Broken Angels

  • by Gemma Liviero
  • Narrated by Nico Evers-Swindell, Emily Foster
  • 13 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A Nazi doctor. A Jewish rebel. A little girl. Each one will fight for freedom - or die trying.
Imprisoned in the Lodz Ghetto, Elsi discovers her mother's desperate attempt to end her pregnancy and comes face-to-face with the impossibility of their situation. Risking her own life, Elsi joins a resistance group to sabotage the regime.
Blonde, blue-eyed Matilda is wrenched from her family in Romania and taken to Germany, where her captors attempt to mold her into the perfect Aryan child. Spirited and brave, she must inspire hope in the other stolen children to make her dreams of escape a reality.
Willem, a high-ranking Nazi doctor, plans to save lives when he takes posts in both the ghetto and Auschwitz. After witnessing unimaginable cruelties, he begins to question his role and the future of those he is ordered to destroy.
While Hitler ransacks Europe in pursuit of a pure German race, the lives of three broken souls - thrown together by chance - intertwine. Only love and sacrifice might make them whole again.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

loved this book.

I loved this book as well as Pastel Orphans. At times I felt like crying for the characters in this book. The author brought to life the atrocities the German people did to the Jewish people. I will listen again and with my grandchildren. We should never forget.
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- James R Terry, II

Best Book I've Read in a Long Time

I absolutely loved this book. It's incredibly well-written, emotionally moving, and has fully developed, flawed characters.

Broken Angels tells the story of three individuals -- Elsi, Willam, and Mathilde (possibly spelled wrong because I listened to this so I'm not sure) -- brought together by circumstances of WWII. Elsi is a half-Jewish teenager living in a ghetto in Poland, Willam is a Nazi doctor, and Mathilde is a Romanian child taken from her home and placed in a Lebensborn center for potential Aryan adoption.

This was a detailed, emotional depiction of life in WWII Poland and Germany, but all the more moving for those reasons. I've also rarely seen an author who can give a child a full character, both shaped by nature and circumstance. While not easy to hear about, it was masterfully done. Willem is also a flawed character. His actions can't be characterized as 100% good or bad, which is interesting and honest in a character -- and true to human nature and what our situations hand us.

The book also chronicles horrendous, gruesome events with an appropriate level of detail -- not a gloss over but not enough to make you vomit in your car while listening. So I appreciated that as well. Too many books about this subject matter provide too much gloss.

My only small critique is that it took a long time for the characters' stories to intersect. However, the individual stories were so well-told and crucial to the character development that in the end I retracted this thought. However, just be aware of that if you read this book.

Additionally, the narration was just ok. The man who narrated Willem's part was great, but the woman reading the female parts (first, each character should have gotten her own reader) was a bit flat. The voices could have been brought to life a bit more.

That said, this book is so well-written that I recommend it completely. Anyone who enjoys history and complex characters would enjoy this book, and I will be reading more by this author :)
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- Aubrey

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-26-2016
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio