The New York Times

The Shortlist: Historical Fiction

“At the Wolf’s Table”

By Rosella Postorino

Translated by Leah Janeczko

275 pages. Flatiron. $26.99.

It’s 1943. Ten women are gathered at a long wooden table, plates piled high with buttered string beans, roasted peppers, rice and peas. But it’s not a feast. The women are food tasters, making sure the dinner cooked for Hitler has not been poisoned.

“My mother used to say eating was a way of battling death,” recalls the main character, Rosa Sauer, in Postorino’s engrossing novel. Those words capture the paradox at the heart of this story, which is

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