Orphans of War

A Heart-Wrenching Tale of Resistance and Bravery in World War II Amsterdam

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Pub Date 08 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 31 Aug 2022

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Their whole world is about to shatter.

German forces have invaded the Netherlands, but the Dutch are trying desperately to believe it won't be that bad. Meanwhile, Nazis openly terrorize Jewish people on the streets. Rumors of bone-chilling violence are getting harder to ignore. 

Christiaan, a man of passion and principle, joins the resistance. He risks everything to shield the oppressed and fight for the freedom of his beloved nation.

Floris is a man with a plan. Promoted to the Bureau of Jewish Affairs, he becomes instrumental in organizing transports to Nazi death camps.

Floris's wife, Nora, discovers his unspeakable atrocities as Nazi aggression grows more brutal. Defying him, she joins the fight to rescue orphans from the terror of the transport trains and to save them from the same fate.

The Reich's grip on Amsterdam tightens. These three will find themselves in the middle of a maelstrom that will change the course of history. As ambition, fear, and desperation collide, no one is safe.

Not the Jewish.

Not the Dutch.

Not even the powers-that-be.

"Orphans of War" is the breathless first installment in the heart-wrenching "Dutch Resistance" trilogy. Enter the terrifying world of 1940s Europe, where the only thing eclipsing the violence of the regime is the bravery of the heroes and heroines of the resistance.

Their whole world is about to shatter.

German forces have invaded the Netherlands, but the Dutch are trying desperately to believe it won't be that bad. Meanwhile, Nazis openly terrorize Jewish people...

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ISBN 9783950503364
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Average rating from 35 members

Featured Reviews

An intriguing story of division In World War 2. The story follows a husband. his wife and brother on opposing lines of the nazi occupation. Flo a police officer sides with the German and Nazi officers and does what he feels is his part to aid in the capture of Jews in hiding. His brother however, is helping to aid the resistance and recruits Flos wife to his cause. However things start unraveling, Flo is onto his brother who must use his ally friends to smuggle him into Switzerland with help from Flos wife. Flo is then onto her and is able to catch her red handed but is apprehended himself.
I enjoyed this take on the occupation from different perspectives. It makes you think what you would have done. I enjoyed that there were real people and events tied into this fictional story.
I recommend this book to world War 2 and history readers.

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Orphans of War follows the story of a husband and wife in Amsterdam during World War II. While Floris works as a police officer and Nazi supporter to hunt down Jews in his community, his wife, Nora, is secretly working with Floris' brother and the resistance to help keep Jewish families hidden and safe. However, Floris starts to suspect their involvement and is eventually faced with having to investigate their comings and goings.

I enjoyed the perspective of this book. It did not follow the life of a Jew and the horrors they endured. Instead, it followed those who fought to protect the Jews and the dangers they encountered in providing that needed aid. As an empath, this book had me feeling all the worries and anxiety as I rooted for the success of the resistance. It was truly incredible to witness the organization the resistance movements had across country lines and it has sparked an interest to learn more.

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Orphans of War was one of the best books I’ve read this year. Michael Reit is one of my favorite authors of historical fiction and books who have characters who struggle against Nazi persecution. In Orphans of War his main characters showed strength and courage to accomplish meaningful acts that saved many lives. Whether it was working to save people by hiding them from the Nazis or moving children and babies to safer locations under the Nazi’s “eyes”, his characters worked tirelessly even though they knew what they were doing could mean arrest and death for themselves. Mr. Reit’s extensive research shows in his writing. I wish the book had been published prior to my last visit to Amsterdam so that I might have visited some of the places noted in the novel, not that his writing didn’t already make them easy to visualize. I just would have liked to visit them and physically walk through them. Thank you for another great novel and I look forward to your next one.

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An absolutely triumphant tale of resistance to evil, greed, and hate. I wish this story had told more about what Nora did until the end of the war and how she made a new life without her husband.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this thought-provoking historical fiction novel. It was an interesting perspective on occupied Amsterdam. I would definitely recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

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Floris, handsome, sweet and caring. He sweeps Nora off her feet, taking her away from her ill life style.

