proper” wife. Hanna never accepts this and wants to flee. Tilde is both German and Jewish and also pregnant. Her life is becoming more dangerous, and she has to go into hiding. Hanna discovers Tilde and determines she must help her. You also have to meet Klara and how she connects to the story. The School for German Brides is tightly written, and gosh, I loved these characters. It’s an emotional story full of compassion and people willing to sacrifice it all for others. A haunting story, a harrowing journey, and the goodness of others. Well-done. I received a gifted copy. Many of my reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com and instagram: www.instagram.com/tarheelreader

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karren Sandercock

    The School For German Brides is a story about three young German women and what happens to them during the Second World War. They come from different backgrounds, due to the war their circumstances change and during a extremely volatile time. Hanna Rombauer leaves Teisendorf, her father sends her to live with her aunt Charlotte and uncle Otto in Berlin. Hanna wants to finish school, go to university and become a doctor. Hitler won’t allow women to work as doctors, instead he wants them to marry a The School For German Brides is a story about three young German women and what happens to them during the Second World War. They come from different backgrounds, due to the war their circumstances change and during a extremely volatile time. Hanna Rombauer leaves Teisendorf, her father sends her to live with her aunt Charlotte and uncle Otto in Berlin. Hanna wants to finish school, go to university and become a doctor. Hitler won’t allow women to work as doctors, instead he wants them to marry and have babies. Aunt Charlotte showers Hanna with expensive clothes and jewellery and she discovers why. She wants Hanna to marry influential SS officer Friedrich Schroeder, he's much older than her and she feels trapped. Klara Schmidt attends the same school as Hanna, Klara's mother is friends and mixes in the same party social circles as Hanna's aunt and uncle. They meet a young Jewish dressmaker called Mathilde Altman, Titlde's situation is grim, she's alone and pregnant. The School For German Brides gives you an idea of what it was like for young German women during the Second World War, they were expected to to their patriotic duty, marry a brave German soldier and have Aryan babies. But it wasn't the same for everyone, so Hanna and Klara team together while at " Bride School " to what they can for Tilde and her unborn baby. I received a copy of The School For German Brides from NetGalley and William Morrow and Custom House in exchange for an honest review, Aimie K. Runyan looks at the Second World War from a different point of view and what it was like for German women at the time. I felt a real connection to the characters and cared about what happened to them due to how well the narrative was written and five stars from me. https://karrenreadsbooks.blogspot.com/ https://www.facebook.com/KarrenReadsH...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Katie B

    I pass on the majority of WW2 historical fiction novels but I made an exception for The School for German Brides because it offered the opportunity to learn about a different aspect of the war. The premise is odd and intriguing as part of the storyline involves young German women receiving training on how to be a perfect wife for when the time comes to marry a Nazi officer. It was a fascinating read. The story takes place in Germany in the year 1939 and alternates between two women, Hanna Rombaue I pass on the majority of WW2 historical fiction novels but I made an exception for The School for German Brides because it offered the opportunity to learn about a different aspect of the war. The premise is odd and intriguing as part of the storyline involves young German women receiving training on how to be a perfect wife for when the time comes to marry a Nazi officer. It was a fascinating read. The story takes place in Germany in the year 1939 and alternates between two women, Hanna Rombauer and Mathilde Altman. Hanna has been sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle after her mother's death. She soon realizes she is expected to marry to improve her social standing rather than for love. She wants no part in a world where she is forced to be a dutiful wife and mother not just for her husband but for the good of the country. Instead she dreams of becoming a doctor even though the government banned females from practicing medicine. Mathilde Altman is Jewish and is working with her mother as a seamstress to make ends meet. It has been increasingly difficult lately as more and more Jewish owned businesses have been targets by the government. The publisher synopsis practically gives you the entire outline of the story so I chose to just give you a few details rather than spoil everything. The author did a great job making you feel invested in the lead characters. And I don't think that was the easiest feat to pull off when it comes to the character of Hanna. A first impression might be to not have an ounce of sympathy for Hanna because in comparison Mathilde's situation is dire. But it goes to show you that yes, the two women have different backgrounds, different circumstances but neither were in complete control of the future. It's sad, it's dark, it's tragic, but you also see glimpses of light as you witness acts of bravery. A worthwhile read in my humble opinion. I won an advance copy of this book in a giveaway by Book Club Girl and the publisher. All thoughts expressed are my honest opinion.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

