Ava fell in love the night the Nazis first showed their true nature to the world. A retelling of the Grimms' Beauty and the Beast, set in Nazi Germany.
It's August 1939 in Germany, and Ava's world is in turmoil. To save her father, she must marry a young Nazi officer, Leo von Löwenstein, who works for Hitler's spy chief in Berlin. However, she hates and fears the brutal Nazi regime and finds herself compelled to stand against it.
Ava joins an underground resistance movement that seeks to help victims survive the horrors of the German war machine. But she must live a double life, hiding her true feelings from her husband even as she falls in love with him. Gradually she comes to realise that Leo is part of a dangerous conspiracy to assassinate Hitler.
As Berlin is bombed into ruins, the Gestapo ruthlessly hunt down all resistance, and Ava finds herself living hand to mouth in the rubble of the shell-shocked city. Both her life and Leo's hang in the balance.
Filled with danger, intrigue and romance, The Beast's Garden, a retelling of the Grimm brothers' Beauty and The Beast, is a beautiful, compelling love story set in a time when the world seemed on the brink of collapse.
©2015 Kate Forsyth (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
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"Excellent story and beautifully narrated"
I found this book to be very compelling. An obscure fairy tale told against the backdrop of WWII Berlin. This is a version of beauty and the beast, but not the one we are so familiar with from Disney Studios. This is the tale told by the Brothers Grimm, where the heroine follows her beloved, who has been transformed into a lark, for seven years. At the end of the seven years she must outwit the witch who has put the spell on him in order to release her beloved from that spell.
Arva and Leo are the lovers, and the story begins on the night of broken glass when Jewish businesses, synagogues, and homes were broken into and destroyed. Arva is a beautiful girl, a singer who.lives with her father and two half sisters. They take in a Jewish family with whom they've been life-long friends because the Jews are not allowed to stay in their own home any longer. Arva and the family's son, Rupert, are essentially brother and sister. They both love music, especially American Jazz and Swing, which is illegal in Nazi Germany. This passion eventually gets them, especially Rupert, into serious trouble. Arva asks Leo, who is a German Army officer for help, even though she's not sure she can trust him. This is the basic premise of the story, and from that point we get taken deeper and deeper into the horrors and deprivations of that awful war.
It's a wonderful story, but very dark and viscerally wrenching in it's journey. It's interesting to note that all of the characters (With the exception of Arva and her family and friends.) and historical happenings are real people and actual events. The timeline is accurate, and I recognized several major and minor historical personages as I read.
This is literary fiction at its finest, and is NOT a story for the squeamish or easily disturbed. It details the horrors, madness, and brutality of war in a cold-blooded fashion. The author pulls no punches about those occurrences. But it's also a story of humanity at its finest and most loving. A story of undying love, of self-sacrifice, and the redemption we can only achieve through love. If you appreciate beautiful writing, outstanding narration, and characters you won't soon forget, I think you'll love this one.
"Great Historical Fiction...."
Based around the real events inside the Nazi machine, the numerous assasination plots and the number of near misses. Interesting events inside the Abwehr, the SS, Heidrich's assasination combined with struggles of those marked for death by the Nazis.. Highly recommend for historical fiction fans with a bit of background on WW2.
The author clearly did her research and this book took me to and from work in my car with enjoyment. The narrator was also good and with the exception of her grating "little kid voice" I liked her style. I have to give this book 4 stars for being an engrossing story. But the end was so utterly implausible that I just couldn't go that extra star. I won't be a spoiler, but it could NEVER have happened. Ever.
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were compelling and I was captivated by the historical storyline. It was written so well & I look forward to reading other books by the author.
"A story not soon forgotten"
The writing, the story, the narration were all sublime. This story has left it's mark on me,.
"Heart Wrenching and Beautiful"
Lovely and just short of 5 stars for me...story is wonderfully researched, but a bit slow at times. Writing is beautiful and lyrical. I felt the characters and relationships could have been more developed, especially with the length of the novel as well as certain plot holes, and that is the only thing that kept it from being 5 stars for me. Overall, I was absolutely entranced by the prose and the atmosphere. My first Kate Forsyth novel and I will definitely read more!! Also, the narrator, Julie Vuletic, is absolutely phenomenal!!!! She did an absolutely fantastic job with the various array of accents and personalities of the characters - so, so good!!!!
"Paperback romance novel"
No ... it was silly. The over the top love story ruined the excellent historical facts that occurred during WW2.
"Amazing Historical Fiction Set in Nazi Germany"
This book was fantastic. It's a twist on one of the original fairy-tales that Beauty and the Beast is based off of, and it's set in Berlin during World War 2. The book covers so much of a time in Germany when so much was so wrong, and one girls fight as she lives a double life fighting the Nazi regime and falling in love with the German Officer she was forced to marry in order to save herself and her family.
This book is filled with so much emotional, historical relevance, and deep deep thought. What would I do in that situation? How terrifying, and how much we can learn from even fictional characters about who we are, and a what we must prevent from ever happening again.
"riveting Nazi story"
I was enthralled by this story. loved it but was a bit irritated by the narrator and her different voices.
This book, based during WW2 was so compelling and moving. I feel the writer was so accurate in all her research and really brought out the absolutely horrifying details of Nazi Germany as well as all the amazing heroic efforts from people going against Hitler and trying to help save Jews and others who were persocuted.
I couldnt stop listening. It was heart wrenching and made me cry, but i still needed to go on!
Just trully incredible. As a Jewish person, it was especially moving to remember the atrocities that happened to my people and others who were persocuted. It is a book that is sad but at the same time uplifting. Definitely a must read.
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