Author: C.F. Yetmen
Publisher: Ypsillon & Co. Press
Part of a Series: Anna Klein Trilogy
Type of book: Post WWII Germany, 1945, relationships, decisions, gray life, Holocaust, Lebensborn, families, romances, Monument Men, high stakes decisions, resources
Year it was published: 2017
“What is Forgiven is danger, mystery and intrigue wrapped around a love story, but it’s much more than that: it’s an in-depth study of loyalty, justice and the moral aftermath of the war.”
Martha Louise Hunter, Author, Painting Juliana
At the end of 1945 in a shattered Germany, Anna Klein is faced with tough choices about her future. Her plum job working as a translator for Captain Henry Cooper, one of the American Monuments Men, means she has a house and an income, as well as hands-on access to some of the world’s most precious art. But her life is falling apart on all fronts: her family is displaced, the boy in her care is being sought by authorities, and she must resolve to finally end her marriage. When she realizes that someone has tampered with two important paintings taken from a Jewish collector—paintings she was charged with safeguarding—Anna is determined to solve the crime. But without hard evidence and no motive, she can prove nothing and as State Department big wigs threaten to shut down the Monument Men’s operation, she and her boss are under special scrutiny. As all signs begin to point to an inconvenient suspect in the crime, she has to play it by the book to keep her job and return the art to its rightful owner, if she can find him.
Main characters include Anna Klein, a young German woman who shares a close friendship with Captain Cooper. Anna is resourceful, protective and will do what she can to either solve the mystery or do the right. She is worried about others, but some of Cooper's charms have previously rubbed off on her. Cooper is Anna's close friend and isn't afraid of bending a ruler or two to solve the mystery. At the same time he seems to be vulnerable in some ways and depends on Anna a lot. There is Anna's biological daughter Amalia "Maus" Klein who dreams of having her father and mother together and who has known nothing but war but is still dreamy and cheerful. There is also Oskar who has hidden origins of his own and who will be placed in a difficult position of making adult decisions of whom he is. Secondary characters are also memorable and heavily prominent in the book be it the mysterious owners of a painting, or Anna's older female friend.
Its hard to find the right path
The story is once more in third person narrative from Anna's point of view. The stakes are far more dangerous than in the previous story and Anna and Cooper have to be far more clever and resourceful. This book goes deeper into some of the secret programs such as Lebensborn, and the shadow of Holocaust begins to darken the story as well as the possible fate of German paintings, whether they will stay in Germany or be shipped out to United States. Told with verve for history and passion, this is a story to whet the appetite as the readers eagerly await the third installment of the series. Just like in the first book, relationships and mystery are in a perfect blend together, neither upstaging each other.
(From the book)
C.F. Yetmen is a writer and consultant specializing in architecture and design. She is the co-author of The Owner's Dilemman Driving Success and Innovation in the Design and Construction Industry and a former publisher of Texas Architect magazine. The Roses Underneath is her first novel. Visit cfyetmen.com
If I thought that the prequel, The Roses Underneath was good, this book was amazing, although I do wish that I could have seen more of Oskar in the story, (it seem as if the possible third book will answer that prayer...) The characters go through some changes, and the story picks up seamlessly from the previous book, as if it has been several months instead of years that the second novel was written. The issues that were hinted at in the first book go deeper and and issues are painted more as gray rather than black and white. There is a thrilling mystery that Anna and Cooper must solve, and once more careful details that seem true to life are written within the pages. Every aspect of the book stands out and there is realism as well.
This was given for a review
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)