    It is 1938 in Germany, and we meet Hanna, Tilde, and Klara. Hanna has been sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle in Berlin with the sole purpose of having Hanna marry a high-ranking German officer and raise their status as well. Tilde is a Jewish seamstress trying to stay safe during this time of turmoil and was friends with both Hanna and Klara. Klara was a wealthy German woman but one who secretly helped her Jewish friends and others. Alternating chapters tell us of Hanna’s and Tilde’s life It is 1938 in Germany, and we meet Hanna, Tilde, and Klara. Hanna has been sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle in Berlin with the sole purpose of having Hanna marry a high-ranking German officer and raise their status as well. Tilde is a Jewish seamstress trying to stay safe during this time of turmoil and was friends with both Hanna and Klara. Klara was a wealthy German woman but one who secretly helped her Jewish friends and others. Alternating chapters tell us of Hanna’s and Tilde’s life - one whose life had advantages and one who was living in fear. You will feel the pain both women are feeling and for different reasons...one because she had to be a cruel German officer's wife and one because she and her baby had to hide and keep under the radar. Klara was good to both women. THE SCHOOL FOR GERMAN BRIDES is excellently written and a book that will draw you in because of how well the author portrays the three main characters, their plights, and their strength. THE SCHOOL FOR GERMAN BRIDES is a book you will be anxious to get back to and will love. 5/5 This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.

  6. 4 out of 5

    J'nell Ciesielski

    Equal parts fascinating and horrifying, Runyan offers a riveting tale of love, loss, and survival not only of life but of the human spirit. Readers are dipped into a genteel world of young ladies, wooing suitors, satin dresses, and proper etiquette, but this world is a thin veneer for hatred and intolerance for anything less than perfect. Compelling from start to finish, this is Runyan's finest work yet. Equal parts fascinating and horrifying, Runyan offers a riveting tale of love, loss, and survival not only of life but of the human spirit. Readers are dipped into a genteel world of young ladies, wooing suitors, satin dresses, and proper etiquette, but this world is a thin veneer for hatred and intolerance for anything less than perfect. Compelling from start to finish, this is Runyan's finest work yet.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shirley McAllister

