“A Dance in the Ashes” is a powerful and captivating post-war story of survival, forbidden love and betrayal.
Berlin, summer of 1945, Hitler is dead and the population is fatefully linked against the background of the destroyed capital of the Reich, nothing is standing and people are starving. The story recounts how three of them managed to survive during this tough time: it tells how Mathilde struggled to feed her family and how she coped with the day to day life while Frank, her husband and Gestapo officer, eluded the Russians only to face the Ami. It is also the story of Camillo, a Roma Gypsy and acrobat, and how he helped Mathilde, the wife of his enemy to survive only to use her to revenge the murder of his family.
This amazing story alternates between Mathilde and Frank’s point of views. The sophisticated prose and dialogues bring post war Berlin to life, particularly well portrayed is the degree of hardship the people endured and the description of insurmountable rubble to clear. Mathilde was one of the women tasked to this job and did so in order to feed her family. The characterization is superb. The role played by the cast is not only believable but very moving. It is a wonderful change to see the ravage of war from the perspective of Germans. Human suffering is universal I totally agree with those saying this….The SS officers returning home were not gently greeted most had to go into hiding to escape the Russian’s wrath or simply gave themselves up to the Americans.
This is an excellent novel of courage and determination. Well-done, this is another book I enjoyed immensely