Get a free audiobook

At the Wolf's Table

A Novel
Narrated by: Polly Stone
Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

A provocative and moving historical audiobook based on the true story of a young woman who moved to a village near the Wolf's Lair, Hitler's secret headquarters, and became one of his food tasters. 

Germany, 1943. Twenty-six-year-old Rosa Sauer’s parents are gone, and her husband, Gregor, is far away, fighting on the front lines of WWII. Alone, she has little choice but to leave war-torn Berlin behind and live with her in-laws in a village near the Wolfschanze, the Wolf’s Lair, Hitler’s hidden headquarters. Convinced the enemy wants to poison him, Hitler conscripts 10 women, including Rosa, to be his food tasters. Even though food is a luxury, eating the decadent feasts Hitler will soon be served is an act of torture - after each meal, the women must wait an hour to see if they will die. 

Every minute seems like an eternity. None of the women are allowed to meet Hitler, none can enter the Wolfschanze, but the führer is a constant presence. He is in every conversation, in Rosa's thoughts, and forever on the radio. He looms large above them all, like some kind of deity. 

As the war outside goes from bad to worse, so do the lives of the 10 women trapped in the tasting room, forced to eat what may kill them. Rosa's friends are keeping explosive secrets, the vindictive SS officer put in charge of the tasters takes a special liking to her, and Rosa must figure out how she can stay alive as it becomes clear she and her friends, her Hitler, everyone she knows, are on the wrong side of history.

©2018, 2019 Text copyright Rosella Postorino, translation copyright Leah Janeczko (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

What the critics say

"Narrator Polly Stone gives us a believable depiction of Rosa Sauer...The story is compelling, and the performance memorable." (AudioFile Magazine)

"[Postorino's] ability to beautifully convey feelings of guilt, shame, love, and remorse in a single gesture is a sign that we will be hearing more from her." (New York Times Book Review)

What members say
Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    0
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Performance
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    3
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    2
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No reviews are available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Heather
  • 2019-03-26

Fascinating - I loved this!

So I read some of the other reviews and I think I get why people didn't like this as much as I did. There's no redemption arc for the main character. She basically just lives her life and she does what she does for survival. Period. But I think that's what I loved about it so much. This isn't a story that's going to justify the actions of her (or the other tasters) during WWII or give her a happy ending because I think that would defeat what the author is trying to convey. She's this ambiguous character the whole way through because she ISN'T a great hero. But she also isn't a full-tilt villain with malice in her heart or anything. She's just a real person.

So real, in fact, that I had to keep checking to see if this was a memoir. While it is based on real events and there's a woman who had a life VERY similar to Rosa's, I can see where the author took creative liberties.

All in all, I enjoyed this story. I loved the narrator's accent and appreciated hearing about an aspect of WWII that was less known and explored.

On the topic of exploration, I really wish Rosa's and Alfreida's relationship had been developed more. I felt like there was potential for a lesbian relationship or at the very least a much more satisfying friendship between the two. The way the ending happens leaves you in such a state of "what the heck!" and never gives you any resolution for a relationship that made up a large part of the book and Rosa's character.

I also agree that the ending felt rushed and left you unsatisfied. We go from a very linear story line to a very cut-scene type of writing. That being said, that final scene in the cafeteria is beautiful in its subtlety. The experience with the green beans where she's looking around before biting makes your gut twinge. It's that final note of trauma right at the end.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lu Worrell
  • 2019-02-08

Not my favorite

I enjoyed the story as I do all world war 2 books but it was boring and the narrator was monotonous.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Schmoopyslove
  • 2019-02-01

Sadness on a platter!

Sure war is sad. But this is a story with no smiles, no comrades, no friendships, no hope.
The main character never learns her lessons in life.
She goes from one scene to another with baggage, infidelity and no gratitude for anyone or anything. She makes mistakes but never learns
Where she could have become a person that could see joy in a flower, she doesn’t take the time to do so. Many people suffered much much worse than she did. Yet she walks through life, even after the war, alone by choice. I got tired of waiting for her to stop feeling sorry for herself.
She chose to keep her feelings to herself, chose to be closed off emotionally when she had every opportunity to be open and let the world in.
Even when life could have been good after the war, she would not reach out to those who were reaching out to her.
I felt nothing for her but pity. Such a miserable life and make no mistake about it, it was her undoing herself.
Such a waste. I could never be proud of this woman. If I knew her in person I could never befriend her.
There are glimpses in the story of what other people thought of her. And by the end you realize those people’s opinions were accurate. She was self serving , selfish, always thinking about herself. Yuck.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-03-25

A Fascinating Missing Piece of History

This is a fascinating story and both a chick book. Whoever thought about who tasted Hitler's food and that it was not a choice but a forced wartime job? It is also about naive love and what the war does to it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Rachel Kurtz
  • 2020-01-30

Intriguing & heartbreaking. Historical. Love story

Well researched and fascinating historical fiction WW2 novel that sheds light on the German civilian perspective of how now all Germans supported the Nazi movement but were forced into situations so they could just survive. It's also a love story; for one's country, for one's husband, friends and the short yet powerful relationships that come and go. In the end it's sad but also a beautiful melancholic novel.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Cheri Skomra
  • 2020-01-18

Realistic portrayal

This book shows that German's also suffered under Hitlers region including many of the soldiers including those in the SS who couldn't bear the attrocities Hitler demanded. the reader makes Rosa come to life. this is an excellent book.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • mary
  • 2019-11-14

Beautifully written and read.

Outstanding. A memorable story. Beautifully written and read. I am so glad I bought this novel.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • shopper
  • 2019-11-12

LOVED IT!

Just loved this story. Well written, intelligent, intense and thoroughly entertaining. Wonderful narration. Highly recommend.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Jo Page
  • 2019-09-11

Based on a True Story and Well Worth Knowing

The fact that this was based on an actual woman wasn't clear to me until I did a little internet probing. And that makes the story even more resonant than it would have been otherwise--and it still would have been compelling, as well as well-written.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • GreenEyes
  • 2019-06-22

What happened? The wolf’s table is where some are eaten and some taste.

What happened between part two and part three? I’m going through a hard time but apparently I’m worse off than I knew. Overall a good book. I’m having nightmares about it. It has an effect on this reader. I guess that does make it a good book. I feel as though I missed a large segment. I didn’t. I read it all...or listened. I seldom have a book bother me as this one did.