In Another Time by Jillian Cantor

Published March 5th 2019 by Harper

 

 

4.5 Stars:

I enjoy reading historical fiction and have read a lot of stories about WWII and the horrors of the holocaust. I selected this book after reading a couple of positive reviews on blogs I follow. In Another Time seemed to fit the bill, however, once I started it, I realized it was not what I expected at all. This story is historical fiction, as it describes the lead up to Hitler’s final solution, but there is also an undertone of Sci-Fi with some time travel, some romance in the form of deep, never ending love as well as love of music and how the mind survives horrors.

I am not going to reiterate the synopsis of this book, what I want to share is how it made me feel. First, this is the first time I have read about the years immediately preceding WWII. Hannah and her love of music kept her focused on the prize of playing in the symphony instead of seeing what was happening around her. The belief of Hannah and others that it was still their Germany and Hitler couldn’t possibly remain in power and things will return to normal is all too easy to believe. It angered me to see how the other German citizens, friends and colleagues could get caught up in the frenzy and treat their Jewish friends and neighbours the way they did. I was yelling at Hannah to get out while she could, but of course, I know what happens, they still wanted to believe the best. As I read about loss of memories, a form of PTSD, I wondered how I would react to such horrendous situations. I felt for Max and Hannah. The love they shared was so special and consuming. It is hard to move on from the love of your life when they are lost to you, and my heart broke for both of them. Lastly, I wished that I had something that I cared about as much as Hannah loved her music. I tend to flit from interests and activities, enjoying them, but tiring as well. This book brought out a lot of emotions as I was reading. It is a story that can anger, frustrate, break your heart and fall in love. The characters were very well written and the pace of the story was excellent. The only part of the story that had me a bit perplexed was the time travel aspect. I would have enjoyed this story without it, but it did add a bit to the plot. Overall, I was completely engrossed in this story and its characters. In Another Time is a stunning and memorable tale of love and war. I recommend it to those who like to read Historical Fiction, especially surrounding WWII.


About the Book: A sweeping historical novel that spans Germany, England, and the United States and follows a young couple torn apart by circumstance leading up to World War II—and the family secret that may prove to be the means for survival. Love brought them together. But only time can save them…

1931, Germany. Bookshop owner Max Beissinger meets Hanna Ginsberg, a budding concert violinist, and immediately he feels a powerful chemistry between them. It isn’t long before they fall in love and begin making plans for the future. As their love affair unfolds over the next five years, the climate drastically changes in Germany as Hitler comes to power. Their love is tested with the new landscape and the realities of war, not the least of which is that Hanna is Jewish and Max is not. But unbeknownst to Hanna is the fact that Max has a secret, which causes him to leave for months at a time—a secret that Max is convinced will help him save Hanna if Germany becomes too dangerous for her because of her religion.

In 1946, Hanna Ginsberg awakens in a field outside of Berlin. Disoriented and afraid, she has no memory of the past ten years and no idea what has happened to Max. With no information as to Max’s whereabouts—or if he is even still alive—she decides to move to London to live with her sister while she gets her bearings. Even without an orchestra to play in, she throws herself completely into her music to keep alive her lifelong dream of becoming a concert violinist. But the music also serves as a balm to heal her deeply wounded heart and she eventually gets the opening she long hoped for. Even so, as the days, months, and years pass, taking her from London to Paris to Vienna to America, she continues to be haunted by her forgotten past, and the fate of the only man she has ever loved and cannot forget.

Told in alternating viewpoints—Max in the years leading up to WWII, and Hanna in the ten years after—In Another Time is a beautiful novel about love and survival, passion and music, across time and continents.