Reviews from Readers
Lisa Farringer Parker has done a remarkable job of getting inside another person’s life and giving her a voice. Her mother’s story is exciting, moving, frightening, and ultimately inspiring. It’s an introduction to a charming, sheltered child and an opportunity to see her grow up into a brave and wise young woman. It’s a real page-turner, poetically but realistically expressed.”
- gentle reader
This is a fascinating and unique account of being German under the Nazi regime. It is very well written, and provides a wonderful perspective not shared before. If you liked books like, Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum, this is a must read for you. Lisa Farringer Parker is a captivating writer with a captivating story to tell! The characters will inspire you and keep you turning the pages.
- Lisa T.
As a WW-II buff, I’ve often wondered about the plight of German citizens, community and business leaders, during WW-II – those who were not Nazi’s, Jewish or in the Military. Lisa Farringer Parker’s book, “Angels in the Darkness” tells the dramatic true story of the Bolles’ struggle to survive the tyranny of Hitler’s government, a war they did not believe in, and the subsequent brutal occupation of their home and city by the Russians. Ultimately, it is the story of the strength of will over forces beyond our control, and of a young girl’s admiratiore interested in this subject, I would highly recommend Lisa’s new book.”
- Russ Moser
This is a great read. It captures you right away and is different from all the other Hitler era books because it gives a German family’s perspective. The family is very interesting and you fall in love with the characters because the author does such a wonderful job at developing them. It is hard to put down, as there is a lot to learn from this book.
- Barb G.
Ms. Farringer-Parker’s writing style takes the reader through the powerful struggle defining the changes of life in Berlin between 1935 and 1949. Her vivid characters become the reader’s family and friends. You will celebrate, cringe, revolt and cheer them on as they become stronger in family, faith and the belief in a better life.
- Helen King
This exceptionally well-written and fast paced read is filled with fascinating details about WWII Berlin. The author’s choice to set it in the first person with dialogue makes the dramatic events jump off the page. I strongly recommend this book.”
- Nigel Zah
My book club chose this book and I was reluctant to start reading, as I am not a big fan of biographies. After about 10 pages I was hooked on learning more about a young girl and her family’s trials during Hitler’s reign of terror in 1940′s Germany. Lisa Parker’s vivid stories about her mother and grandmother’s ability to survive the horrors of Nazi Germany and the Russian invasion of their community are stories that will move every reader. It was enlightening to learn that many Germans did not agree with the Nazi party principles, as evidenced by the Bolle family story. They were a wealthy, well-known German family who were affected by the horrors surrounding them, yet they maintained their beliefs without compromise. Their story of despair and survival is one I recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about that period of time in history. Lisa Parker is a writer that deserves to be recognized and I look forward to her future novels.
Angels in the Darkness is an important book, wonderfully and lovingly written by author Lisa Farringer Parker. So much has been written about WWII and Hitler, both by historians and eyewitnesses, that one would be hard pressed to determine what hasn’t been covered. Angels in the Darkness does just that. We all know the toll the war took on the world and the neighboring countries Hitler chose to invade. The common belief is that the citizens of Germany were willing accomplices and complicit. To be certain, some were. But as Ms. Parker documents, and writing from the perspective of her mother’s first hand accounts, most citizens of Germany were people you would immediately recognize. People who had families, people who had jobs, people who owned homes, people of faith. People who simply wanted to live and enjoy their lives. World War II was as much or more so a period of anguish and guilt for average German citizens, as it was for those outside the country. Whether intended or not, Ms. Parker’s book, on the surface a labor of love for her mother and for her family, fills in a conspicuous gap in the historical records of that era. Many understand how, in an economically ravished Germany, and a desperate nationalist fervor, these circumstances gave rise to this dictator. Now, thanks to Ms. Parker and her extraordinary and laboriously researched tome, historians and students will have a much better understanding of how this period of history uprooted and harmed average German citizens.
