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Wunderland  By  cover art

Wunderland

By: Jennifer Cody Epstein
Narrated by: Lisa Flanagan
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Publisher's Summary

USA Today best seller

"Searing...a heartbreaking page-turner." (People)

"Both heartbreaking and hopeful, this story of a daughter searching for the truth about her mother’s secret past, tangled up in old secrets and terrible lies, kept me up late turning pages." (Martha Hall Kelly, best-selling author of Lilac Girls)

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Real Simple

Once inseparable, Berlin teenagers Ilse Fischer and Renate Bauer find their friendship ripped apart by their nation’s abrupt swing into fascism. Ilse, a so-called Aryan, throws her lot in with the Nazi Party, while Renate sees her once-secure world dismantled by Adolf Hitler's race laws and then shattered by a shocking betrayal. Decades later, that same betrayal will upend the life of Ilse's daughter, Ava, as she discovers long-buried truths about her mother's past. A harrowing pause-resister, Wunderland traces the lives of three women across two generations - and the devastating repercussions of choices made in the dark days of wartime Germany.

Praise for Wunderland

"Engrossing...Epstein reveals the devastating choices these women make." (Real Simple)

"Wunderland is both an engrossing family drama and a foray into a dark period of history...a wholly original angle to the WWII novel. You’ll read it in one shivered sitting." (Refinery29)

"A vividly written and stark chronicle of Nazism and its legacies." (Kirkus Reviews starred review)

"A wealth of history turns Wunderland into a novel that’s both beautiful and devastating.... Epstein taps into the 1930s prewar era, laying out an unsparing narrative that details tragic events and horrifying legacies...opening a new door that may lead to redemption and joy for future generations." (BookPage starred review)

"[A] heartbreaking historical tour de force.... Man’s inhumanity to man - and the redemptive power of forgiveness - is on stark and effective display in Epstein’s gripping novel, a devastating tale bound for bestseller lists." (Publishers Weekly starred review)

©2019 Jennifer Cody Epstein (P)2019 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"[An] intimate, unflinching saga of friendship, womanhood, and the awful legacy of Nazi Germany." (USA Today)

"[An] absorbing exploration of friendship, betrayal, and coming to terms with the past." (Booklist starred review)

"Take a fascinating inside look at the twisted world of Nazi Germany in Wunderland, Jennifer Cody Epstein’s wonderful new novel. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, this story of a daughter searching for the truth about her mother’s secret past, tangled up in old secrets and terrible lies, kept me up late turning pages." (Martha Hall Kelly, best-selling author of Lilac Girls)

What listeners say about Wunderland

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing book

I have exclusively read WW2 books over the last couple of years. Some of the books have become slightly redundant as the number grows; however, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I have to say that this is my favorite WW2 book. The storyline slowly escalated throughout the book with a most amazing ending. Narrator is one of the best I’ve heard.

22 people found this helpful

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Wunderful

I was just a young child during WW II,many news reports were did not interest me at the time. I found this book informative and very interesting. I knew the Jewish people were persecuted but the author painted a very realistic picture of the horrors during this terrible chapter in our history. I enjoyed the book immensely and was sorry when it was over.

11 people found this helpful

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Glad I saw this thru

At the start of book I wanted to return it. Too much time spent on pre teen prattle. Took way to long to establish the deep friendship of two girls. But when story actually did get started it was excellent and heartbreaking I learned so much of pre war berlin and Germany and how easy it was for hitler to ease his way into the people’s hearts didn’t realize fully how countries seemed to turn a blind eye to the way nazis were treating the Jews a long time prior to WW2. This book is worth It could d have been a little shorter

9 people found this helpful

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Wow, Just Wow!

This book is so well written, the story so compelling, that I couldn’t stop listening. I am a child of WWII parents. My mother lived through the Blitz in London, met and married my father who was a Major in the American Army. His heritage is almost solidly German and particularly Prussian. This book filled in so many of the gaps for me. I have studied WWII and Hitler’s life and I found this book to be very believable and authentic. The ending was very satisfying and unexpected. Love eventually wins over anyone with a will to open themselves themselves up to it. I was thoroughly immersed in this book and feel like I knew all involved in this story. I know that I will listen to it again eventually. Thank you Jennifer Cody Epstein.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Predictable and somewhat disappointing

Sadly, I had this book ruined for me by an audible reviewer who gave away the identity of the mystery person- as I was 1/2 way thru the book.

I wasn’t really into the book, so I was rereading reviews and saw major plot twist on audible! But truly, though I didn’t know the identity of the person, I already knew where the author was going with the story by that point.

It wasn’t a great book. Many much better examples of WW2 HF out there!

2 people found this helpful

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So good

I cannot even tell you how much I enjoyed this book. The story the characters the narration. All of it. Perfect. Thank you to the author. I absolutely love when you have an amazing story and you finish sad it is over. It is the sign of an amazing story.

2 people found this helpful

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Author's format ruined the story for me

First of all the narration was really excellent and the premise of the story was actually pretty good.
This could have been a really great book if it were more concise and less jumbled with chapters of minutia.
A different format and this story may have gutted me, but since deaths are introduced before characters are developed (they get developed later when you already know they are dead) the death's are not felt as strongly as they should have been.
The authors constant use of "cliff hangers" on chapters felt so choppy and unnecessary that again it seemed to take away from what should have been very dramatic/traumatic moments. I did like the story - but not the way it was told and I don't mean narration. I really wouldn't recommend this as a listen, despite the excellent narration, unless of course it's on sale really cheap or free.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Good narration, okay story, language.

Nasty mouths, tacky parts to story that are completely unnecessary. Skipped to last chapter, which tells the whole story without having to hearing all that garbage. No more by this author for me. Narration good.

1 person found this helpful

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Fascinating

This story and characters come to life as the author gives in-depth description of occurrences and much dialogue . My one complaint is the editing. Some of the descriptions in scenes wandered.. did I need a complete overview of every store on the street?? Or side situations which had no bearing on central characters.The authors language is rich, but better editing would have made this book a 5 star. But— I still was to give it a major recommendation to anyone interested in WWII historic fiction.

1 person found this helpful

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Outstanding!

On my all-time top 10 list. Well developed characters, extraordinary story line spanning decades and generations. Beautifully written and performed. A perfect 10! Bravo!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Christineb
  • 05-13-19

A Great Audii

Really enjoyed this book Audio very authentic Storyline was good Totally immersed into story Shame about the ending