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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 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 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 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 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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This is a very interesting book on many levels. Poignant, moving, unexpected and full of historical facts I shamefully knew little of. I knew nothing of the Polish resistance and the ghettos as described in this book and oh! when when Emma did what she had to do. The lying, the cheating to save yourself and your family.

There was an interesting angle also done by writing the emotions and feelings of the Nazi Kommandant of the title. He knew of what was going on in the ghettos and the camps of course but it was the emotional side to him, the interaction with Emma on one hand and his officers on the other which really got to me. There's also a story to find out about him and it is also poignant.

The angle of the Polish people and the resistance in Poland was unique and nicely done. I felt involved with the anguish and fear of what happened to each and every one of them. The end was 'neat' but I didn't mind as I'd been through quite an experience getting the
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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 9 May 2015
Raw in detail & heartwrenchingly passionate. You do find yourself drawn into the human psyche, witnessing the severe damage of both the people and the country.
At times I found Emma's feelings confusing & I could not entirely empathise, though given her circumstances I suppose it is realistic. There was some repetition but the relationship between Emma & the Kommandant was intense. Jenoff paints a sympathetic outlook on the Kommandant, which does leave you feeling differently towards his position, I found myself rooting a little bit for him, which does leave you questionning Emma's loyalties.
The ending was a little hurried and not, in my view, complete but with this novel it does work. Although without giving anything away I wished it had ended differently with the Kommandant
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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 October 2015
I enjoyed reading this story, but felt I wanted more information from it. She and the Kommandant didn't seem to communicate very well and even towards the end of the book, I felt there could have been more. Pam Jenoff is a good story teller and I was concerned at the size of the book, but that didn't matter as all as I couldn't stop reading.
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