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An epic tale of love, hope, glamour and courage set against the staggering true-life events leading up to World War 2. For fans of A Woman of War and The Nightingale comes a heart-wrenching tale that takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride from Munich to Hollywood, London, Paris and Lisbon. A forbidden romance… Munich 1930 Jewish ballet dancer Lilli Sternberg lon An epic tale of love, hope, glamour and courage set against the staggering true-life events leading up to World War 2. For fans of A Woman of War and The Nightingale comes a heart-wrenching tale that takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride from Munich to Hollywood, London, Paris and Lisbon. A forbidden romance… Munich 1930 Jewish ballet dancer Lilli Sternberg longs to escape the rising Nazi menace. But a whirl-wind romance with a promising young army officer, Captain Marco Zeiller, puts her Hollywood dreams on hold - until her heart is broken. A dream shattered…. Making it to Hollywood, Lilli dances with the legendary Fred Astaire, who introduces her to high society and the heir to the British throne, Prince Edward. But when injury ends her film career, Edward and his American mistress, Wallis Simpson, both Nazi sympathisers, have other plans for Lilli. A final chance to save her loved-ones and change the course of history... As war looms and Marco Zeiller, now working for Goebbels, re-enters her life, Lilli’s loyalties are tested as one by one her family falls prey to Nazi terror. Against all odds, can Lilli save her family and foil Hitler’s plot to kidnap Edward?


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An epic tale of love, hope, glamour and courage set against the staggering true-life events leading up to World War 2. For fans of A Woman of War and The Nightingale comes a heart-wrenching tale that takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride from Munich to Hollywood, London, Paris and Lisbon. A forbidden romance… Munich 1930 Jewish ballet dancer Lilli Sternberg lon An epic tale of love, hope, glamour and courage set against the staggering true-life events leading up to World War 2. For fans of A Woman of War and The Nightingale comes a heart-wrenching tale that takes the reader on an emotional roller-coaster ride from Munich to Hollywood, London, Paris and Lisbon. A forbidden romance… Munich 1930 Jewish ballet dancer Lilli Sternberg longs to escape the rising Nazi menace. But a whirl-wind romance with a promising young army officer, Captain Marco Zeiller, puts her Hollywood dreams on hold - until her heart is broken. A dream shattered…. Making it to Hollywood, Lilli dances with the legendary Fred Astaire, who introduces her to high society and the heir to the British throne, Prince Edward. But when injury ends her film career, Edward and his American mistress, Wallis Simpson, both Nazi sympathisers, have other plans for Lilli. A final chance to save her loved-ones and change the course of history... As war looms and Marco Zeiller, now working for Goebbels, re-enters her life, Lilli’s loyalties are tested as one by one her family falls prey to Nazi terror. Against all odds, can Lilli save her family and foil Hitler’s plot to kidnap Edward?

30 review for Beneath a Starless Sky

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Beneath a Starless Sky by Tessa Harris is an excellent pre-WWII era historical fiction that has it all: action, history, suspense, a transcontinental and spanning narrative, and romance. This is the first novel that I have read by this author, and I am now most certainly a fan. I really enjoyed reading the complex story line and the experiences that Lilli Sternberg experienced traveling from Munich to Old Hollywood and back. So many obstacles, so many stunning turns of events throughout the narr Beneath a Starless Sky by Tessa Harris is an excellent pre-WWII era historical fiction that has it all: action, history, suspense, a transcontinental and spanning narrative, and romance. This is the first novel that I have read by this author, and I am now most certainly a fan. I really enjoyed reading the complex story line and the experiences that Lilli Sternberg experienced traveling from Munich to Old Hollywood and back. So many obstacles, so many stunning turns of events throughout the narrative. I was continually surprised on what would happen next, and felt that those twists and turns really added to complexity of the narrative. I liked Lilli. She was strong, like able, imperfect, and I was really rooting for her and her continual perseverance. I also enjoyed the dash of romance that was interwoven throughout. It added a softer aspect to the action-packed story. And without giving any spoilers, I enjoyed how it all wrapped up. A great historical fiction that kept me engaged throughout and I highly recommend. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and HQ for this ARC and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR, Bookbub, Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts immediately. This book was published on 12/9/2020.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Lloyd