Floris becomes a police officer in Amsterdam, working his was up the ranks. As he works his way up, he changes. He is no longer protecting the citizens of Amsterdam, but hunting down Jewish families for the Germans. He is determined to bring in as many families as he can, along with those that are hiding them.

Nora can hardly recognize the man he has become. She confides in her brother in law, Christiaan who has become appalled at how the Amsterdam Jewish are being treated. Both need to make a decision as to whether they will step back and watch what is going on around them or will they begin trying to stop the unjust treatment of the Jewish?

Some characters in the book are based on true life people who helped the Jewish escape.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and cannot wait for the sequel. I will gladly reread this one before reading the sequel.

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I was lucky to get an advance copy of this book! It’s a story of Amsterdam early in WWII and during the expansion of Germany’s power. It follows three perspectives: (1) Floris, who is a police officer that agrees with Hitler’s ideas. He hunts hidden Jews to turn over to Germany. (2) Nora, Floris’ wife, she struggles staying with him because she does not agree with his work. Her bravery just grows throughout the book, you see her continuously risking her life to help with the resistance. (3) Christiaan, Floris’ brother. He played a huge part with the resistance, helping move Jews and delivering food coupons to multiple houses. Eventually, Floris catches on to his wife and brother’s involvement in the resistance. What does Floris do? Can they survive? I feel like this story was very realistic, I liked seeing Nora’s perspective as a wife of a police officer.

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Loved the way this book was written. Couldn’t wait to turn the page even though I was terrorized. So many German’s helping people Jews and non Jews . I will definitely be looking forward to a follow up.

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A good WWII novel showing courage within a family divided by political and moral opinions. I could relate to the main characters and feel their fear within their own family and their acts of heroism.
I received a complimentary ARC of this novel from NetGalley and I am leaving voluntarily a review.

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Had a hard time getting into this book. I liked the character and the resistance. However, the book moved very slowly and seemed to lack details. In my opinion, it needed more action and plot development. I had high hopes having read other books from this author that I thoroughly enjoyed. Sadly, only three stars for me on this one.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for granting me an advance copy of the book in return for my honest opinion.

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3.5 stars Easy read.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the AR, in exchange for my honest review.

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A World War II story set in Nazi occupied Amsterdam. Nora, who is married to Floris, a police officer who hunts Jews, becomes a member of the resistance with her brother in law. While the book describes an important era of history and putting a spotlight on many details that often get overlooked in popular historical fiction, I did find the story lacking depth to make it compelling. It focused on a thin plot, without offering the emotional engagement to make the story impactful.

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This page turner is a historical fiction story of a family in Amsterdam caught in the crosshairs of World War II. If you're a fan of historical fiction and thrillers, you should enjoy Orphans of War.

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Michael Reit takes us to Amsterdam during WWII. The Nazis enjoy the occupation of other countries. The citizens of Amsterdam watched helplessly as their towns were stripped of jewelry, art, and food. They suffered severe rationing and constant terror. The Nazis underestimated the anger people would have when they lost everything. The story centers around a husband, Floris, his wife, Nora, and his brother, Christiaan. Each character will have their values tested as they see the repetitive brutality of the occupiers. Floris is a member of the local police and will be seduced by the Nazi promises of power and wealth. Is he a believer or does he enjoy the perceived importance he now has? Nora will see the transformation of Floris and must decide whether she can support his new mission. From the beginning, Christiaan abhors the occupation. As he witnesses more and more terrorism, he will quickly decide where his loyalty lies.

The goal of the Resistance is to frustrate the Nazis. They make it difficult for the Nazis to carry out their mission of taking over Europe. The main characters all reach a breaking point at some time. What will they do when they reach this point? Because these characters are so relatable, it is easy to empathize with them. You become more invested in their lives with each page turned. Reit strikes a good balance in describing war-torn Amsterdam. As the story unfolds, and if you stop reading, you have to remind yourself of where you are after being in the midst of war.

This book is one that fans of Reit or WWII stories will find very satisfying.

