This month my bookclub read In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson.
The book: A true story set in 1933 about a mild-mannered professor from Chicago, William E. Dodd, who overnight becomes America's first ambassador to Hitler's Germany. Dodd is accompanied by his wife, son and flamboyant daughter who is enchanted by the parties and young men of the Third Reich. Meanwhile her father watches with increasing horror as Jews are attacked, the press is censored and the spiralling violence reveals Hitler's true ambitions.
What we thought:
Melinda: I thought it was a fantastic read. Another history lesson for me. I feel I have such a better understanding of the mood of Germany and the US in 1932 and 1933, following WW1. I found the story told, through the life of the Dodd family, an interesting perspective which highlighted the personalities of the Nazis and the locals. A must-read.
Ellen: One reason I enjoy my book group is because you can go even when
you can't find time to read the book, and you leave having read it
vicariously. Showing up matters. I think that was a theme in this
Our next book is The Seamstress by Frances De Pontes Peebles. Read along with us!