- L. Pike
Angels in the Darkness is a wonderful story that is told from a perspective rarely considered, that of Germans who saw and understood Hitler for what he was. I cheered for Jutta (the narrator) and her family’s triumphs and worried through their struggles as I followed Jutta from an idyllic childhood through a war-torn adolescence and finally to the end of WWII. This is a fast paced read that melds informative historical information with personal triumph and it will leave you hoping for more from its author, Lisa Farringer Parker. A great read!
- Christine D.
I love history and stories about relationships – this book is rich in both. Ms. Parker relates the story of her mother’s childhood in Nazi Germany and her coming of age under the various post-war occupiers. Ms. Parker’s writing style is engaging, she creates lively portraits of her grandparents and her mother as well as other relatives and important family friends. The historical information, interwoven with the lives of these real people about whom we come to care so much, is presented so personally and brings to life experiences none of us would want to endure but about which we should be informed. I bought two copies to donate to school libraries as well. I HIGHLY recommend this book.
- Susan M.
A suspenseful, thought provoking, and emotion evoking page turner! Lisa Parker captured and held my attention from the very beginning of this dramatic account, which tells the story of the Bolles, a prominent German family living in Berlin during WWII. They manage, with incredible grace, courage, and compassion, to survive not only the nightly Allied bombings but also the daily hardships and devastating heartbreaks of the Nazi regime. The story is told through the eyes of Jutta Bolle, a 6yr old child when the book opens. You feel Jutta’s fear, sadness and incomprehension as she watches her beautiful safe world become increasingly uglier and more frightening. You fall in love with Mutti, Jutta’s devoted, loving, and very industrious mother, who along with Vati, Jutta’s father, is singularly focused on protecting Jutta. The story, which closes with Jutta immigrating to the US, offers a rare view of WWII from the perspective of a German family first victimized by its own brutal government and then by the righteous wrath of the Allied armies determined to use whatever force was necessary to destroy that government and all that it stood for.”
- Carole Meyer
“Lisa Farringer Parker hits it out of the park with her first book. Who would believe a first time author could have done such a fabulous job. I am a history buff and have read many books about Nazi Germany, but I have never read one like this. Ms Parker gives a most comprehensive look at how Germans who were not Jews or Nazis lived under Hitler. The story is told in the first person by the author’s mother, Jutta Bolle, from the time she was 6 years old living in Berlin until she was 19. Once I started to read, I could not put the book down. Jutta tells so many fascinating stories regarding her personal experiences and her family, one cannot pick any part that is the most exciting. Jutta tells of playing soccer with her neighbor, Max Schmeling the famous German Boxer who later escaped to the United States; and going to school with the daughter of the infamous Nazi, Heinrich Himmler. She tells of the fear of having two SS officers come to her house just to learn they were merely delivering a party invitation to Gudrun Himmler’s birthday party. She tells of her family working hard to learn the truth of what was happening in the world and how they would fight the Nazis in their private little ways. Although it was law for all German children at age 12 to join the Hitler Youth, her mother would not allow it. There are many heros we would never know about if not for this book. We see through the eyes of this child Kristallnacht, and what happened when her Jewish playmates did not show up for school; and how her family helped friends escape Nazi Germany. The unbelievable things Jutta’s mother did to insure the family’s survival during the war and the way they found pleasure in little things to keep their sanity. The occupation of the Russians and the coming of the Americans provides a prospective only one who lived through it could tell. Don’t miss the chapter when Jutta’s mother sneaks back into her house when it is occupied by drunken sleeping Russians after nearly being raped, to recover a very precious item. The reader keeps wanting to see what comes next. Ms Parker makes the reader cry, laugh and grip the arms of his chair. Nothing seems to be missed from Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics to the Berlin Airlift. Angles in the Darkness is a must read for anyone who has interest in this period of history. You may be assured you have not read anything like it.”
- Terry Gould