All That I Am || Summary and Review
All that I Am by Anna Funder
Genre: Historical fiction
All That I Amby Anna Funder is a powerful story of resistance against the horror of N*zism. Based on the true story of Ruth Blatt, the novel explores the strength and vulnerability of humanity in a way both beautiful and tragic. The novel is narrated by photographer Ruth Becker and renowned playwright Ernst Toller, as they look back into their past. At the heart of Ruth and Toller’s recollections burns the memory of Dora – a woman who inspired both of them to stand and face dangerous odds for their freedom and beliefs.
After the Reichstag fire in 1933 and just after Hitler came to power, Ruth and her husband Hans Weseman are forced to flee Germany because of their connection to the Social Democratic Party. Stranded in a foreign country that turns a blind eye to N*zi terror, the two-bedroom apartment at Great Ormond Street, London, becomes the headquarters of an underground resistance movement against the N*zis. Thus begins a compelling tale of courage and betrayal, love and death. Yet England is not safe and their uncertain and precarious refugee status prohibits them from being politically active and openly alerting the world to the brutality of N*zism.
All That I Am is a captivating story and made me want to read more of Anna Funder’s work. Funder writes beautiful prose which vividly captures the remarkable story of a group of people determined fight for their beliefs, even in a time of terror. What I love most about the novel is Funder’s portrayal of characters who are by no means flawless yet show the best of humanity even in times of horror and destruction.
Like The Book Thief by Markus Zusak and My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante, this novel resonates with you long after you turn the final page.