    Given No Choice A tragic and heartbreaking story of three young women growing up in a Germany that is being controlled by the Nazi Party. Of choices they were not allowed to make and choices they were forced to make in order to stay alive. In this time of chaos where the Jewish population was forced to either flee Germany or stay and be sent to concentration or death camps to perish. A story of those that would help them and those that would denounce them to the Germans. No one was safe and no pl Given No Choice A tragic and heartbreaking story of three young women growing up in a Germany that is being controlled by the Nazi Party. Of choices they were not allowed to make and choices they were forced to make in order to stay alive. In this time of chaos where the Jewish population was forced to either flee Germany or stay and be sent to concentration or death camps to perish. A story of those that would help them and those that would denounce them to the Germans. No one was safe and no place was safe. Those you thought were friends and relatives were as dangerous as the Nazi's themselves. Tilde is a dressmaker, her and her mother run a small dry goods store and make custom dresses for the rich that can afford them. Tilde even gives dressmaking lessons to those girls in an affluent home that wish them. This is how she meets Klara whom she gives lessons to on dressmaking. Then when Hanna is sent to live with her aunt and uncle and needs dresses for dances and dinners Klara recommends Tilde to Hanna. Tilde's father is a Nazi and he left Tilde and divorced her mother when it became unhealthy for a German to be married to a Jewish woman. After Tilde's husband left to find his Jewish family that had been taken away by the Nazi's, she is pregnant and alone. When the German's raid her apartment and shop she has no one to help and goes to Klara for help. Both Klara and Hanna are engaged to German SS Officers that have been chosen by Klara's parents and Hanna's aunt and uncle. Since they have had some views and a few issues that are unbecoming to a German wife they have both been sent to a school for German brides to learn to be the perfect German wife. All they want is to escape but that is not a choice given to them. When Tilde asks Klara for help she is on the brink of having her baby. Klara hides her in a caretaker's shack on an estate by the school. When her baby comes she enlists Hanna's help who delivers Tilde's baby in the shack. Tilde is caught escaping and the girls make up a story to keep her safe, but Friedrich , Hannah's fiancee does not buy it and she must marry him to keep Tilde and the baby safe. What will become of Tilde and the baby and will Klara and Hanna be safe with the ruthless SS Officers they have been forced to marry? What is their story and how will it take place? This was a book about women and how they were oppressed in Nazi Germany. How they exerted themselves in little ways to help others and how dangerous it was for everyone that disagreed in any way with the Nazi Party. This was a good historical book, it wasn't violent nor did it go into gruesome details of the war, but rather it spoke of the truths and the horrors of the Nazi regime. It spoke of the German people and how it was in that time in history. I am glad I read this book and I would recommend it. Thanks to Aimie K. Runyan for writing a great story, to William Morrow and Custom House for publishing it and to NetGalley for making it available to me.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    The author is a masterful historical fiction writer, as evidenced by this gripping tale of young women in Germany in 1939. Hanna is from a prominent Nazi family and forced to attend a bride school before she weds an older SS officer. She is a spirited independent thinker, and this arranged engagement and all the Nazis stand for go against her deepest beliefs. When she discovers a young pregnant Jewish woman hiding, she knows she must help her even at great risk to herself. The story totally captu The author is a masterful historical fiction writer, as evidenced by this gripping tale of young women in Germany in 1939. Hanna is from a prominent Nazi family and forced to attend a bride school before she weds an older SS officer. She is a spirited independent thinker, and this arranged engagement and all the Nazis stand for go against her deepest beliefs. When she discovers a young pregnant Jewish woman hiding, she knows she must help her even at great risk to herself. The story totally captured me and left me asking: "Would I have the courage to do the right thing?" The best books leave me pondering searing questions, and The School for German Brides did just that. Highly recommended for histfic fans, those interested in pre-WWII, and anyone who loves tales that won't let you go. Pub Date Apr 26, 2022 #TheSchoolforGermanBrides #NetGalley Thanks to the author and William Morrow and Custom House, William Morrow Paperbacks, for the review copy, plus NetGalley for the ARC. Opinions are mine.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Soraya Lane

    Without a doubt this is the best historical fiction novel I've read in a long time. A brilliant cast of characters, flawless writing... I honestly felt like I was there. I highly recommend this novel to all my readers, it was WWII fiction at its absolute best. An easy 5 stars from me! Without a doubt this is the best historical fiction novel I've read in a long time. A brilliant cast of characters, flawless writing... I honestly felt like I was there. I highly recommend this novel to all my readers, it was WWII fiction at its absolute best. An easy 5 stars from me!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Long

