In Pam Jenoff's novel The Kommandant’s Girl, newlyweds Emma and Jacob have only been married for three weeks when Nazis invade their homeland of Poland. Jacob soon disappears to aid the resistance and Emma is left to pack up and move back in with her parents in the Jewish Ghetto.
Emma is awakened in the middle of the night and smuggled out of the Ghetto to reside with her husband’s Catholic cousin, Krysia, in Krakow. Emma takes on the persona of Anna Lipowski, a gentile woman recently arrived to visit Krysia. Soon after arriving, Anna is introduced to Kommandant Richwalder, a striking man she knows she should hate, but is nevertheless drawn to.
Kommandant Richwalder offers Anna a position as his personal assistant. In order to keep up appearances as a gentile and Nazi supporter, Anna accepts the position. She earns the Kommandant’s trust, providing information she gleans as his assistant to the resistance.
Anna is then asked by the resistance leaders to get even closer to the Kommandant to learn what plans are in place for the Jews of Krakow. Will Anna put her safety -- and her marriage -- in danger for the cause of the greater good?
The Kommandant’s Girl is a riveting tale of what life was like for the Jewish population of Poland during the Nazi occupation. Jenoff is a gifted writer who brings the character of Emma/Anna alive, develops a sympathetic character in the Kommandant and weaves a tale that won’t let the reader put it down.