At 15, Lene is questioning everything. She is sick of the compulsory League of German Girls meetings, and everyone being made to fight for a final victory that never seems to come. She is in love with Ludwig who lives upstairs and listens to enemy broadcasts. Like Lene, he rejects the war and the endless Nazi indoctrination. But he has caught the attention of his ruthless Hitler Youth squad leader, Kurt.
Unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game of cat and mouse, Lene has to watch every step, every word to protect those she loves. When Ludwig is ordered to the Eastern Front, can Lene and Ludwig hold on to their promise to one another and resurface from the darkness of the abyss in post-war Berlin?
Fifteen-year-old Lene is caught in the horror of Nazi Germany. She hates the League of German Girls meetings and all of the indoctrination that this entails. So does her one true friend, Ludwig, who lives upstairs and listens to the overseas radio broadcasts that tell a very different version of the war.
But Lene and Ludwig must be very careful as they are already in the sights of others who believe wholeheartedly in the Fuhrer, and the success this war will bring to Germany.
When Ludwig, aged only seventeen, is sent to serve on the Eastern Front they promise to reunite after the war is over. But will they both survive?
The story is told in two parts. Part one covers the war from 1942 until 1943, and part two covers one year after the war is over, in 1946.
It was thought provoking to read a story told from the viewpoint of a young German who opposes the Nazi ideals. Although what is going on with the war is incredibly awful, there is nothing in this book to prevent it being read by young teens.
With themes of war, social justice, and most of all hope - both for change and for a better future - this is an ideal novel for teenagers aged 12 - 16.
Reviewed by Rob