    As Lilli Sternberg dreams of being a famous dancer or a Hollywood star she ignores the worries and political concerns of her earnest younger brother, Leon. Intending to train as a lawyer he is often outspoken about the plight of Jewish families like theirs. Naively, when Lilli meets the charming Marco Zeiller she hopes her family will accept the Italian/German army officer into their family but when her hopes are dashed, she takes up an opportunity to achieve her ambition. As the 1930s progress L As Lilli Sternberg dreams of being a famous dancer or a Hollywood star she ignores the worries and political concerns of her earnest younger brother, Leon. Intending to train as a lawyer he is often outspoken about the plight of Jewish families like theirs. Naively, when Lilli meets the charming Marco Zeiller she hopes her family will accept the Italian/German army officer into their family but when her hopes are dashed, she takes up an opportunity to achieve her ambition. As the 1930s progress Lilli is amazingly successful, mixing with the rich and powerful, but at some point, she must return to see her family. There she finds an impossible situation and she is prepared to put herself in danger in order to help the opposition to Hitler. Reading the story of this brave, likeable young woman we learn about the horrors building up to the Nazi atrocities and we desperately want her to find love and happiness, however unlikely that might be. At times I found the interaction between Lilli and real people such as Fred Astair or Wallis Simpson unbelievable, but Lilli herself is very engaging. There are gaps in her story which are explained later but this maintains the pace of the plot. An interesting novel in its reflection of contrasting cultures in Germany, England and Hollywood in a turbulent era.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    Beneath A Starless Sky by Tessa Harris is a powerful historical novel set during the 1930’s and World War II years mainly in Munich. The reader witnesses the terrible persecution of the Jewish people as the horrific gradually becomes the acceptable. There are some brave souls who although they spot what is coming, are powerless to halt it. Not every German is a Nazi. “There are some good people left in Germany.” Some fight the system from within. Actual factual events and figures blend with fiction Beneath A Starless Sky by Tessa Harris is a powerful historical novel set during the 1930’s and World War II years mainly in Munich. The reader witnesses the terrible persecution of the Jewish people as the horrific gradually becomes the acceptable. There are some brave souls who although they spot what is coming, are powerless to halt it. Not every German is a Nazi. “There are some good people left in Germany.” Some fight the system from within. Actual factual events and figures blend with fiction to create this marvellous story. As a historian it was fascinating to read. Within the tale there are spies – brave men and women who do what they must to help the war effort. Family is important as is true love. The reader witnesses both the pure heart and the black, evil heart at work. Beneath A Starless Sky was a compelling read. I cannot wait for more by Tessa Harris. I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Susan Hampson

    What an incredible journey this is with some surprising historical figures playing major roles in the story. It begins in 1930 and follows the life of Lilli Sternberg. Lilli and her Jewish family lived in Munich, but attitudes are changing towards the family as long time friends turn their backs on them, and her father’s shop was burned down. Lilli, a ballet dancer, longs for her talents to be recognised and a way out of Germany. The story follows Lilli through the war years, her loves, her caree What an incredible journey this is with some surprising historical figures playing major roles in the story. It begins in 1930 and follows the life of Lilli Sternberg. Lilli and her Jewish family lived in Munich, but attitudes are changing towards the family as long time friends turn their backs on them, and her father’s shop was burned down. Lilli, a ballet dancer, longs for her talents to be recognised and a way out of Germany. The story follows Lilli through the war years, her loves, her career and the situations that she is forced into to survive and keep people she loves safe. There is never a dull moment in this story. I loved the romance and her determination, but for me, the second half of the book was riveting. The tension that the author brought to these pages just made the world around it become blurred. I had been watching a TV series, before and after reading this book, and the mix of them both brought this book even more to life. It was like this was the behind the scenes story, and it made my blood run cold. It felt quite surreal that Lilli had no idea just how bad things had become for her family back in Germany. It was all too horrific to think that any of it could be true. It is, at times, extremely heart-breaking, and it becomes very personal to Lilli. I can’t recommend this book enough. I wouldn’t even want to put in into a category because this for me is a book of life. One woman, brave and determined. A Perfect ending too.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aracely

