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Publisher's Summary

September 1939. Overnight, Jewish 19-year-old Emma Bau's world is turned upside down when Germany invades Poland. And after only six weeks of marriage, her husband Jacob, a member of the Resistance, is forced to flee. Escaping the ghetto, Emma assumes a new, Christian identity and finds work at Nazi headquarters.

As secretary to the charismatic Kommandant Richwalder, Emma vows to use her unique position to gather intelligence for the Resistance - by any means necessary...

©2007 Pam Jenoff (P)2008 Recorded Books LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Stevon
  • Tempe, AZ, United States
  • 11-19-15

quite the story

First time author for me, debut novel for the author, Pam Janoff, and recommended by Iowa author Heather Gudenkauf. In researching the author I learned she at one time worked for the US State Department and was posted in Krakow, Poland, which is where this story is set. She evidently got some of the background for this story during that time. At the start of the story, young Polish Jew Emma gets married one month before the Nazi invasion of Poland. Just days after her husband takes off to be part of the Jewish Resistance. Her parents are put in the Jewish Ghetto of Krakow. Then Emma is asked to masquerade as a young Catholic girl named Anna and eventually gets hired to be the personal assistant to the Nazi Kommendant of Krakow. She is further asked by the Resistance to get whatever intelligence she can to help the cause. The story evolves from there with Emma/Anna forced to make gut wrenching, heart wrenching choices to help those she loves. Not really a thriller but with a good amount of suspense, this is more a human interest story that gives you a sense of trepidation the further you get into the story. This story reminds me that even today many people in the world are being asked to make tough choices that make no sense as to why they must even consider them. A good, thought provoking warm story. I really enjoyed it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not As Good As I Hoped

Overall the story is a good one, but I still had trouble with a lot of it.

My biggest issue is that I just didn’t buy the chemistry between the Kommandant and his Girl, and since that’s the entire point of the book it made it hard to get into. I had to suspend my disbelief and just take her word for it that she was “hot for the Nazi” as opposed to really sensing her dilemma.

I also found the ending too contrived; I don’t want to give it away, but suffice it to say it was all a little too neat.

Nevertheless I was interested in the characters enough to get the sequel (The Diplomat’s Wife), and I am starting it right away.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Pat
  • Valley, AL, United States
  • 10-22-13

Predictable

I wanted to read a war-torn or poignant or at least interesting story about a woman who is used to spy on the top German in Krakow in WW2. What I got was a predictable story and trite piece of writing. The author's first mistake was to use the present tense. That keeps the gentle reader at arm's length and Ms. Jenoff's story was just not enough to draw me in. Coupled with a lackluster performance by the reader, and I was happy to have this book come to an end.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Ok story, not so great story telling

If the way the story is told is just as important to you as the story, maybe pass on this book. The story was very inconsistent, especially with time. The protagonist would be talking about an event and say the night before and then a few paragraphs later be talking about the same event on the same day and say a few nights ago. The time line itself was very loosely put together. The protagonist had the same internal conflict throughout the story. She never seemed to come to a conclusion on it and constantly had the same internal argument. Very repetitive. I feel like the protagonist was meant to be seen as brave and conflicted but she came off more annoying. This being a WWII book you don’t expect a safe Jewish girl to complain about the situation and this protagonist does. She also seems to think things should go her way. She has the cake and wants to eat it too. I just honestly didn’t connect with her character. I’m really hoping that it was just this book and that this isn’t the authors style of writing. Guess I’ll find out when I try another one of her books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Trite and preposterous

If you thought Twilight was well written, you will enjoy this story. Otherwise, don’t waste your time or money. Ive been reading WWII books for a while now and loved lilac girls, the nightingale , and ‭the Alice network (to name a few good ones) and bought this book because another reviewer mentioned this book alongside with those. This book is Not of equal caliber.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Disappointed

The main character was very ignorant and was pitiful. It would have been better if she had some strength of character

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

Great story and beautifully narrated. I didn’t want the book to end. This would be such a great movie!!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

KOMMANDANT'S GIRL

A good story. Could have easily been taken from a true story, considering the timeline and location. Narrator was fair. Sometimes read in a monotone voice though.
An attention getter for sure

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I hesitate

I always enjoy a WEII based novel and this one was good but not great. If I were playing a drinking game and drank every time the lead character said "I hesitate" I would be drunk by the first chapter.
The story is interesting but the vocabulary could be improved.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Just painful

This story could have been read in 15 minutes. The protagonist is an idiotic young girl who is struggling with her emotions and hormones during the Nazi occupation of Poland. 14 hours of a BAD soap opera. Two hours in I was hoping she was going to be shot.

Save yourself the money and more more importantly your time!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joseph
  • 03-09-09

the Kommandants Girls

Exellent book - I could stop listening to it, It covered love tragedy, friendship and adventure. The plight of the Jews in Poland during WW II - I would recomend this book to everyone.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-26-18

The kommandant Girl

Such a lovely warm sad and gripping story it keeps you interested all the way through

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Hungryhorse
  • 05-31-18

Amazing Story

Totally compulsive listening cannot emphasise enough the quality of this story. Do take this story.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Mrs. REP
  • 04-17-11

Hmmmm....

Somewhere in here is a much better book trying to get out.
The idea is good, but the writing isn't particularly and the characters are wooden. Some of the dialogue is terrible (the word okay is used too often) and some of the events are ludicrous.
*SPOILER ALERT*
Would it really have been that easy to get in touch with the Resistance, especially when they had gone 'dark'?
Krysia might have been Catholic, but she had been married to a Jew, would the Germans have been that accepting of her?
Before Emma/Anna left the city she had to say goodbye to her parents in the Ghetto, she went to the wall, conveniently found a gap, looked through and guess who just happened to be taking a walk in the middle of the night? Yes, it was her father!
On her last night with the Kommandant Emma/Anna gave him a hefty dose of a sedative to enable her to sneak off easily. This drug was enough to knock him out within minutes, but then a couple of hours later he was awake enough to be driving around looking for her.
I could go on, but you get the general idea, I won't be rushing to listen to anything else by this author.