About the Book:
When the Germans march into Denmark, Baron Henrik Ahlefeldt exchanges his nobility for anonymity, assuming a new identity so he can secretly row messages for the Danish Resistance across the waters to Sweden. American physicist Dr. Else Jensen refuses to leave Copenhagen and abandon her research--her life's dream--and makes the dangerous decision to print resistance newspapers.
As Else hears rumors of the movement's legendary Havmand--the merman--she also becomes intrigued by the mysterious and silent shipyard worker living in the same boardinghouse. Henrik makes every effort to conceal his noble upbringing, but he is torn between the façade he must maintain and the woman he is beginning to fall in love with.
When the Occupation cracks down on the Danes, these two passionate people will discover if there is more power in speech . . . or in silence.
Sundin is a master at WW II fiction and this is another good novel. I really like the setting. We may tend to ignore some of the countries deeply affected by the war. Denmark might be such a country. Though invaded in 1940, conditions in the country were not bad until 1943. We are given a good idea of the type of resistance formed and what they were able to do, such as rescuing Jews and transporting them by boat to Sweden. An interesting addition to the plot is Else working at the Institute for Theoretical Physics. Sundin relates more information about Niels Bohr and his actions in an author's note.
Sundin explores several issues in this novel such as the question of aiding the resistance and breaking the law to help others. The disregard for women in the field of science is another. There is also a strained father son relationship included.
This is a good novel for readers who enjoy WW II historical fiction based on actual events. It is a good story of people willing to endanger their lives to help others. There is a little romance too but it does not detract from the essence of the novel.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author:
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)