    4.5 stars An amazing story about bravery, courage, resilience and family. I'm a fan of these kinds of stories. The Second World War and everything that happened before, during and after it has always caught my attention, so when I saw this book I applied to review it and I was very happy to be entrusted with it. I won't say much because when I like something, emotion usually wins over me and I release spoilers and I don't want you to miss out on reading a beautiful story. It is not a book about roma 4.5 stars An amazing story about bravery, courage, resilience and family. I'm a fan of these kinds of stories. The Second World War and everything that happened before, during and after it has always caught my attention, so when I saw this book I applied to review it and I was very happy to be entrusted with it. I won't say much because when I like something, emotion usually wins over me and I release spoilers and I don't want you to miss out on reading a beautiful story. It is not a book about romantic love in itself but it is about family, courage, resilience, helping yourself and others. I have always trusted that during this time there were good, self-sacrificing people who took risks for others. What the Jews suffered is totally inhuman, the story of Lilli, Marco and her family is sad and heartbreaking but definitely one that those of us who love this kind of narrative will enjoy reading.  I leave a lot to be said but as I mentioned before anything else I say will be a spoiler because I am still very excited after finishing the book. Many thanks to NetGalley and the author for trusting me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Natalie "Curling up with a Coffee and a Kindle" Rampling

    I enjoyed this book, the life of Lilli was cleverly designed and woven with threads of history through it. At times, I did get a little confused with the names of the historical characters and I feel I would have benefitted from a cast list at the start of the book for reference. The characters of Lilli and Marco were likeable (on the whole!) and I cared about their story. The prologue was not resolved until the final chapters and I think parts of this could have been linked together as I had forg I enjoyed this book, the life of Lilli was cleverly designed and woven with threads of history through it. At times, I did get a little confused with the names of the historical characters and I feel I would have benefitted from a cast list at the start of the book for reference. The characters of Lilli and Marco were likeable (on the whole!) and I cared about their story. The prologue was not resolved until the final chapters and I think parts of this could have been linked together as I had forgotten about some of the scene by that point.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sandra McKenna

    A brilliant and suspenseful story. This magnificently written story takes the reader from pre World War 2, through to the 1980s. A very poignant read, it tells of the hardships of the Jewish people in Munich prior to and during the war; the double agents and spies, the involvement of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, and the survival of very few. I was very moved by this story, and cannot recommend it highly enough for lovers of this genre.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alisha Phillips

    Wow. I loved this story of Lilli Steinburg, a Jewish ballerina who set off to make it big in America just before the start of WW2. In a twist of fates, she ends up working against the Nazis as she tries to get her family out of Munich. It was beauitfully written. So much heartache, love, hope, and bravery in her story. I loved that it focused on the years leading up to the war and that buildup that people were to blind to see. I loved the ending so much, but won't give away any spoilers. It's a Wow. I loved this story of Lilli Steinburg, a Jewish ballerina who set off to make it big in America just before the start of WW2. In a twist of fates, she ends up working against the Nazis as she tries to get her family out of Munich. It was beauitfully written. So much heartache, love, hope, and bravery in her story. I loved that it focused on the years leading up to the war and that buildup that people were to blind to see. I loved the ending so much, but won't give away any spoilers. It's a 4.5 star book for me! @hqstories