    This is a captivating story about women in Germany during WWII. What does one do when you are betrothed to one of the highest ranking members of the SS…especially when you have dreams and a mind of your own. This is the challenge that is set before Hanna when she is sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Berlin. As they climb the Nazi party ladder, it’s imperative that they marry off their niece to a man of great prestige no matter how cruel and controlling he might be. Hanna struggles to keep This is a captivating story about women in Germany during WWII. What does one do when you are betrothed to one of the highest ranking members of the SS…especially when you have dreams and a mind of your own. This is the challenge that is set before Hanna when she is sent to live with her aunt and uncle in Berlin. As they climb the Nazi party ladder, it’s imperative that they marry off their niece to a man of great prestige no matter how cruel and controlling he might be. Hanna struggles to keep her head above water and at times fears for her life. Tilde is in a similar situation of trying to survive though her challenges are different as she is a Mischling and her very existence is threatened. They are linked by one moment in time that changes both of their lives forever. This book kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. It really made me think about what I would do if I were in each of these ladies situations. Being a woman in Germany during WWII, I just can’t even fathom. I’m grateful for this book because even though it is a work of fiction, it portrayed real possibilities and from different points of views. Thank you to NetGalley, William Morrow and Custom House and Aimee K Runyan for early access to this page turner.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    The School for German Brides by Aimie K. Runyan is a great WWII-sra historical fiction that kept me entertained and on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I have been a fan of Ms. Runyan for a while now, so I was excited to read her newest book. This one alternates between Hanna and Tilde giving the reader several angles and viewpoints in which to experience the plot. This mostly takes place in the late 1930s in Berlin. We see how society is changing from the “German upper class” standpoin The School for German Brides by Aimie K. Runyan is a great WWII-sra historical fiction that kept me entertained and on the edge of my seat from beginning to end. I have been a fan of Ms. Runyan for a while now, so I was excited to read her newest book. This one alternates between Hanna and Tilde giving the reader several angles and viewpoints in which to experience the plot. This mostly takes place in the late 1930s in Berlin. We see how society is changing from the “German upper class” standpoint and from the standpoint of Tilde, a German Jew. It is fascinating to see the same events and time period from the eyes of two women that give it a stark contrast between one another. It is also fascinating to contemplate what characteristics that are present within someone that either allows them to follow the masses obediently, as Hanna was initially expected to do, or to challenge the system and choose right from wrong…risking everything in that choice. The strong female characters, the relationships, the suspense, the surprises, and the final ending all were satisfying and entertaining despite some of the heavier material presented. A great historical fiction book that could even appeal to book clubs as well. 4.5/5 stars Thank you NG and William Morrow for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Christine M in Texas

    This is the story about Hanna, Tidle and Klara. They all come from different backgrounds and expectations. This novel is set in WWII in Germany. They each have their own desires. Hanna wants to go to school to become a doctor, but her aunt and uncle want her to marry Frederick, an SS officer who takes what he wants. Klara wants to become a fashion designer and Tilde a lawyer. They each have obstacles in their way including Hitler’s laws as Tilde is a Jewish dressmaker and is fighting to survive. This is the story about Hanna, Tidle and Klara. They all come from different backgrounds and expectations. This novel is set in WWII in Germany. They each have their own desires. Hanna wants to go to school to become a doctor, but her aunt and uncle want her to marry Frederick, an SS officer who takes what he wants. Klara wants to become a fashion designer and Tilde a lawyer. They each have obstacles in their way including Hitler’s laws as Tilde is a Jewish dressmaker and is fighting to survive. As the women are sent to a school for German Brides, they are taught to be proper wives to their German soldiers and produce children for the Fatherland. A unique novel, that captivating me from the first page. If you love Historical Fiction, I highly recommend this book.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nursebookie

    TITLE: The School for German Brides: A Novel of World War II AUTHOR: Aimie K Runyan- Vetter PUB DATE: 04.26.22 Now Available Germany, 1939
 
As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, whose life intersects with Mathilde ‘Tilde’ Altman, a pregnant German Jewish woman. Hanna finds herself fixed to enjoy seems to be a perfect life of luxury and position, when she finds herself unwillingly matched with an SS officer, sent off to bride school where once again, she finds herself in unimagi TITLE: The School for German Brides: A Novel of World War II AUTHOR: Aimie K Runyan- Vetter PUB DATE: 04.26.22 Now Available Germany, 1939
 
As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, whose life intersects with Mathilde ‘Tilde’ Altman, a pregnant German Jewish woman. Hanna finds herself fixed to enjoy seems to be a perfect life of luxury and position, when she finds herself unwillingly matched with an SS officer, sent off to bride school where once again, she finds herself in unimaginable situation, that she must leave. Hanna finds herself helping Tilde, and in doing so risks her own life to save mother and baby. The writing was rich in detail and wonderfully researched. I could not believe what I keep on learning about WWII historical fiction. There is always an angle I have yet to learn about or a detail lost in history. I enjoyed the engaging plot that was exciting and thrilling that kept me turning those pages.

