Aimie K. Runyan, the author of “The School for German Brides” has written an intriguing, captivating and intense novel. The genres 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 special 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.