The Curator’s Daughter

Author: Melanie Dobson

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: March 9, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A great blend of historical and contemporary makes for a terrific read!

In 1940, archaeologist Hannah Tillich is searching for the Holy Grail for Himmler’s antiquities group.  As a child who went through Germany’s defeat and humiliation in the great war, Hannah is proud of the Third Reich and their work to reunite Germans.  But when she learns that she has been reassigned to work as a museum curator in her home of Nuremburg, she finds the façade begins to crumble.  Soon she is forced to marry a SS officer, who has fully bought into Hitler’s vision.  After being unable to conceive, her husband presents her with an adopted daughter, who she comes to love as her own.  When she learns what is happening to Jews across the continent, she comes up with a plan to save their stories that just might cost her own.

In 2019, Ember Ellis is pursing her post doctorate on hatred of the Jewish people while working at a Holocaust museum.  She is no stranger to the hatred of people as she was raised in a white supremacy convent and was able to escape when she was fifteen.  When she reconnects with a former teacher whose mother was a friend to Jewish people in World War II, she sets off to Nuremberg to find out what information she can.  But somebody is watching Ember and doesn’t seem to want her to discover the truth or expose any secrets best left forgotten.

When I first read the synopsis for this book, I thought maybe it would be an Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade type of adventure, mainly because of the holy grail search during World War II.  Even though it wasn’t all action and adventure, it easily captivated me at the first page through the very last sentence.  Dobson did a great job of paralleling not only the two main characters to each other, but also to the story of Saint Katharine.  There are lots of hidden nuggets throughout this book that readers will love to find. 

There are three main points of view throughout the book: Ember, Hannah, and Lilly.  At times, Lilly’s POV can through you off early in the book, but it quickly pieces things together as it moves along.  It also felt more like it was set in the future at times with the march against the Holocaust museum, but that could have easily happened in 2019.  It’s sad that there is still so much hate in the world.  Dobson did a great job of putting that on display and showing how love can help diffuse it.  I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

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