  14. 4 out of 5

    LittleRead

    SO many books have been written on WWII that you can’t help but read the same story over and over. This book, however, takes a completely fresh perspective from the perspective of women, both Jewish and Gentile. From the earliest days of HItler’s rise to the fall of Germany and beyond. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book. The perspective was absolutely touching and you find yourself pleading for the safety of the main characters, their family and friends. While not everyone survived WW SO many books have been written on WWII that you can’t help but read the same story over and over. This book, however, takes a completely fresh perspective from the perspective of women, both Jewish and Gentile. From the earliest days of HItler’s rise to the fall of Germany and beyond. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed this book. The perspective was absolutely touching and you find yourself pleading for the safety of the main characters, their family and friends. While not everyone survived WWII, we know that some did and not all Germans were supportive of the Fuhrer’s efforts. Take the time to read this one and you’ll see see a different perspective than so many others have written. I highly recommend this book for Historical Fiction lovers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Susan Peterson

    Aimie K. Runyan has written another extraordinary historical fiction novel, further cementing her reputation as one of the best authors of that genre. In this book she has transported us to Germany in the late 1930’s, when the atrocities against Jews, immigrants, and “others” are becoming rampant. Thrust in the middle of this era are two young German women; Hanna, whose life becomes entrenched in the world of being a proper German wife to an SS officer; and Tilde, a German Jewish woman whose way Aimie K. Runyan has written another extraordinary historical fiction novel, further cementing her reputation as one of the best authors of that genre. In this book she has transported us to Germany in the late 1930’s, when the atrocities against Jews, immigrants, and “others” are becoming rampant. Thrust in the middle of this era are two young German women; Hanna, whose life becomes entrenched in the world of being a proper German wife to an SS officer; and Tilde, a German Jewish woman whose way of life, her home, her loved ones, and her own life could be torn from her at any moment. Each of their stories are equally compelling and filled with heartache; both women are fighting the misogyny, prejudice and expectations of that time, with the backdrop of the war and Hitler’s Germany making it nearly impossible for them to escape. I worried about them, I cheered for them, I wept for them, I was proud of them for all of the ways they tried to make a difference for others as well as themselves. I couldn’t help but wonder how many more Hanna’s there were during the war, women who had little choice but to toe the line, outwardly being the perfect German wife—but inside churning with a desperation to flee that life, to find a way to help those whose lives were destroyed by their powerful, brutal husbands? And isn’t that the beauty of good historical fiction; to see beyond the facts and figures, to live alongside the characters in a book to gain understanding and compassion, for the real, complex people who lived through these events?

  16. 5 out of 5

    Linda Zagon

    Aimie K. Runyan, the author of “The School for German Brides” has written an intriguing, captivating, and intense novel. The genre for this novel is Historical Fiction, and the timeline is World War Two in Germany. I love the way the author describes her dramatic and colorful characters and the landscape. The characters are described as complex, and complicated. Some are courageous, and some are weak and evil. During this tragic time in history, I was fascinated by Aimie K. Runyan’s mention of “ Aimie K. Runyan, the author of “The School for German Brides” has written an intriguing, captivating, and intense novel. The genre for this novel is Historical Fiction, and the timeline is World War Two in Germany. I love the way the author describes her dramatic and colorful characters and the landscape. The characters are described as complex, and complicated. Some are courageous, and some are weak and evil. During this tragic time in history, I was fascinated by Aimie K. Runyan’s mention of “The School for German Brides” There was a unique educational school for fiancees of German soldiers to learn to be exemplary wives and support Hitler’s views of German theology through motherhood and the expectations of what German wives should excel in. There are three women in this story. Hanna is sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle in Germany after her mother’s death. Her aunt and uncle try to groom her so she can meet a prestigious SS soldier. Everything seems to be determined for her. Hanna does remember how kind and helpful her mother was, and would love to be a doctor, which is frowned upon. Hanna questions hatred, prejudice, and politics. When she becomes engaged to a SS soldier, she finds herself under pressure. Klara is an acquaintance of Hanna, and for a while they are friends. Klara is pressured to find an SS soldier as well. Tilde, owns a sewing and fabric store. Her mother is Jewish, and her father is German and abandoned her and her mother. Tilde is able to get away with her German physical appearance and seems to be safe for a while. She does marry and gets pregnant. Especially during this climate in German, there is betrayal, and it is hard to know who to trust. There are secrets, betrayals, and danger. Some women band together, and there is a sisterhood. The author has written a memorable and thought-provoking novel that I highly recommend for others to read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Amy Specht