  9. 4 out of 5

    Thelma

    I couldn't have started the year with a better book to read, Beneath a Starless Sky is one of those books that will captivate you and hook you to the stories from the first chapters of the book. I really didn't expect this book to be such an amazing roller coaster of emotions but I did cry a lot and suffer so much with the life of Lilli Sternberg. Lilli Sternberg life wasn't easy especially since her career as a dancer was just starting when the terrible events of WW2 exploded, she was Jewish and I couldn't have started the year with a better book to read, Beneath a Starless Sky is one of those books that will captivate you and hook you to the stories from the first chapters of the book. I really didn't expect this book to be such an amazing roller coaster of emotions but I did cry a lot and suffer so much with the life of Lilli Sternberg. Lilli Sternberg life wasn't easy especially since her career as a dancer was just starting when the terrible events of WW2 exploded, she was Jewish and people at the time was starting to discriminate against Jews and even making them aside, she was fighting for a place on the dancing industry maybe a movie in Hollywood but her life had many surprises for her and her family surprises that not necessary where good. Lili what an amazing character and heroine, she was very stubborn and she did make a few mistakes that had me screaming while reading what she was about to do but overall she was amazing, she didn't take no for an answer and she would fight whatever was in front of her if she had to help her mother and family to survive. I don't have anything to complain about Lilli just that she made a few mistakes that would have to save her from so many burdens but in times where everything was so uncertain you couldn't expect her to be that perfect. Lili's and Marcos paths crossed at the very beginning of Lili's story but people around her didn't find it right for them to even be together, as a Jewish she was expected to be left behind or to move back to make a path for the German girls, that was the case for Helene she did expect this, bein a "close" friend for Lili. but what can we expect from someone who had everything in life, she didn't need to suffer at all when her life was already fixed... I really despised Helene she was a terrible human, she was "kind" when she needed something but as soon as she saw the potential, the strength, and the talents of Lili, she became jealous and evil towards her, and when Marco didn't pay any attention to her was the worst. her evilness was not frequently shown over the story but in the end, she proves to be the worst marrying a terribly evil man like Von Schellenberg just like her. Lili's family was beautiful it was one of those families who was always kind and supporting everybody no matter if they were not Jews, Golda and Leo were always helpful. I really hated how people turned their backs on them the only ones who really were great until the end where Mutti and Axel two characters that will steal your heart. Beneath a Starless Sky was a beautiful story that really will grave you by the gut and will take you all around Lili's life, it is a book that will make you feel, hopeful, faithful, and sometimes angry that humans can be so cruel and ignorant. Overall was an amazing story with great characters and a very deep love that will transcend the pages of the book, I wish there was the author gave a better ending to Lili she really deserved so much more, she was the soul of the book and the one who went through all the hardships to help everybody so I think she really deserved better.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    What a wonderful story, and so superbly told – I was entirely swept away by this one from its dramatic 1940s prologue to its perfect and emotional ending, a masterful blend of fiction and fact, overflowing with drama and intrigue. It opens in the 1930s – Lilli is Jewish, living with her family in a Munich tenement, a talented young ballet dancer dancing through the pain and dreaming of a different life, in the leading role in a production of Giselle, excited by the possibility that she might be s What a wonderful story, and so superbly told – I was entirely swept away by this one from its dramatic 1940s prologue to its perfect and emotional ending, a masterful blend of fiction and fact, overflowing with drama and intrigue. It opens in the 1930s – Lilli is Jewish, living with her family in a Munich tenement, a talented young ballet dancer dancing through the pain and dreaming of a different life, in the leading role in a production of Giselle, excited by the possibility that she might be spotted by an American talent scout and offered the opportunity to appear in the movies she sees on the silver screen. Marco Zeiller, a young German soldier, is enchanted by her performance – despite the obvious obstacles to their finding happiness together, their convincing and troubled love story threads its way through a story that becomes far more than the romance I might have at first expected. As the fascist threat inexorably grows, we follow Lilli’s life and all its twists and turns. Leaving her family behind, she achieves the success she hoped for, moving in circles she could never have imagined being part of – while at home in Germany, the Nazis steadily gain dominance, her concerns about her family increase, and she hopes to use her position of privilege to secure their escape and safety. I have an almost irresistible urge to tell you the whole story – every encounter, every well known historical figure that plays a part, every dramatic twist and turn of Lilli’s personal story – but it’s something that everyone really should discover for themselves. But I enjoyed so very much the familiar figures and the insights into their lives – the Hollywood glitterati, the highest Nazi echelons, the royalty, and the rich and famous. Much of the historical background is very familiar, but the book allows you to have a far more intimate and personal view – with a depth of research and detail that brings both the individual characters and their world vividly to life. Although I’ve called it “background”, it’s very much more than that – Lilli’s own story of bravery and survival is entirely meshed and blended with the lives of characters we know so well but are rarely so privileged to be able to share. The writing is excellent, the emotional content perfectly handled, the sheer pace of the story unrelenting and entirely gripping – I’m a little averse to calling any book a page-turner, but this one totally consumed me throughout, impossible to put down, the perfect escape from life and its distractions. It had the quality of a big screen production, the whole canvas quite wonderfully drawn, the familiar historical facts seen from within in a way I thoroughly enjoyed – but entwined with Lilli’s personal story of heartbreak, betrayal, love, determination, courage and resilience quite perfectly and entirely convincingly. This book was everything I wanted it to be, but so much more than that – I loved every moment, and recommend it very highly.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Cat Spearey

