Synopsis: 1941, Norway. The population tries to cope with the German occupation. After her successful debut concert as a pianist, Ellen Langmo, resists the Nazis who want to use her talent in their endeavor to convince people that Hitler’s ideas are right. At the same time the resistance movements begin to take form and her friends want to involve her. Trying to escape the conflicting and dangerous demands, she flees from Oslo to Stavanger on the West Coast where life is calmer. She is still looking for Friedrich but tries to accept his death when she has a strange encounter.
This is the 2nd book of the Tall King Trilogy. I have not read the first book but didn’t have any issues keeping up with the story line. I also appreciated the amount of time the author must have put in to put in historical facts and locations. It describes a time period of betrayal, mistrust and fear. When Ellen is asked to help the resistance, she didn’t quite understand the risk she was taking until the invitation came to go to Skaugum. She was in situation where she was forced to go by the threat of what could possibly happen to her parents. I think the author captured the atmosphere very vividly. People are naturally inclined to enjoy the small moments that they can despite fear and oppression.
Anyone who has lived in war time situation would be able to tell you that people handle it very differently. Some try to live like its not happening, hiding away. Others want to fight. Unfortunately, some are greedy and see it as an opportunity to better themselves at the expense of others. Some accept the hard facts and try to make the best of it. I felt like most of the characters were well developed showing the different perspectives. Ellen at first tried to hide away but came to the point of trying to make the best. Her Aunt Tyra was a fighter who fought in the small ways that she could. Overall, good read for anyone who likes historical fiction mixed with romance.