Book Review: The Women in the Castle

Most WWII/Holocaust books tell the story of a Jew undergoing horrendous acts or an ultra magnanimous non-Jew who risks everything to save Jewish people.  This is one of the first books I’ve seen that tells the story of “ordinary Germans,” people who are not necessarily committing terrible acts but also not going out of their way to do anything good.  Or perhaps are involved in the Nazi movement because they got swept into it without fully realizing what it meant.

Marianne, Benita, and Ania were married to men who went above and beyond as active resistors who tried to assassinate Hitler.  That may sound extraordinary, but as wives they more or less went about their day as “regular” Germans.  After the war, they live together as widows, trying to piece together their lives in a castle that belonged to Marianne’s family.  While Marianne sees things in absolutes, she learns her fellow widows may have more complicated pasts that make it difficult to see things so clearly.

3.5 out of 5 stars.  Lost 1/2 a star because there were a few questions left unanswered. (See my Goodreads review for more details.)

the women in the castle