'WINTER CALLS FOR A GOOD BOOK, AND WE'VE FOUND ONE TO RIVAL THE BOOK THIEF'
-- The Australian Women's Weekly
Margot Baumann has left school to take up her sister's job in the mailroom of a large prison. But this is Germany in 1944, and the prison is Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin.
Margot is shielded from the camp's brutality as she has no contact with prisoners. But she does handle their mail and, when given a cigarette lighter and told to burn the letters, she is horrified by the callous act she must carry out with her own hands. This is especially painful since her brother was taken prisoner at Stalingrad and her family have had no letters from him. So Margot steals a few letters, intending to send them in secret, only to find herself drawn to their heart-rending words of hope, of despair, and of love.
This is how Margot comes to know Dieter Kleinschmidt - through the beauty and the passion of his letters to his girlfriend.
And since his girlfriend is also named Margot, it is like reading love letters written for her.
From award-winning Australian author James Moloney, comes a fresh and compelling story about love, loss and profound bravery. For fans of The Book Thief, this powerful and heartbreaking story set during WW2 stays with you long after the final page is read.
AWARDS FOR JAMES MOLONEY
In 2019 James Moloney was honoured with the CBCA Nan Chauncy Award, which each year honours an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to Australian children's literature.
MORE PRAISE FOR THE LOVE THAT I HAVE:
'a beautiful, heartbreaking and affecting read. ... Definitely one for book club, just don't forget the tissues.' -- The Australian Women's Weekly
'a heartbreaking, harrowing and deeply hopeful story ... for readers of The Book Thief, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas' -- Books+Publishing
'A compelling and emotionally charged story of young love and survival, bravery and humanity. The closing months of the Second World War in Germany are seen from a surprising and fresh perspective. I was holding back tears from page 72.' -- Shona Martyn, Spectrum Editor, The Sydney Morning Herald
'a profoundly hopeful and humanity-affirming novel, portraying the equalising power that compassion has above all injustice. This is a novel for people who enjoyed The Book Thief, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, All the Light We Cannot See, and more recently, The Tattooist of Auschwitz.' -- Better Reading
'This is historical fiction at its best - thoughtfully written, relevant today, throwing new light on well-worn themes of love, loyalty and friendship. It is also a gut-wrenching read that is up there with Anne Frank's diary for immediacy and impact. Recommended.' -- CBCA Reading Time
Beautiful, harrowing and moving
This story is about a German girl, Margot, working in the mailroom of a concentration camp during WW2 and a young German man, Dieter, who was being held prisoner there. Margot starts intercepting and reading some of the prisoners mail and stumbles across Dieter's letters to his girlfriend who by chance is also called Margot. She quickly realises the letters are not being replied to and as she is so moved by his words of love she decides to write back to him pretending to be his Margot in order to keep his spirits up and his hopes of their being reunited alive.
It is a story of great compassion and love in what were truly dreadful times and it shows how one small kind action can have a ripple effect that is wide-spreading
The first half of the book was set in the concentration camp during the war but the second half took place in the 12-18 months immediately following the liberation of the camps by Allied Forces. I personally found this to be a fascinating insight into what life was like in Germany following the war and is something I'd now like to learn more about.
It's a poignant and moving book which is beautifully written and which shows both the best and worst of human nature.