Book Review: Vanished in Berlin by Gry Finsnes

5-14-2015 7-53-45 PM

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VBSMASHTitle: Vanished in Berlin

Author: Gry Finsnes

Genre: Historical Romance

Length: 404 pages

Release Date: February 2, 2015



If you love two countries and they go to war with each other, which one do you choose to fight for? The German musician Friedrich is in Norway with his Norwegian girlfriend Ellen when Hitler attacks in April 1940. They flee together from Oslo but happen to find themselves very close to the fighting. Their dilemma is that both like Germany but not the Nazis, and Friedrich does not want to fight. Ellen hides him, pretending that he is Dutch. After a long struggle they end up in her grandparents’ house on the coast where they spend some idyllic months. But it cannot last forever. When Friedrich disappears Ellen goes to Vienna and Berlin in the middle of war to look for him.


My Review

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

Vanished in Berlin is historical fiction but it is based factually on World War II. The author even based some of the details on talks with people who were there or documents from people who were there. She explains this in detail at the end of the book, which I always like.

The story of Ellen and Friederich is a tragic one. It’s the story of a young couple in love in the midst of the horrible circumstances of war and being unlucky to have been born in opposing countries. Although it is the fictional part of this book, I can see how it could have actually happened.

The characters are realistic for that time period, I think. From what I’ve read, there were many soldiers for Germany who were forced to fight. It was fight or die. And many people didn’t know what atrocities Hitler was capable of, so I can see how many young people would join the cause for Germany even if they didn’t entirely believe in the cause for the Nazis.

I liked Vanished in Berlin especially since the historical fiction I like most has been researched and puts fictional characters in fact based times and places. I did feel that there was a little too much historical detail at times but that’s a personal preference.

Anyone who likes historical fiction should like Vanished in Berlin. I’m hoping that there will be another book about Ellen in the future.


About the Author

Gry Finsnes, Norwegian, has lived in Sweden, India, England, Germany and France. After university studies in Oslo in French and English literature, she started her career as a teacher, but had to give it up as she moved out of the country. She has published two thrillers in Swedish but has recently written in English.


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