    My honest review is that I really enjoyed this book. It isn't my usual kind of book - I was honestly drawn in by the cover and then when I read about the protagonist being a dancer it cemented my need to read it. Beneath a Starless Sky was not what I expected at all! It is written like a biography to begin with but quickly escalates into a romance before spiraling into a spy novel. Tessa Harris really turned a number on me even though I had read the synopsis (which I think gives a little too much My honest review is that I really enjoyed this book. It isn't my usual kind of book - I was honestly drawn in by the cover and then when I read about the protagonist being a dancer it cemented my need to read it. Beneath a Starless Sky was not what I expected at all! It is written like a biography to begin with but quickly escalates into a romance before spiraling into a spy novel. Tessa Harris really turned a number on me even though I had read the synopsis (which I think gives a little too much away)! I loved the character of Lilli and the journey she takes through the narrative. Harris obviously puts herself in her character's shoes - she writes as if she knows exactly how Lilli would feel and react - it all seemed very natural and none of it forced. Lilli's Jewish heritage plays a huge part in the story and, as you can imagine in Nazi Germany, it is a driving force for her actions throughout the story. My heart broke for her with her romances and I urged her on when she decided to take action - choices which gave her a very three dimensional feel. I would have liked more detail from her relationships - focus was given to events rather than this which is why my rating dropped slightly. Every conversation seemed to happen for a reason - I craved a bit of gossip to give me more insight into Lilli's thoughts and feelings. In terms of historical setting however, Harris has cleverly used events to spring her readers forward, keeping Lilli involved in recognisable events and with famous names was ingenious in my opinion - without that I don't think the story would have worked as well as it did. So overall an enjoyable read which I know I can recommend to a few people. It surprised me with its depth and the encompassing of several genres which only appeared the more I read. It gave me film noir vibes all the way through which I loved! Lilli has so many layers that I want to encourage people to read!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Anne Clare

    After reading the Amazon blurb, I had expected this novel to be a fairly straightforward “forbidden love” story between Lilli and Marco. Instead, Harris’s novel twists and turns through love and loss and through locations from pre-war Germany to Hollywood, Britain, and France. Lilli not only struggles with the challenges of her romance with Marco, but with her heritage, her relationships with and obligations to her family, and the physical strain of her dancing career. Ultimately, she has to cho After reading the Amazon blurb, I had expected this novel to be a fairly straightforward “forbidden love” story between Lilli and Marco. Instead, Harris’s novel twists and turns through love and loss and through locations from pre-war Germany to Hollywood, Britain, and France. Lilli not only struggles with the challenges of her romance with Marco, but with her heritage, her relationships with and obligations to her family, and the physical strain of her dancing career. Ultimately, she has to choose how far she will go to help her people and protect those she loves as tensions in the world mount and the war begins and spreads. The story kept me up reading later than I intended to, wondering what would happen next! Without giving away major plot points, Lilli winds up in the position to meet many real, prominent people of the era like Fred Astair, Edward VIII (briefly king of the United Kingdom until he abdicated) and his wife, Wallis Simpson (whom he abdicated in order to marry.) Harris’s story mingled historical facts from the lives and actions of these people in a fictionalized account which made for interesting reading and introduced some pieces of history that I wasn’t aware of. If you’re a reader who enjoys WWII era romance and historical fiction involving real people from history, “Beneath a Starless Sky” fits the bill!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    A compelling, captivating read that will make your heart ache. This novel is cleverly crafted, with many themes entwined effortlessly. First of all, I have to begin with what attracted me to this in the first place and that was the title and cover. The cover is just stunning and puts together all the different elements to this story beautifully. The title again is beautiful, and as you read you will see this was the perfect title for this story. One of the themes is the love story between Lilli a A compelling, captivating read that will make your heart ache. This novel is cleverly crafted, with many themes entwined effortlessly. First of all, I have to begin with what attracted me to this in the first place and that was the title and cover. The cover is just stunning and puts together all the different elements to this story beautifully. The title again is beautiful, and as you read you will see this was the perfect title for this story. One of the themes is the love story between Lilli and Captain Marco. I completely fell for these two characters, this isn't the typical romance with many obstacles in there way which just made this even more captivating. This isn't just a romance it is set around the start of WWII and through the eyes of Lilli you see it all unfold, this is obviously truly horrific. I would say that Harris has got the balance right in this book with neither theme overpowering the other. For me there was an added bonus in this story as I love the ballet with Giselle being one of my favourites, so I did enjoy the journey of Lillie as a dancer. Beneath a Starless Sky, made me cry, broke my heart in many places however it is full of hope Lilli is such a strong woman and an inspiration!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joy

