I just finished the historical fiction, In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson, author of The Devil in the White City. The story takes place during the rise of Hitler in 1933, and told through the naive eyes of American Ambassador William Dodd and his beautiful party-loving daughter, Martha. The family settles in a house across from Tiergarten park(Garden of Animals) in which the book's title is derived.
Even as the violence escalates and Hitler launches the Night of the Long Knifes, people are going about their lives as usual attending operas, parties and picnics. Martha is infatuated with Germany and the Nazis. She has many affairs and even becomes a spy for the Soviet Union when she falls in love with Russian diplomat, Boris Vinogradov.
Eventually, Dodd begins to realize the disaster unfolding and tries to warn the U.S. politicians who turn a blind eye to the hostilities. I enjoyed the book, although I was frustrated with the lack of cohesiveness in the writing. I can't quite put my finger on it. It was full of detail and empty at the same time. It seemed artificial and tedious yet exciting. I am glad I read it but I liked The Devil in the White City better.
I'm an expert amateur or maybe an amateur expert.