At the Wolf’s Table was based on the true story of Margot Wolk, one of the 15 food tasters conscripted at Adolf Hitler’s secret headquarters in the East Prussian village of Gross-Partsch (now Poland) during WWII.
Margot’s job was to come to the building every day and eat the food to test if it was poisoned. This reminded me of the same practice used by the past emperors of Vietnam, Japan, and China, etc….
The novel was well researched and Rosella Postorino wrote with compassion for the Germans as victims of the war themselves. The fear, the guilt, the dark secrets, and the conflicts these women food tasters lived through were portrayed in vivid and devastating manner.
I checked Wikipedia and all the key events in the novel are true, except for the ending. I think Postorino found it more realistic to end the story that way.
At the Wolf’s Table was translated from the Italian by Leah Janeczko. It won the 2018 Premio Campiello.