I couldn’t put the book down and ploughed through it in three days, averaging 130 pages a day.
Funder’s novel, based on real characters and true events, is set mostly in Berlin and London in the early- to mid-1930s. It’s the story of two couples who flee the beginnings of Nazi Germany for ‘safe’ London where they engage in opposition activities. Three of the four are secular Jews who view themselves as Germans before Jews–Ernst Toller and his on-again, off-again partner Dora Fabian, and Dora’s cousin Ruth Wesemann. Ruth is married to journalist Hans Wesemann, an early critic of Hitler.
After the four move to London, they realize their new city isn’t as safe as they’d thought. In fact, as their exile friends around Europe are mysteriously assassinated, they realize the Gestapo will stop at nothing to silence its opposition.
This story has all the cloak and dagger suspense of any good spy novel, except it’s based on a true story–which makes it all the more haunting and depressing.
All That I Am spans Europe, Shanghai, Australia, North America, and South America and is an important addition to WWII literature.