    This story is interesting, exciting and terrifying all at the same time. A good read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction! Hanna, a German girl bound for marriage to a high ranking officer, and Tilde, a mixed blood Jewish German girl find their way through WWII with unexpected connections between them. I truly enjoyed my first novel of Runyan, and I’m interested to read other books of hers in the future. I found her writing style to be very easy to follow and easy to get emotionally involved This story is interesting, exciting and terrifying all at the same time. A good read for anyone who enjoys historical fiction! Hanna, a German girl bound for marriage to a high ranking officer, and Tilde, a mixed blood Jewish German girl find their way through WWII with unexpected connections between them. I truly enjoyed my first novel of Runyan, and I’m interested to read other books of hers in the future. I found her writing style to be very easy to follow and easy to get emotionally involved in her story and characters. I felt real emotions for both the main characters, Hanna and Hilde. Throughout the novel I continually asked myself what I would do in the situations presented to these characters as life in these times would be incredibly awful and difficult. I extremely disliked EVERY SINGLE male character in this book. Now I assume the author did this on purpose? I should hope so. There were few moments where I thought Runyan would change my mind about some of the males, and then nope, it just wasn’t happening. My only critique, and it’s a tiny one, is the title of this novel. Highly recommend this one if you like historical fiction during WWII!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Janilyn Kocher

    You’re going to want to dive into this book immediately after getting it. Ever wonder what it took to be considered a proper German fraulein cum frau? Read this book and find out. There’s so much below the surface. The read will keep you preoccupied and pondering. Dig deep and see what perfidy awaits. Thanks to William Morrow and NetGalley for the early read.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

    WOW! When it comes out for the public, READ IT. No spoilers, here - this book blew me away, though, and I am grateful to the publisher and the author for the story, and my advance reader's copy. While it may be fiction, I am certain it has captured the real experiences of some German women during the Holocaust. They can't ALL have been evil - I refuse to believe that, even with the current state of affairs in this, and other, countries. May we learn a lesson from the past, and stop this kind of WOW! When it comes out for the public, READ IT. No spoilers, here - this book blew me away, though, and I am grateful to the publisher and the author for the story, and my advance reader's copy. While it may be fiction, I am certain it has captured the real experiences of some German women during the Holocaust. They can't ALL have been evil - I refuse to believe that, even with the current state of affairs in this, and other, countries. May we learn a lesson from the past, and stop this kind of pain, this time around.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jazzie077

    The School for German Brides by Aimie Runyan. Pub Date: April 26, 2022. Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. To say I loved and was completely immersed in this novel is an understatement. Told through the experiences of three young females from different backgrounds against the landscape of WWII, the reader gets varying perspectives of what it meant to be a young female during this time period. The author portrayed the German side with Hanna being forced into a relationship with an SS officer, her friend Klara and th The School for German Brides by Aimie Runyan. Pub Date: April 26, 2022. Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟. To say I loved and was completely immersed in this novel is an understatement. Told through the experiences of three young females from different backgrounds against the landscape of WWII, the reader gets varying perspectives of what it meant to be a young female during this time period. The author portrayed the German side with Hanna being forced into a relationship with an SS officer, her friend Klara and then Tilde with the Jewish perspective as a young dressmaker who ultimately falls in love and gets pregnant. Hanna and Klara attend a school on how to be a German bride and discover Tilde in her current situation. I loved everything about this novel from the time period to a fresh perspective in a genre that is very populated. I highly recommend this book and you won’t be able to put this one down! Thanks to @netgalley and @williammorrowbooks for this e-arc in exchange for my honest review. #bookstagram #bibliophile #bookworm #igreads #williammorrowbooks #theschoolforgermanbrides #netgalley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Donna McCaul Thibodeau