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I don’t remember when I was reading the summary of this book, it was going to be a trilogy. But that now makes sense. I have definitely been on a kick of WW2 and Holocaust books this year. I always think as a reader, nothing can surprise me anymore. How many more tears can I shed? As it turns out with this book, plenty. Nora was my favorite character. So strong and determined. And I must admit I admire it a lot when the women of those Nazi’s defy their partner.

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book provided by NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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I plunged into this first book of Michael Reit's trilogy about life in Amsterdam during World War II. Floris, a policeman is an abusive husband who makes life for Nora a living hell. Nora's wounds serve as a metaphor for what is happening in everyone's life in the 1940s. Floris is a bully but it is not yet known that the holocaust has already begun in Poland and he is contributing to the worst movement in history.

Floris has a brother, Christiaan, who works in the resistance. Christiaan is working hard to get as many Jews out of the hands of the Nazi soldiers as he can. Nora becomes involved to counter Floris's work and try to help as many victims as possible. The story becomes a suspenseful cat and mouse game that kept me breathless. MR writes life into history and made the story real for me.

Thank you, NetGalley, and the publisher for this e-ARC.

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Book #1 in the “Dutch Resistance” trilogy

Amsterdam 1941

This is a wrenching tale of resistance and bravery. This is a fictional story of 3 individuals that in each their ways faced the bone- chilling violence of the Nazi regime. No one is safe: not the Jewish not even the Dutch.

The players:

Christiaan risks everything to help his beloved nation. He is a member of the resistance and his passion for the oppressed as no boundary.

On the other hand his brother, Floris, an official to the Jewish Affairs, is one of the organizers in relocating the Jewish population to Nazi death camps.

Nora, Floris’s wife, defies her husband by joining the fight to recues orphans from the terror and saving them.

The plot and my thoughts:

We are transported back in time where two brothers find themselves on very different sides of the Nazi occupation. Flo does is part by hunting and capturing Jews in hiding while his brother and Flo’s wife secretly help the resistance. As we follow them in their involvement we witness the incredible organization the resistance had across the country and how dangerous their everyday life was. Suspicion and betrayal was a way of life...no one was safe...even from your own brother even your own husband. Beautifully written to give us a sense of apprehension and fear, Mr. Reit gave us characters that expressed those sentiments to a tee.

Although a slow moving story it is nevertheless a page-turner I had no trouble with. Staying with it was not challenging. No graphic scenes although lots innuendos and scary moments. We do become invested in the lives especially when Christiaan escapes Amsterdam. I wanted him so much to succeed. Mr. Reit strikes a good balance describing War time and the personal struggles people had to endure.

This story has more to offer than I am describing. I only give you a snippet of what to expect. I leave it to you to enjoy as much as I did.

This is very satisfying read.

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This is the third book I have read written by this author and I have to say, this book did not disappoint me.

This time, the story is set in the Netherlands when the Nazis invaded the Dutch in 1942. The story follows about three people--Floris who was being promoted as an officer to oversee the transportation of the Jews, Nora, Floris' wife who tries to be dutiful and is appalled the way Nazis treat the Jews and Christiaan, Floris' brother who is involved in the resistance of saving the Jews and the children.

The author does a good job of drawing the reader into the story, making the reader feel like they are the part of the 1940's Netherlands. The ending was what actually drew me, how Christiaan and Lisa escaped from Amsterdam and moving to Switzerland. Despite the fact that it was a fiction, it still feels emotional and heartbreaking to read that these events did actually happen in real life. The Dutch are one of those who had strong resistance group against the Nazis and Christiaan was involved in the resistance movement. You can see that though most Dutch people resisted against the Nazi rule, there were people like Floris who only seemed to care for his position. Overall, this was truly an emotional and touching story. Worth five stars.

Many thanks to the author for inviting me to read and review the book. Many thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

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I found the book very very interesting. It was quick moving. The characters were realistic and very well developed. Although I have read hundreds and up hundreds of books on the Holocaust, I have never read one about Amsterdam, I found the members of the resistance fascinating and explanation of route and method of escape very real.

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