Book Review: The Porcelain Maker by Sarah Freethy


Title: The Porcelain Maker

By: Sarah Freethy

Genre: Historical

Pages: 384

Release Date: November 7th, 2023

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Rating: ★★★★☆


Summary from Goodreads:

Two lovers caught at the crossroads of history.
A daughter's search for the truth.

Germany, 1929: Under the dazzling lights of Berlin, two people are drawn together: Max, a Jewish architect, and Bettina, a beautiful and celebrated German avant-garde artist. But their bright beginning is soon dimmed by the rising threat of Nazism. In time, Max is arrested and sent to the concentration camp at Dachau where only his talent at making exquisite porcelain figures stands between him and death. Everything Bettina has done up until now has been meticulously planned to try to save Max. She would rather die than live another moment without him—but can one moment last a lifetime?

America, 1993. Bettina’s daughter Clara embarks on a journey to trace her roots and discover the identity of her father, a secret her mother has kept from her for reasons she’s never understood. As Clara starts piecing the puzzle together, we are transported back in time, where life is lived on a razor’s edge, and deception and death lurk around every corner.


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They get me every time! Historical fiction happens to be a weakness of mine. The deep inspiring stories of love withstanding war touch me down to my soul. This story didn't disappoint.

There were a lot of memorable characters throughout this story. Max, with his sweet demeanor and determination. Bettina and her strong will to do whatever she needed to do to keep her daughter safe, and Clara, desperate to find the father she never knew. These people were the driving force of this story.

There was a point in the book when Bettina and Max find themselves making art again, but under the cover of war. One is a prisoner and the other a wife of a German officer. If anyone found out about their past, everything would fall apart, but still... They kept seeing each other, unable to let go. It was beautiful.

Favorite Quote:“Max?”
He looked back.
“Please don’t lose hope, you found each other once before.”
“I wish I could believe you,"

I rated this book 4 out of 5 stars. It was a wonderful read with all the pain and true love a WW2 story should have. 
There were tears and joy, but ultimately heartache. If you only read one historical fiction this year, let it be The Porcelain Maker by Sarah Freethy. Can you believe this is her debut novel? I sure can't.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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