Daughter of the Reich: A Novel

Daughter of the Reich: A Novel

by Louise Fein

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“[B]eautifully written and emotional wrenching…its dynamic characters present a timely truth we should all grasp and embrace: We must stand up against those who preach hate.” —Karen Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Queen's Secret

For fans of The Nightingale and All the Light We Cannot See, a spellbinding story of impossible love set against the backdrop of the Nazi regime.

She must choose between loyalty to her country or a love that could be her destruction…

As the dutiful daughter of a high-ranking Nazi officer, Hetty Heinrich is keen to play her part in the glorious new Thousand Year Reich. But she never imagines that all she believes and knows will come into stark conflict when she encounters Walter, a Jewish friend from the past, who stirs dangerous feelings in her. Confused and conflicted, Hetty doesn’t know whom she can trust and where she can turn to, especially when she discovers that someone has been watching her.

Realizing she is taking a huge risk—but unable to resist the intense attraction she has for Walter—she embarks on a secret love affair with him. But as the rising tide of anti-Semitism threatens to engulf them, Hetty and Walter will be forced to take extreme measures.

Will the steady march of dark forces destroy Hetty’s universe—or can love ultimately triumph…?

Propulsive, deeply affecting, and inspired by the author’s family history, Daughter of the Reich is a mesmerizing page-turner filled with vivid characters, a meticulously researched portrait of Nazi Germany, and a reminder that the past must never be forgotten.

Editorial Reviews

Gill Paul

"I couldn’t believe it when I read that this is a debut, because it’s so skillfully written. We feel Hetty’s character development through the pages; the scene-setting and historical background are unobtrusive but utterly convincing. This is an important subject to write about and I learned a lot, but above all it is a powerful, unforgettable love story."

Rhiannon Navin

"Daughter of the Reich is an incredibly moving, utterly captivating, beautiful story of love, courage, and the strength of the human spirit. It was both heartbreaking and hopeful at once. The ending had me in tears.” 

Nikola Scott

Meticulously researched and beautifully written, Hetty and Walter’s love story takes us deep into the heart of a nation on the brink of darkness. A terrifying real, utterly compelling and thought-provoking read.

Fiona Valpy

"This compelling and deeply-moving story follows the inexorable rise of Hitler’s Nazi party and Germany’s descent into darkness in the years leading up to the outbreak of World War 2. Through Hetty’s eyes, the reader experiences the grim march of extreme nationalism and the anguish of lives brutally torn apart. And yet Daughter of the Reich is also a reminder that—even in the darkest times—the extraordinary power of love can light the way.

The Manhattan Book Review

By far, Daughter of The Reich is one of the most unique World War II stories that I have read, and in full honesty, I couldn’t help but love the story… a beautifully written story, filled with some hard to swallow pills, but nonetheless, it is a beautiful story—a story in which you wouldn’t want to put down until the end.

Sharon Maas

An outstanding and heart-breaking story of Nazism seen from the "other side": blind indoctrination is transformed into true heroism by the power of love.

Meg Waite Clayton

Louise Fein’s Daughter of the Reich spins childhood innocence shattered, the tendency for society to carry us along in wrong directions, and the importance of standing up against tyranny in ways small and large into an absorbing, heart-wrenching story of love and letting go—and a lesson for us all."

Lizzie Page

[Daughter of the Reich] is a fascinating immersive book … part romance, part character study, part call to arms. The subject matter - racial hate - is sensitive but we are in safe hands with Fein who writes with great passion and urgency…. This is a must-read for anyone interested in understanding how normal people/people like us get caught up in fascism and how it feels when friends and neighbors become enemies.

Jenna Blum

An addictive, heart-filled, crucial read for our times—reminding us why it’s so imperative never to forget history and providing a cautionary tale about what will happen if we do.

Luke Allnutt

Heartbreaking and thought-provoking story about forbidden love during Nazi Germany. Had me gripped to the very end.

Caroline Hulse

"Beautiful and absorbing — a vital story of kindness, and a reminder that humanity can flourish in the darkest of times. The ending, in particular, was breathtaking and wonderful."

Historical Novel Society

Revelatory and harrowing with touches of gracethe characterizations are well done, with the lovers and Hetty’s relationship with her beloved brother particularly well rendered. An extraordinary debut novel. Bravo!

Karen Harper

Louise Fein's Daughter of the Reich is so real—a beautifully written and emotional wrenching journey into World War II tumult and tragedy. Amazingly, this novel is both sweeping and intimate. Although the book brings history to life, its dynamic characters present a timely truth we should all grasp and embrace: We must stand up against those who preach hate.

Liz Trenow

I adored this book because not only is it beautifully written, it also tells a familiar story from a very unfamiliar perspective: that of a naïve German teenager caught up in the rise of Nazism ,and her gradual realization of the inhumanity driven by Aryan fanaticism. Louise Fein’s characters help us understand how so many people were taken in by Nazi propaganda, and the terrible, heartbreaking dilemmas they faced trying to protect the people they loved. This is historical fiction at its absolute best.” 

Gill Thompson

Daughter of the Reich is a wonderful book. The Romeo and Juliet story of a young couple in Leipzig, Germany, in the years before the second world war is poignant and heartbreaking enough, but when you factor in the chilling message that anyone is capable of possessing the most appalling attitudes towards their fellow humans, and worse, then this becomes a book for our time. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The Historical Novel Society

Revelatory and harrowing with touches of gracethe characterizations are well done, with the lovers and Hetty’s relationship with her beloved brother particularly well rendered. An extraordinary debut novel. Bravo!

Library Journal


DEBUT English author Fein's first novel takes place in 1930s Leipzig, Germany. When Hetty Heinrich is eight, she's saved from drowning by a neighbor boy. He becomes her hero—but then Walter is revealed by her schoolteacher to be a Jew and expelled from the school. Hetty and her family move from their modest dwelling to a fine, large house, and only gradually does she understand that her father used his Nazi party connections to acquire this from the former occupants. At first Hetty is a good little subject of Adolf Hitler and her family is deeply involved in the party poltics, although she wants to be a doctor, which does not fit the perfect frau model. As a high party member, she has direct experience of the inhumanity, rising violence, and hatred wrought by the Nazis, which soon shatters her belief in her position in the Reich and opens her eyes to what is truly happening. VERDICT Fein shows the slow twisting of the people in Hetty's city, suggesting parallels in the United States today, which book discussion groups can parse out into fuller understanding.—Mary K. Bird-Guilliams, Chicago

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062964069
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication date: 05/12/2020
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 560
Sales rank: 6,252
File size: 1 MB

Customer Reviews