Night Witch in Berlin by Joanna Brady

Night Witch in Berlin is a backward-forward, coming-of-age love story, overlaid with memories of the horrors of World War II. It captures the tenuous and politically charged moment in time between a post-war and a pre-cold war told through the eyes of Kira, a Russian female fighter pilot, a Nachthexen, or night witch. The history of these young women conscripted by the Russian military is unique and intertwines with what is commonly known and chronologically significant.

Brady interweaves and balances the historical events with the protagonist’s emotional development artfully. Her literary references and foreign language insertions are masterful and give flavor to the story. The reader is not only left with the bittersweet aftertaste of loss but the fragrant comfort of Kira’s “stubborn gladness” (“the ability to cultivate joy and wonder even at life’s bleakest,” according to Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love). At its core, Night Witch in Berlin is a love story, a delightful reading journey, which you will be stubbornly glad you took.

Copyright May 2021 Judith D. Winters, content may not be used without express permission of the author

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