Set in 1937, The Winter Garden gives an intriguing insight into pre Second World War Germany. The story follows that of a young girl, Anna Hansen, who is murdered whilst at the school for Brides of the Reich Officers. This school was for young girls who were about to marry an SS officer and must learn all the skills necessary to be a ‘good wife’ – as they were to marry the cream of the German manhood Hitler decreed that they had to be something special.
Following the cover up of Anna’s murder, Clara Vine, a English film actress turned undercover agent (due to her fluency in English and German and close proximity to German officials) searches for the truth behind the seemingly motiveless murder.
The Winter Garden is the perfect blend of real historical events and a suspense thriller, centered on Hitler and his Third Reich. The reader is reminded of the extent to which Hitler built up his Empire before the start of the Second World War, including the surprising connections the Third Reich had with several high profile members of the British aristocracy, including the recently abdicated King Edward VII and his new bride Wallis, who were courted by Hitler whilst on their honeymoon in Germany!
Apart from being a truly well-written novel, it piqued my interest again the Second World War and opened my eyes to just how much power Hitler amassed. It truly amazed me when I realized just how extensively he built up his empire in preparation, while England innocently stood by.
The journey to find out the truth behind Anna’s murder makes this a difficult one to put down.
I thoroughly recommend this book, but as I don’t want to give away any of the plot make sure you pick up a copy for yourself to find out just who the culprit was…!