Monday, March 15, 2021

Review: The Curator's Daughter by Melanie Dobson

A young girl, kidnapped on the eve of Word War II, changes the lives of a German archaeologist forced into the Nazi Party and--decades later--a researcher trying to overcome her own trauma.

1940. Hanna Tillich cherishes her work as an archaeologist for the Third Reich, searching for the Holy Grail and other artifacts to bolster evidence of a master Aryan race. But when she is reassigned to work as a museum curator in Nuremberg, then forced to marry an SS officer and adopt a young girl, Hanna begins to see behind the Nazi facade. A prayer labyrinth becomes a storehouse for Hanna's secrets, but as she comes to love Lilly as her own daughter, she fears that what she's hiding--and what she begins to uncover--could put them both in mortal danger.

Eighty years later, Ember Ellis is a Holocaust researcher intent on confronting hatred toward the Jewish people and other minorities. She reconnects with a former teacher on Martha's Vineyard after she learns that Mrs. Kiehl's mother once worked with the Nazi Ahnenerbe. And yet, Mrs. Kiehl describes her mother as "a friend to the Jewish people." Wondering how both could be true, Ember helps Mrs. Kiehl regain her fractured childhood memories of World War II while at the same time confronting the heartache of her own secret past--and the person who wants to silence Ember forever.

Kindle Edition
Published March 9th 2021 
by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
3.5/5 stars

I have read three of Melanie Dobson's previous historical fiction books, each of them I enjoyed for their unique storyline during WW2.    With The Curator's Daughter she again has written a dual time period story with the past during the war.  The difference is that this one takes place in Germany with a story I was unfamiliar with.

Without divulging parts of the story not mentioned in the blurb, this story showed a side of the Nazi reign that I knew nothing about and for that I am grateful for the educational lesson.  It is evident the author knows her stuff and has research extensively.  The characters were real and even though I didn't feel an emotional connection with what Hanna was going through there was enough to keep me reading. 

 As for the present time period, I struggled with that and honestly wish the whole book was just about the past.  The writing during that time just seemed off to me somewhat, compared to Dobson's past books. There wasn't the depth of character I crave and at times it felt disjointed. But given all the glowing reviews it could just be me.

My thanks to Tyndale House for a e-arc (via Netgalley) in exchange for a honest review.

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