The White Rose Network by Ellie Midwood
1943, Germany: “I won’t be able to live if anything happens to you,” she whispered into his ear as they said goodbye, not knowing if they would ever see each other again. The White Rose Network brings to life the incredible true story of Sophie Scholl––one of history’s bravest women, who risked everything to lead a revolution against darkness.
Sophie was born to be a rebel, raised by parents who challenged the brutal Nazi regime. Determined to follow in their footsteps, she leaves for university, defying Hitler’s command for women to stay at home.
On her first day in Munich, Sophie’s brother Hans introduces her to his dear friend. When she meets Alexander, with his raven-black hair and brooding eyes, she knows instantly that she isn’t alone. There are more courageous souls like her, who will fight against evil.
Together, and with others who also refuse to back down, they form the White Rose Network. In an underground vault, Sophie and Alexander conspire in whispers, falling in love as they plot against Hitler. Promising her heart to Alexander is the most dangerous act of all––with each risk they take, they get closer to capture.
As snowflakes fall on a frosty February morning, Sophie and her brother scatter Munich University with leaflets calling for resistance: “We will not be silent; we will not leave you in peace!” (publisher)
But their lives hang in the balance, with the secret police offering a reward to anyone with information on the White Rose Network. It is only a matter of time before the Gestapo closes in… And when Sophie is imprisoned in an interrogation room, staring a Nazi officer in the eye, will she take their secrets to her grave? Will she sacrifice her freedom for love? (publisher)
Sophie Scholl moves to Munich to study at university and to live with her brother Hans. Nazi regime doesn’t exactly encourage women’s higher education so that’s a win by itself. In Munich, she meets Hans’ friends and soon discovers that Hans and his friends have been writing leaflets against the Nazi regime. At first, Hans wants to keep Sophie safe from all that, but Sophie insists on getting in on the group called The White Rose. Their father was against the nazi ideology from the start and has been quite vocal about it. He’s been in jail because of that, so the sisters know that resistance will get them in trouble.
This was my first book by the author and the first book about the White Rose and I really enjoyed this one. The book has dual timelines from Sophie’s POV: the interrogation and events leading to the capture. In a way, it would have been interesting to see how and why she first started to question the Nazi propaganda. Because every Scholl sister belonged to a youth program at some point and was very enthusiastic about it.
I knew very little about the other members of the group besides the Scholl sisters and loved learning more about them. My only problem was the Gestapo officer who interrogated Sophie. I don’t totally believe that he would have been that sympathetic towards her. But that was pretty much my only complaint.
Published: Bookouture (February 9, 2022)