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4.2 out of 5 stars166
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 21 July 2007
As the daughter of a Polish Catholic holocaust survivor, and always interested in the war in Poland, I did enjoy this book. However, there are continuous barbs at the Christian Poles who did not help the Jews, which upset me. The fact is that there were many, many Christians who assisted others suffering, at tremendous and immediate risk to themselves and their families. Try reading The Forgotten Holocaust by Dr Richard Lukas if you want a true picture of all the facts, without the Hollywood gloss added. There were heroes and traitors on ALL sides, and I do get fed up explaining to people that it wasn't ONLY Jews who died or suffered in the war. But, it is good for people to read this book to get a feel of the doom-ridden atmosphere during that terrible time.
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on 24 July 2008
This book was based on an excellent idea and I liked the setting - while dealing with a widely covered period of history the story comes from a lesser-known aspect of the Holocaust, namely, the resistance in Poland.

The protagonist is, however, difficult to believe in as at times difficult decisions and actions of considerable weight are reduced to simplicity. Furthermore, her emotional responses to the situation she is in are badly expressed and the author's style is extremely repetitive - count, for example, the number of times the phrase "My stomach twists" is used and it becomes clear that the author does not have the command of a particularly wide vocabulary.

While I agree with other reviewers that the story is interesting at could be at times, emotional, I do not feel the writing does justice to the subject matter as it is difficult to sympathise with such a wooden character.

The two stars I have given are for the ideas alone, not their communication.
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on 26 February 2007
I found Kommandant's Girl a highly emotive, very thought provoking story. It was different to anything I had read before. Whilst reading the book, I felt both anger and sadness, and at times was reduced to tears at the plight of Marta, made even more poignant by the fact that such treatment of people and persecution actually went on. I have never seen a book by this author in shops before - and if this is Pam Jenoff's first book then I think she has a wonderful future in writing. I would certainly by another book by her should I come across one.
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on 1 February 2007
I found the Kommandant's Girl a very easy to read book, even the subject matter is not easy to forget, and nor should it be forgotten..It offers an insight into how the Jew were treated by the Nazi's and also how the resistance came into it's own at times..Yes there is a romantic tale to this book but the ending is not predictable...Sometimes one feels that there is some softening around the edges to add the romance in it, but also it really does manage to show how the Poles and mainly the Jews coped living in Poland when the Nazi's invaded their lives...I do not hesitate in asking people to read this, but do hope that the Jewish communities are not made to feel as if this book trivialises everything they went through during the war with the romantic element added, I myself do not believe this book does that, as the romantic element certainly as it's twist at the end...
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on 18 July 2007
This book was loaned to me by a friend, you could tell by the spine that it had been read many times and I soon realised why! This book is one of the best stories I have read for ages, I could not put it down. Jenoff brings the characters to life, you so desperately want them to survive and triumph. I found myself reading faster just to get to the next bit! I was sorry when I had finished the story. Unfortunately my friend wants the book back so I have just ordered 2 copies, 1 for a christmas present and one just to share with other friends. I am a 32 yr old female but think the book would be widely enjoyed by this age range both male and female and perhaps those older and younger.
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on 11 December 2008
I cannot praise this book enough, if i could, i'd give it 1000 stars!
It is one of my most favourite books along with its sequel 'The Diplomats Wife'.
The characters are amazing, the main character Emma just draws you in, you feel every bit of her emotion and turmoil, and as the story progresses, you cant help but also grow to like the one character that is the bad guy at certain points in the book! It throws you into turmoil over what you're feeling for the characters.
You see how both sides are real people with real emotions, its not just the goodies and the badies typical scenario, they are all torn between the sides, and what they're meant to do and feel.
It offers an amazingly detailed picture into the war, and is a great historical novel as well as romance and then there's the intrigue and the sadness, a rollercoaster ride! I did actually cry at parts, it was that moving.
Beautifully written, I read this in two days, I literally could not put this down, I was shouting out loud as I read along, sat on the edge of my seat, I was so dissapointed when the book ended, I loved it that much and just wanted it to go on forever, but thankfully, the story goes on in the next book, which is equally as good!
BUY THIS BOOK, its so wonderful! I'll certainly treasure my copy, and its one I'll read over and over. I'm so glad i stumbled across this!
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on 11 January 2013
I started reading and was drawn in quickly to this fast paced novel. But about one third through I started to feel that I was reading a Mills and Boon romance.
The prose is very simplistic and when dealing with highly complex and emotional situations, it makes those situations appear trite. It felt like there was a lack of emotional intelligence and experience behind the writing.
The plot could have been enthralling but the treatment left me feeling like I was reading school girl fiction.
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on 29 January 2016
Having just visited Krakow I was looking forward to this book. What a disappointment! I found the writing (all in the present tense) very naive and poor. The coincidences in the story eg wherever Emma went she 'bumped' into someone she knew - not believable and the 'romantic' descriptions of blushing, fainting and heavy breathing reminded me of the awful writing in Fifty Shades of Grey! The book certainly did not do credit to the very serious subject matter. Am just mystified at the good reviews!
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on 11 February 2015
Since reading The Officer's Lover I'd really wanted to read another book by Pam Jenoff. The Kommandant's Girl seemed perfect, set in the war (and we all know about my penchant for war stories), with Jews, and Nazis, and the resistance, and love.

I really liked The Kommandant's Girl. I liked Emma, she started off a bit naive, but love made her strong, and made her take risks. A heroine in the end anyway.

There was even a little bit of me that liked the Kommandant. Not the Jew killing bit (obviously) but the bit where he was genuinely caring towards Emma.

It was dramatic, and emotional, really kept me turning the pages (or pressing the buttons I suppose as I read it on kindle).
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on 16 September 2013
The book was recommended by a friend, who loved it. As she reads a LOT and is someone whose judgement I trust, I thought I'd give it a go. I enjoyed it up until about half way through, but a lot of things irked me - Emma displayed very little angst, there was no sense of agony regarding her decision to sleep with her Nazi boss - every "difficult" situation was faced with a kind of "I can't do this... Oh well, I just have to". Also, from the middle of the book onwards there were just far too many convenient plot devices - seeing her father through the crack in the wall at the ghetto was just FAR too incredible! Jacob bumping into her and placing the stone in her pocket, running into the Kommandant on the bridge, Marta following her there - all just FAR too big in the coincidence department.

The love scenes with the Kommandant were embarrassing - she's a young, innocent girl, new to marriage, very new to sex - the way she jumped on and had hungry sex with her boss just didn't ring true. So many things didn't ring true. The Americanisms and casual language didn't help.

The end was rushed and I'm afraid, for me, the way the story was written didn't do justice to the people who actually lived through these terrible times. I was very surprised to learn that the writer has a Master's in History.

So... An easy read that will probably satisfy most, but if you're at all worried about plausibility, give it a miss or you'll be shouting at the author at frequent intervals, like I did.
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