    This is the story of Hanna, a young German woman who goes to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother's death. It's also the story of Tilde, a half Jewish German, who is a seamstress to both Hanna and her friend Klara. My problem with this book is that it was titled The School For German Brides but that part was at the very end of the book, it was very misleading. It also didn't feel like there was much depth to the story. This was just an average read for me. This is the story of Hanna, a young German woman who goes to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother's death. It's also the story of Tilde, a half Jewish German, who is a seamstress to both Hanna and her friend Klara. My problem with this book is that it was titled The School For German Brides but that part was at the very end of the book, it was very misleading. It also didn't feel like there was much depth to the story. This was just an average read for me.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey (Bring My Books)

    Thank you to Edelweiss, William Morrow Paperbacks, & HarperCollins for the opportunity to read and review this book before it's publication date! This in no way affected my review, opinions are my own. BRING BORROW BYPASS I've said it before and I'll say it (yet) again - I love how many stories and point of views have yet to be explored in historical fiction. With as much historical fiction as I've read, this book stood out to me for a number of reasons (a lot of which I can't really get into it w Thank you to Edelweiss, William Morrow Paperbacks, & HarperCollins for the opportunity to read and review this book before it's publication date! This in no way affected my review, opinions are my own. BRING BORROW BYPASS I've said it before and I'll say it (yet) again - I love how many stories and point of views have yet to be explored in historical fiction. With as much historical fiction as I've read, this book stood out to me for a number of reasons (a lot of which I can't really get into it without spoiling some major plot points, unfortunately). Suffice it to say that this was a nuanced (albeit frustratingly - maddeningly - despicable) take on how regular citizens coped underneath the Nazi regime; both in making the best of their situations and doing small things to help others. I really enjoyed the characterizations of all the main characters, and liked how the novel was set up - with two alternating viewpoints, that of Hanna and Tilde, and then Klara, the girl that connected them both but had no POV dedicated to her. I think this would be a really good book club pick, providing lots of topics to discuss - some definitely harder than others. Would absolutely recommend this novel to those looking for more books in the WWII Historical Fiction genre! Content Warnings: (view spoiler)[Antisemitism, Mentions of Concentration Camps, Description of Kristallnacht (directly impacting MC), Rape, Spousal Rape, Forced Marriage, Parental Abandonment (hide spoiler)]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dawnny

    This story takes place in 1938 Germany. When Hanna's mother dies she is sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle. They expect Hanna to marry a German officer and send her to bride school to learn how to be a proper German wife. Hanna is independent and doesn't approve of all the things happening or the ways of the Nazi's. There is also a German Jewish woman named Mathilde who is in fear for the safety of her unborn child. I love the strength and courage these woman had. This was a tear jerke This story takes place in 1938 Germany. When Hanna's mother dies she is sent to live with her wealthy aunt and uncle. They expect Hanna to marry a German officer and send her to bride school to learn how to be a proper German wife. Hanna is independent and doesn't approve of all the things happening or the ways of the Nazi's. There is also a German Jewish woman named Mathilde who is in fear for the safety of her unborn child. I love the strength and courage these woman had. This was a tear jerker for me as I easily placed myself in their shoes and my thoughts raced with what would I do? Don't miss this one. It will definitely stay with you long after. Dawnny Ruby Novels N Latte Hudson Valley NY

  24. 5 out of 5

    Darcie

    There was so much potential with this book. I've read quite a bit of WWII historical fiction, and I feel like the author had a unique angle she wanted to explore. I was particularly intrigued by the two characters who, due to societal expectations at the time, were expected to marry Nazi soldiers. The women had few options- no sources of income, restricted access to education, and fractured, emotionally abusive family relationships. The third character was a half-Jewish woman with few options he There was so much potential with this book. I've read quite a bit of WWII historical fiction, and I feel like the author had a unique angle she wanted to explore. I was particularly intrigued by the two characters who, due to societal expectations at the time, were expected to marry Nazi soldiers. The women had few options- no sources of income, restricted access to education, and fractured, emotionally abusive family relationships. The third character was a half-Jewish woman with few options herself. Their individual stories collide with each other in a way that had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, the pace of the book was inconsistent. In a strange way, I felt like there were some angles to the characters that never were explored, and other angles that too much time was spent dwelling on. For a story that should have had a lot of action, things moved slowly until about the last 50 pages of the book. It then ended in such an abrupt way that it felt disingenuous. It almost seemed as if the author herself started getting bored and just wanted it to end. Great idea, less impressive execution.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie Landsem

