TRIGGER WARNING: Nazi atrocities
Libby needs to re-evaluate her whole life when her 96 year old father is accused of being a Nazi war criminal. She starts from a position of denial but can’t challenge the evidence. How will her family survive this shocking revelation?
When We Were Innocent is a dual timeline book showing the present day in America and WW2 Germany/Sobibor.
I was completely gripped by this book. The premise is fascinating as a man, gentle and well loved, is accused of the worst of crimes. Libby is certain that her father could never be complicit in genocide but the evidence suggests the contrary. Her family is torn apart but the allegations yet her father remains silent and doesn’t deny or admit the charges.
Meanwhile we are shown Hans’ experience of the Sobibor extermination camp. His naivety at the function of the camp and the gradual shocking realisation is tragic. Hans is sickened by what he witnesses but tries to block it out due to fearing for his own safety and that of his sister.
The ethical and moral side to both timelines is fascinating and makes the reader wonder how they would cope in the same circumstances. Emotions are thoroughly explored and described which brings the characters and events to life. It is difficult to reconcile the image of the young or old Hans with the specific crime he is accused of and this builds tension as the book progresses.
When We Were Innocent is just such a good book. The plot and characters were absolutely perfect and I couldn’t put the book down!
You love your father with all your heart. But what if he’s not who you think he is? What if he’s kept an unforgiveable secret from you his whole life?
Libby Trent believes she knows the difference between right and wrong.
But everything changes when she finds out about a man named Hans Brenner, a Nazi who escaped Germany after the Second World War. A war criminal who has lived his whole life in hiding.
Because the man suspected of being Hans Brenner is Libby’s own beloved father.
The sweetest, gentlest man she knows. Who raised her alone, who lives in her family home. Who cares for and watches over Libby’s own children.
When Libby finds a secret box in her father’s bedroom, she knows it might contain evidence. But does she dare open it, if it could prove her father guilty of the most heinous crimes in history?
Because if she finds evidence, she won’t just have to choose between right and wrong, she’ll have to choose whether to betray her own father…
A totally heartbreaking and powerful story about a daughter’s impossible dilemma and the darkest of family secrets, perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult, Amanda Prowse, and Diane Chamberlain.
Kate Hewitt is the author of many romance and women’s fiction novels. A former New Yorker and now an American ex-pat, she lives in a small town on the Welsh border with her husband, five children, and their overly affectionate Golden Retriever. Whatever the genre, she enjoys telling stories that tackle real issues and touch people’s lives.
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