Jeudevine Library and Jerry Schneider will lead a discussion of “In the Garden of the Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin” by Erik Larson on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 5:30 p.m. at the Atkins Field Pavilion.

The first 12 people who sign-up and commit to attending the discussion will get a free copy of the book. Call the library now to reserve a copy at 472-5948.

Though this book is nonfiction, it is as engrossing as a novel. It follows a mild-mannered professor from Chicago, William Dodd, as he becomes ambassador to Nazi Germany. He brings along his wife, son and flamboyant daughter, Martha.

At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the New Germany, she has one affair after another, including with the surprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels.

But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue and romance — and ultimately horror when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.

This is the last discussion in the Pushing the Limits Discussion Series. For more information call the library at 472-5948 or email jeudevinelibrary@hardwickvt.org.

Please bring your own chair.

Reliable news and information is vitally important. Local advertising has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis but the Vermont Community Newspaper Group remains committed to its responsibility to serve its communities. Your communities. With some assistance from loyal readers, community organizations, foundations and other funders, we hope to keep reporters on the job keeping you informed. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our local journalism fund. Thank you for your support.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexual language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be proactive. Use the "Report" link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.