    The School for German Brides shows in fascinating historic detail the plight of young German women during the years Hitler controlled their country. The choices between good and evil, the pressures of family and friends, and the real threats of death or arrest for those who resisted the policies of Hitler that were sweeping through the nation and the world. The three young women were utterly relatable as we saw their choices dwindle to either compliance with the status quo or life-threatening re The School for German Brides shows in fascinating historic detail the plight of young German women during the years Hitler controlled their country. The choices between good and evil, the pressures of family and friends, and the real threats of death or arrest for those who resisted the policies of Hitler that were sweeping through the nation and the world. The three young women were utterly relatable as we saw their choices dwindle to either compliance with the status quo or life-threatening resistance. If you are drawn to novels showing the lesser-known events and perspectives of WWII, The School for German Brides will keep you reading to a satisfying and believable conclusion.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Crystal

    The School for German Brides was a wonderful story from 3 different points of views. Most WWII historical fiction books talk about resistance, but this one had a different spin to resistance. I felt this book was nicely written and I really enjoyed the ending

  27. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    3.5 stars. The title is misleading as the actual school for German Brides pops up at the end of the book and given very little attention. This is another World War II novel, a good read but not a knock-your-socks-off one.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    Note: I received an advanced copy of this book from William Morrow and Custom House via NetGalley. Germany, 1939 - As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother's death. Thrown into a life of luxury she never expected, Hanna soon finds herself unwillingly matched with an SS officer. The independence that her mother lovingly fostered in her is considered highly inappropriate as the future wife of an up-and-coming officer and she i Note: I received an advanced copy of this book from William Morrow and Custom House via NetGalley. Germany, 1939 - As the war begins, Hanna Rombauer, a young German woman, is sent to live with her aunt and uncle after her mother's death. Thrown into a life of luxury she never expected, Hanna soon finds herself unwillingly matched with an SS officer. The independence that her mother lovingly fostered in her is considered highly inappropriate as the future wife of an up-and-coming officer and she is sent to a "bride school." There, in a posh villa on the outskirts of town, Hanna is taught how to be a "proper" German wife. The lessons of hatred, prejudice, and misogyny disturb her and she finds herself desperate to escape. For Mathilde Altman, a German Jewish woman, the war has brought more devastation than she ever thought possible. Torn from her work, her family, and her new husband, she fights to keep her unborn baby safe. But when the unthinkable happens, Tilde realizes she must hide. The risk of discovery grows greater with each passing day, but she has no other options. When Hanna discovers that Tilde hiding near the school, she knows she must help her however she can. For Tilde, fear wars with desperation. The women must take extraordinary risks to save the lives of mother and baby. Will they both be able to escape with their lives and if they do, what kind of future can they possibly hope for? My favorite character in this book was definitely Mathilde, she was so strong; first for her mother, then for her husband and ultimately for herself. I liked getting the multiple perspectives during World War II of just how stuck certain German women were in the world they grew up in and that not everyone was brainwashed to have the same opinion, people still worked behind the scenes for what was right. “It’s preposterous to me how men can spend their lives surrounded by the love of their mothers, wives, sisters, and daughters but not think them capable of the same tasks as men are. Or worse, know that they are capable of these things, but keep them repressed to satisfy the needs of their own insecurities. What a sad way to live.” "Why would you make an alliance with a man who represents a party that wants to take women’s place in society back a hundred years?"

  29. 4 out of 5

    Amber Talaski

    I wanted to like this book so much, but it was just pretty underwhelming for me. There were lots of really interesting potential story lines that didn’t get explored, and there were quite a few moments where characters had huge shifts but the explanations given for why were really lacking or unbelievable. The last 20 pages were just a big “huh?” from me.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Zayna

    As powerful as the prose was, the ending was a let down

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