Skip to main content

That Summer in Berlin by Lecia Cornwall: A Book Review

That Summer in Berlin

Author: Lecia Cornwall

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Berkley

Release Date: 2022

Pages: 464

Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis: In the summer of 1936, while the Nazis make secret plans for World War II, a courageous and daring young woman struggles to expose the lies behind the dazzling spectacle of the Berlin Olympics. 


     German power is rising again, threatening a war that will be even worse than the last one. The English aristocracy turns to an age-old institution to stave off war and strengthen political bonds—marriage. Debutantes flock to Germany, including Viviane Alden. On holiday with her sister during the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Viviane’s true purpose is more clandestine. While many in England want to appease Hitler, others seek to prove Germany is rearming. But they need evidence, photographs to tell the tale, and Viviane is a genius with her trusty Leica. And who would suspect a pretty, young tourist taking holiday snaps of being a spy?

 

     Viviane expects to find hatred and injustice, but during the Olympics, with the world watching, Germany is on its best behavior, graciously welcoming tourists to a festival of peace and goodwill. But first impressions can be deceiving, and it’s up to Viviane and the journalist she’s paired with—a daring man with a guarded heart—to reveal the truth.

   

     But others have their own reasons for befriending Viviane, and her adventure takes a darker turn. Suddenly Viviane finds herself caught in a web of far more deadly games—and closer than she ever imagined to the brink of war. 


     My Review: Viviane is on holiday in Berlin during the Olympic Games. She is officially there as a tourist, but is secretly a British spy. She is paired with Tom Graham who is a journalist and spy. She is tasked to photograph pictures to see the harsh reality of Germany. As the Olympics eventually draw to a close, Vivian’s and Tom are in danger of being discovered. Could the two manage to successfully pull off their mission or would they suffer at the hands of Germany?


     I really like Viviane. She was a very fun character. She was bold, courageous, and clever. She also took her role as a spy very seriously. I love how she cares for those she loves and often puts them first before herself. Therefore, Viviane is a very compassionate and caring person which is what I like most about her. Thus, I rooted for Viviane, and she was my favorite character in the novel.


     I did not really care for her romance with Tom Graham. Tom is the stereotypical male lead. He is handsome, dashing, and charming. He at first dislikes Viviane for a silly reason, but eventually falls in love with her. Thus, I would have liked it if there was no romance at all because it seemed very lackluster. I did not find Tom to be an engaging hero.

  

     Overall, this novel is about truth, justice, and discrimination. Besides Viviane and the villian, I found all the other characters to be bland with no real-depth. I wish that there were more references to the Olympics. It was merely a backdrop with a few references. I would like to explore the events of the Olympics and the tension of how the competing athletes may have felt participating in Berlin’s Olympics. I also wish that Viviane did more spying and was given more than one mission. Still, the novel had enough glitz and glamor to keep me engrossed in the story. I also like the King Arthur references in the novel. The story is very well-written and is full of vivid imagery. I found the setting of the Berlin Olympics to be very unique and kept me engaged. I recommend That Summer in Berlin for fans of A Game of Lies, Fast Girls, and Code Name Helene!


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki: A Book Review

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post Author: Allison Pataki Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Ballantine Release Date: February 15, 2022 Pages: 381 Source: Netgalley/Publisher in exchange for an honest review. Synopsis: Mrs. Post, the President and First Lady are here to see you. . . . So begins another average evening for Marjorie Merriweather Post. Presidents have come and gone, but she has hosted them all. Growing up in the modest farmlands of Battle Creek, Michigan, Marjorie was inspired by a few simple rules: always think for yourself, never take success for granted, and work hard—even when deemed American royalty, even while covered in imperial diamonds. Marjorie had an insatiable drive to live and love and to give more than she got. From crawling through Moscow warehouses to rescue the Tsar’s treasures to outrunning the Nazis in London, from serving the homeless of the Great Depression to entertaining Roosevelts, Kennedys, and Hollywood’s biggest stars, Marjorie Merriweath

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) by Lucinda Riley: A Book Review

The Seven Sisters (The Seven Sisters #1) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance Publisher: Atria Release Date: 2015 Pages: 463 Source: My State Public Library Synopsis: Maia D’Apliese and her five sisters gather together at their childhood home, “Atlantis”—a fabulous, secluded castle situated on the shores of Lake Geneva—having been told that their beloved father, who adopted them all as babies, has died. Each of them is handed a tantalizing clue to her true heritage—a clue which takes Maia across the world to a crumbling mansion in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Once there, she begins to put together the pieces of her story and its beginnings. Eighty years earlier in Rio’s Belle Epoque of the 1920s, Izabela Bonifacio’s father has aspirations for his daughter to marry into the aristocracy. Meanwhile, architect Heitor da Silva Costa is devising plans for an enormous statue, to be called Christ the Redeemer, and will soon travel to Paris to find the right sculptor to