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134 Reviews
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kommandant's Girl
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...
Published on 26 Feb. 2007 by Harley Girl

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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas, pity about the prose style
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...
Published on 24 July 2008 by Josephina


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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving, 26 Feb. 2007
By 
This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) (Paperback)
This is a remarkable debut from a strong new voice. Pam Jenoff writes so evocatively I felt as if I was in the City of Kings.

Powerful and moving, I found this book compulsive reading.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Page turner, 23 Feb. 2009
This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) (Paperback)
I wasn't sure what to expect with this novel, but throughly enjoyed it. I think it was realistic about the uncomfortable compromises that have to be made in war, and also the fact that people are not totally black or white. It was book where you could not predict the ending, so it kept the attention all the way through. Pam is a great storyteller, and my only gripe is that I wish she had got someone to check it for anacronisms - tissue hankerchiefs, roundabouts, fridges, and even severely rationed people squeezing fresh orange juice!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very guilty pleasure, 24 April 2008
By 
Roman Clodia (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) (Paperback)
While I loved reading this book I couldn't escape the fact that all the way through I felt that I shouldn't. There's something slightly exploitative and almost shameful about a story that is so based on a love story between a Jewish girl whose husband is in the Polish Resistance and her Nazi boss. And I struggled with the fact that Richwalder himself is so sexy and attractive while being a Nazi who oversees Sachsenhausen and Auchwitz, however ambiguous his own emotions.

Despite (or, worryingly, because of?) the political and power hierarchies, this is an immensely compelling book that really draws you in to Emma/Anna's life and story. The chemistry between her and the Kommandant is tangible (at least at the beginning, it fades somewhat towards the end), though I think her struggle between her attarction to him and her hatred for his position is too simplistically drawn and very unnuanced, and seems almost superimposed for the sake of moral tone.

Despite that, this is a compelling if disturbing and uncomfortable book (and I'm not completely sure whether the author intended that) which kept me up till 4am, and which I finished in two sittings. So I loved it (with ethical reservations) and am fascinated to hear what other people think.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 stars - I loved it, 29 May 2012
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This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) (Paperback)
This book gets five starts from me! I have recently read "the Collaborator" and although I did find the books a little similar (the two German men to me were quite similar) I also liked the fact that I had read the Collaborator as in a way I could compare the two situations and even they were a weird extension of each other.

But enough babbling, The Kommandant's Girl was a great book because it was easy to read and impossible to put down, I was gripped from the first chapter and it only took me four days to finish the entire book. As many people have mentioned, there is a romance in this book but it is not predictable - don't let this put you off. At some points I thought to myself that the book didn't portray the true horror to what the Jews were going through at the time but I also thought at the same time, to a certain extent, that Georg and Anna/Emma were cut off and didn't appreciate what was going on around them either by "sticking their head in the sand" or by being cut off from loved ones/the resistance.

Would recommend it to anyone!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Nice but probably not that memorable, 25 Oct. 2013
This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) (Paperback)
Emma Bau's husband, who is a member of the Resistance in Poland, is forced to leave her because of his dangerous work. She moves in with his aunt and assumes a new identity to hide the fact that she is Jewish. She ends up working for a high-ranking Nazi Kommandant who she is attracted to.

This is a nice and easy read, although one that I wouldn't say is that memorable, and I have read a better example of a similar story with a similar moral dilemma of having feelings for somebody you know you shouldn't.

I did enjoy the book though and particularly towards the end I started to race through it to find out what would happen (although I found the ending itself to be a bit abrupt).

The overall style of the packaging of the book probably gives off a feeling of it being a love story but it's more about how one young woman coped in a time of great conflict. I doubt I would rush to read more of this author's work, but I enjoyed this book for what it was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fiction?, 3 Dec. 2008
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This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) (Paperback)
Recommended to me by a colleague it was hard to imagine the characters in this book as fictional. It was so descriptive and well written I could almost smell the Kommandant's cologne! Once started it was difficult to put down and has left me bereft now that I've finished it. Looking forward to reading 'The Diplomat's Wife'
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kommandant's Girl (MIRA), 19 Oct. 2007
By 
N. J. Atkinson (Yorkshire, U.K) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) (Paperback)
I loved this book..one of them that you just cant put down and really dont want to end. Not only shows the harsh realities of World War 2 but also focuses on a love story made all the more compelling set against the backdrop of war. Would definitely recommend this book and am avidly looking for others that are similar.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Kind of an entertaining read, but nothing more, 13 Feb. 2012
By 
MaPe (St. Paul, Minnesota USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) (Paperback)
I decided to give this book a try based on the many an enthusiastic review here - but what a disappointment! It was presented as a compelling and thought-provoking piece of fiction, whereas in reality it is closer to a trash romance novel (I'm not sure if "sex-free" qualifies as "trash", but it's close enough). The characters are cardboard, unconvincing and Americanized, the plot developments are unbelievable, the book is sprinkled with anachronisms and - I cannot believe I'm making this observation - actually seems to be poorly edited - it seems like the author couldn't decide whether to write it in the present or past tense, so there are leftovers all over from having changed her mind as she went along. I have a feeling this was written for a teenage (or younger) audience with the intention of familiarizing them with the WWII. Still, I cannot shake the impression that this might have been a great book if it had been handled with more skill, which is probably why I described it in the title as an "entertaining read" - but only if you're looking for something to read on the beach. If you're hoping for a memorable historical novel, steer clear of this one!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary novel, 25 Nov. 2013
By 
Terence Keeler "TerryUK" (Freshwater, Isle of Wight, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (Kindle Edition)
The Nazi invasion of Poland turned many lives into tragic existences, splitting families
Seeing parents starve to death was the most pathetic. Those who survived did so by
Living under a variety of guises and pretences, pretending to be Catholic while being a Jew,
And a woman who has to turn her back on her marriage to provide the Resistance with essential information to fight the occupies. An insufferable mix of ethical dilemmas and sexual compromise which brings home the horror Polish people endured to survive the Nazis.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant!!, 10 Feb. 2013
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CazM (Nottinghamshire, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Kommandant's Girl (Kindle Edition)
What a fantistic book, so well written. Couldn't put it down as i was desperate to find out what would happen next. Best book i've read in ages.
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Kommandant's Girl (MIRA)
Kommandant's Girl (MIRA) by Pam Jenoff (Paperback - 16 Feb. 2007)
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