Enemies in Love

A German POW, a Black Nurse, and an Unlikely Romance
Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
Length: 5 hrs and 19 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.1 out of 5 stars (193 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A true and deeply moving narrative of forbidden love during World War II and a shocking, hidden history of race on the home front

This is a love story like no other: Elinor Powell was an African-American nurse in the US military during World War II; Frederick Albert was a soldier in Hitler’s army, captured by the Allies and shipped to a prisoner-of-war camp in the Arizona desert. Like most other black nurses, Eleanor pulled a second-class assignment, in a dusty, sun-baked - and segregated - Western town. The army figured that the risk of fraternization between black nurses and white German POWs was almost nil.

Brought together by unlikely circumstances and racist assumptions, Elinor and Frederick should have been bitter enemies; but instead, at the height of World War II, they fell in love. Their dramatic story was unearthed by journalist Alexis Clark, who through years of interviews and historical research has pieced together an astounding narrative of race and true love in the cauldron of war.

Based on a New York Times story by Clark that drew national attention, Enemies in Love paints a tableau of dreams deferred and of love struggling to survive, 25 years before the Supreme Court’s Loving decision legalizing mixed-race marriage - revealing the surprising possibilities for human connection in one of history’s most violent conflicts.

©2018 Alexis Clark (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Editor's Pick

An unexpected love and a little-known history
"Alexis Clark has written a thoughtful account of one of our country’s darkest hidden histories: the German POW camps scattered throughout the American West and Southwest, and the Black nurses stationed there. The story of Elinor, Frederick, and their family is not only touching and emotional, but offers a glimpse of making immense sacrifices for love amidst the racism and prejudice of WWII and the Jim Crow era. It’s a heart-wrenching (but also heartwarming) account of love."
Michael C., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Enemies in Love

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A Unique Previously Untold Story

Over the years I have read widely holding books long before audiobooks became available.Certainly aware of racism, I was a supporter of equality but I have never read about the plight of black nurses. Therefore I welcomed the details documented in this novel. In my early years, following the completion of an undergraduate BSc degree , I entered the field of health care, obtaining a degree in Nursing. Quickly I moved on to study Medicine traveling broadly to complete an undergraduate degree. Thereafter studies took me to first New Zealand and then to a black ghetto hospital in South Africa All the patients were black while all the staff, including me, were white. The experience has never left me. Now retired and living in a remote area of Canada I reflect on my own family experience and can appreciate the unfortunate effect the repeated moving plus alienation had on the 2 sons born to the main couple of this novel. The precipitous ending of the novel was unfortunate.Some description surrounding the other son would have added much to the story. On a final note, the narrator needed to modulate her reading more frequently as it took on a monotonous quality, dulling one’s interest.This said, I strongly recommend this novel.

9 people found this helpful

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Historical war story

Loved this story for it's historical background on blacks in the military in WW 2. A shameful part of our American history, yet provocative in it's scope. A part of history that is not taught in our schools. The narration was excellent. this is a good story to share. Janice

8 people found this helpful

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Love Conquers All

An absolutely remarkable account of a period of history forgotten for good reason. Excellent read!

3 people found this helpful

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Never knew!

Thank you, Ms. Clark for this excellent book about history that has been buried. I learned so much and grieve over the cruelty of humanity toward each other. Two remarkable human beings.

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent story

Exit story I love this book it was well told as a love story and as a history of African Americans in the service of United States and an insight of European, Germany after WW 2.

1 person found this helpful

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Exceptional!

Being a person in love with love, I enjoyed this book.i highly recommend it. lovely.

1 person found this helpful

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too much of a documentary rather than a novel

the story should be enough, but the research information is overwhelming and takes primary place in the book

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Written in the 3rd person. Awful.

Maybe it was a good story, but written as a text book, who would care?

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I liked it

I like the content of the book I did not like the person who was narrating the book The Voice was I want to say monotone but let's say stationary I would like to have more depth when someone is narrating but I appreciate it the story was a beautiful story very informative almost borderline the documentary when loads of historical references so I really appreciated it

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Love has no colour lines

I really enjoyed this story. Many people don’t know and understand that this was common. Not just in the 1940s or today, but over centuries. It’s that part of history that many refused to acknowledge. I was not at all surprised about how the military officers let many of the POWs treat them. Unfortunately, some of that behaviour still exists in the military even in this day and time. My only issue with this audible was the narration. I was partially offended by some of voices. It would have been much better to have a native speakers for the German part.