Emma is a Jewish Pole who finds love at a very young age. She marries Jacob and just as she is starting to settle her life as a librarian and wife, World War Two begins and everything she knows suddenly changes.
Jacob, Emma's husband, is a key member of the resistance to the war and leaves Emma to go underground because life is too dangerous for him. He makes Emma promise to destroy her wedding rings and marriage certificate, but she just cannot bring herself to get rid of the only thing that now connects her to her husband. After Jacob has left, Emma and her parents are moved to the Ghetto. But when Emma meets Marta, she realizes that she has befriended a member of the resistance who can bring her news of Jacob and perhaps even safety from the Ghetto. Emma is placed with Jacob's aunt under the assumed identity of Anna, a Pole from the coast. Soon Anna finds herself working for Nazi Kommandant Richwalder. She tries to tell herself she is only working there to get information for the resistance, but realizes soon that she might have feelings for the Kommandant. While struggling to keep her marriage vows, Emma must keep her identity a secret, which proves not so easy in a Nazi-ruled city.
The characters in this novel are incredibly real. Your heart immediately goes out to Emma and the heartache she has from not being able to see her new husband. Even the Kammandant Richwalder is sympathetic, though I found myself a little upset that I was feeling anything but disgust for him as a Nazi commander.
The story flowed well and was a quick read. Even though I would classify this book as a fiction/literature, it was quite the page turner. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Emma and if anyone was going to find out her secret.
The ending leaves the possibility of a sequel to the book. If Jenoff does put out another book following Emma or any of the other characters in this novel, I would pick it up in a heartbeat. This novel takes you through every possible emotion and leaves you wanting more.