About Me I am a retired librarian and I now support books and authors through my reviews.

I have always loved to read and I was able to share that love through my work as a public librarian for 22 1/2 years. I now promote literacy by reading, and then writing reviews. I love to support authors by sharing my reviews with others!

Monday, January 9, 2023

The Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan

The Secret Society of Salzburg

From the author of The Widows of Champagne, and inspired by true events, comes a gripping and heartwrenching story of two very different women united to bring light to the darkest days of World War II.
London, 1933
At first glance, Austrian opera singer Elsa Mayer-Braun has little in common with the young English typist she encounters on tour. Yet she and Hattie Featherstone forge an instant connection—and strike a dangerous alliance. Using their friendship as a cover, they form a secret society with a daring goal: to rescue as many Jews as possible from Nazi persecution.
Though the war’s outbreak threatens Elsa and Hattie’s network, their efforts attract the covert attention of the British government, offering more opportunities to thwart the Germans. But Elsa’s growing fame as Hitler’s favorite opera singer, coupled with her secret Jewish ancestry, make her both a weapon and a target—until her future, too, hangs in the balance.
From the glamorous stages of Covent Garden and Salzburg to the horrors of Bergen-Belsen,  two ordinary women swept up by the tide of war discover an extraordinary friendship—and the courage to save countless lives.


This book covers the tragic years between 1933 and 1945, when the world was torn apart by one man's desire to destroy anyone who was Jewish. Author Renee Ryan transports us to England, Austria, and Germany, in a captivating tale that's based on true life events. She explains in her author's note that she patterned Elsa Mayer-Braun and Hattie Featherstone after the real-life Cook sisters who orchestrated the rescue of twenty-nine Jews from Nazi Germany in the 1930s. As we're drawn into Elsa and Hattie's strong beliefs and witness their daring efforts to save others, we are reminded of the courage, love, and determination that were so prevalent during this time of persecution, betrayal, and death.

The Secret Society of Salzburg is truly a story of the heart, but its focus isn't romantic love. It is, instead, a moving portrayal of a bond of friendship and trust that couldn't be broken! I've always been fascinated by the events that surrounded World War II and I highly recommend this inspiring book to all who enjoy historical fiction!

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher. There was no obligation for a positive review. These are my own thoughts.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Multi-published, award-winning author Renee Ryan sold her first book in 2001 by winning the inaugural Dorchester/Romantic Times New Historical Voice Contest. She published her second book to Harlequin’s Love Inspired Historical line in February 2009 and has since sold over thirty books to several publishers. 

Renee grew up in a Florida beach town where she learned to surf and skateboard very poorly. Armed with a degree in Economics and Religion from Florida State University, she explored various career opportunities, including stints at a Florida theme park, a modeling agency, and three cosmetic conglomerates.  She also taught high school Economics, American Government and Latin while coaching award-winning cheerleading teams. She currently lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and a large, fluffy cat many have mistaken for a small bear.

You can learn more by visiting Renee's Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

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