    *special thanks to NetGalley for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest review! 3.5 stars I have been really feeling the historical romances lately, haven’t I? Though I will say, this doesn’t lean as heavily on the romance as I thought it would. This book contained two of my favorite topics to read about; Hollywood, and WWII (though in this book, it’s mostly the start of WWII). I loved the forbidden romance trope. I thought it was well done, and made me want to read more books with this trope. I a *special thanks to NetGalley for the ARC copy in exchange for an honest review! 3.5 stars I have been really feeling the historical romances lately, haven’t I? Though I will say, this doesn’t lean as heavily on the romance as I thought it would. This book contained two of my favorite topics to read about; Hollywood, and WWII (though in this book, it’s mostly the start of WWII). I loved the forbidden romance trope. I thought it was well done, and made me want to read more books with this trope. I also really enjoyed the fact that it was about more than “just” a romance. It’s about family and resilience and fighting for yourself and others. This took place before WWII, which is not something I’ve read as much as books taking place during WWII. Seeing how the events leading up to WWII affected Lilli’s life and her family’s life was eye opening. It’s heartbreaking but hopeful, which makes it powerful. I think I could have rated this higher if I hadn’t read so many other historical romances lately. It was a solid read, but not an absolute favorite of mine. But, for all the reasons I stated, this was a book worth reading.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

    This is the first time that I have read a book by Tessa Harris. On the strength of this novel, it certainly won't be the last. What I liked most about this story is the way a very human saga is cleverly interwoven into a series of extremely disturbing historical events. This follows a prologue which gives a chilling insight of what is to follow. It is the story of Lilli Sternberg. It is a love story. However it is so much more. I won't go into detail about the plot out of fear of spoiling the nar This is the first time that I have read a book by Tessa Harris. On the strength of this novel, it certainly won't be the last. What I liked most about this story is the way a very human saga is cleverly interwoven into a series of extremely disturbing historical events. This follows a prologue which gives a chilling insight of what is to follow. It is the story of Lilli Sternberg. It is a love story. However it is so much more. I won't go into detail about the plot out of fear of spoiling the narrative. Suffice to say that the way the novel explores the rise of fascism in 1930s Europe is a real strong point of writing of Tessa Harris in this book. I like the way the characters are developed as the timeline moves from the 1930s into the Second World War. There is a poignancy to the epilogue which is both extremely sad, but at the same time provides a fitting end to the novel. I give my thanks to Netgalley and HQ Digital for a copy of this book in exchange for this review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Linda Hartley

