Tuesday, December 27, 2022

New Release- The Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan

 From the author of The Widows of Champagne, and inspired by true events, comes a gripping and heartwrenching story of two very different women united to bring light to the darkest days of World War II.

London, 1933

At first glance, Austrian opera singer Elsa Mayer-Braun has little in common with the young English typist she encounters on tour. Yet she and Hattie Featherstone forge an instant connection—and strike a dangerous alliance. Using their friendship as a cover, they form a secret society with a daring goal: to rescue as many Jews as possible from Nazi persecution.
Though the war’s outbreak threatens Elsa and Hattie’s network, their efforts attract the covert attention of the British government, offering more opportunities to thwart the Germans. But Elsa’s growing fame as Hitler’s favorite opera singer, coupled with her secret Jewish ancestry, makes her both a weapon and a target—until her future, too, hangs in the balance.
From the glamorous stages of Covent Garden and Salzburg to the horrors of Bergen-Belsen,  two ordinary women swept up by the tide of war discover an extraordinary friendship—and the courage to save countless lives.

My Thoughts on the Book

The Secret Society of Salzburg is the first novel I've read by this author. It captivated me and it will not be the last.

The storyline gripped my heart, the characters were mesmerizing and inspirational, and the setting or backdrops pushed me into a time of great hardship and atrocities of Hitler's war.

There were lots of tense moments, and heart-breaking moments of betrayal, yet some outstanding success and inspiration. The main character Elsa was beyond amazing. She was strong and devoted to the arts, but also the cause. Hattie, an artist depicting the opera singer in her art was entertaining to read about. Hattie was a devoted fan of Elsa, but also a strong ally in the cause to help the Jews.

Keep the tissues handy, but this book will also make you smile with pride at Elsa, Hattie, Vera, Oliver, and Melvina's accomplishments. Highly recommended.

I received an ARC from the publisher and voluntarily choose to review it.

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Julie Grace