    I'm sorry I didn't have the same enthusiasm for this book as much as others. I found Tessa Harris style of writing very average and the same with the storyline. The reviews say 'Gripping' but to me Lilli Sternberg raised as a Jew and endured the criticism of her upbringing and religion in Germany's 1930's. After an army Captain is captivated by Lillis talents as a ballerina they start a romance that her family shatter thinking Marco is of another life and not for their daughter. They also wish her I'm sorry I didn't have the same enthusiasm for this book as much as others. I found Tessa Harris style of writing very average and the same with the storyline. The reviews say 'Gripping' but to me Lilli Sternberg raised as a Jew and endured the criticism of her upbringing and religion in Germany's 1930's. After an army Captain is captivated by Lillis talents as a ballerina they start a romance that her family shatter thinking Marco is of another life and not for their daughter. They also wish her to marry within the Jewish faith. Naively she tries to persue their relationship but the strains of power, war and class changes everything. Her heart is broken and she moves to America. There she is able to dance with the famous but war still looms. Her brother becomes a lawyer and that has consequences too. Likened to Hannah Kristie's the Nightingale but for me ( and I know I'm in the minority) it didn't quite cut it.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    A pre-world war 2 book. The title and the cover drew me to the book. Lillian a Jewess ballet dancer dreams of moving to America and being on the stage there. She learns to dance through the pain until the pain is too much. What will she do now? As the war begins, can she save her family? Marco is Lillian’s first love but there are numerous people out to stop them. It is a dangerous relationship and one that becomes more so. At times I found the book a bit slow. I wasn’t sure of my feelings for Lil A pre-world war 2 book. The title and the cover drew me to the book. Lillian a Jewess ballet dancer dreams of moving to America and being on the stage there. She learns to dance through the pain until the pain is too much. What will she do now? As the war begins, can she save her family? Marco is Lillian’s first love but there are numerous people out to stop them. It is a dangerous relationship and one that becomes more so. At times I found the book a bit slow. I wasn’t sure of my feelings for Lillian at times she seems wrapped up in her own dreams and aspirations. She did begin to change as the book progressed. It was a good book with numerous real individuals and events. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy to review. The review and opinion is my own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    susan bellinger

    Beautiful Story of Love and Intrigue!! World War This was a story of a beautiful German dancer who found the love of her life under the Starless Sky , who was a German soldier and the trials and Intrigue of World War Two. This is a story that holds your interest from the minute you read the first page. Please take the time to read as you laugh, cry, are on the edge of your seat. I do not like to write reviews because books I love I am just not great at writing the review, so just read and enjoy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Katharine Johnson

    I’m always attracted to books set in the 1930s and having enjoyed Tessa Harris’s other historical books I knew this one would be gripping and meticulously researched. I found myself swept away by a tale of forbidden love against a backdrop of gathering menace. What I especially liked about it was the espionage angle and the inclusion of real-life characters like the Prince of Wales and Wallis Simpson. This dazzling and devastating story had me hooked to the end.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Great historical fiction. Most of the story takes place in Germany and England during the years just prior to WWII and the first year of the war. A young Jewish/German ballerina/dancer becomes involved in helping to defeat Hitler.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Carey Mundy

    I enjoyed this WWII saga about a Jewish dancer who dances with Fred Astaire and makes a hit in Hollywood before she becomes a spy against the Nazis fighting for Britain. Several Intriguing sub-plots made it a page-turner

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    Having just completed season 1 of the Crown this fitted nicely into that historical era with the inclusion of to Edward Vlll and Wallis Simpson in the story line. I found earlier parts of the book a bit slow but the second half was more engaging.

  23. 4 out of 5

    jean sargent

    Brilliant book really enjoyed it,had a job putting it down as i wanted to know what happened next. A lovely story of love, hate and frightening at the outset of w.w.2 and beyond. Following the story was great,as i love anything historically based.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Annette

    Incredible historical fiction I loved it so much. I could.Not stop reading, could not put it down. I found the ending fascinating. A wartime intrigue.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    The ending :( I read this book pretty quickly,great story. The ending had me tearing up. Well written story.would recommend to people :)

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    3.5 stars

  27. 5 out of 5

    Tanya Hunter-Robinson

    Lilli’s story is one that unfortunately, isn’t that too uncommon. Her life, and her families life, was turned upside down when the Nazi Party came into power with such terrible consequences. Lilli’s bravery and determination shone through this story and it transported you right into Lilli’s world. I love historical fiction and this did not disappoint. If this genre is for you, be sure to pre-order this book before it’s release in February 2021. Thank you to @hqstories and @harpercollinsuk for le Lilli’s story is one that unfortunately, isn’t that too uncommon. Her life, and her families life, was turned upside down when the Nazi Party came into power with such terrible consequences. Lilli’s bravery and determination shone through this story and it transported you right into Lilli’s world. I love historical fiction and this did not disappoint. If this genre is for you, be sure to pre-order this book before it’s release in February 2021. Thank you to @hqstories and @harpercollinsuk for letting me be a part of this book tour.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Millette

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary Donaghey

  30. 4 out of 5

    jean richardson

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