Friday, 15 May 2020

Book talk on a raining day...

Clearly rain showers are not restricted to April, as we’ve got a rainy day forecast for today, as well as for much of the upcoming long weekend.  But since every weekend seems like a long one in these days of self-isolation, and since we can’t really go anywhere or do anything, I think people are generally less frustrated with the rainy forecast this year than they would normally be.  I’m certainly not frustrated, as I’ve got a steaming cup of chai tea and a delicious Date Bar to keep me company this morning as I write my post.
I finished a novel yesterday that was the debut for journalist Anika Scott, The German Heiress.  I picked up an advance reader’s copy of this book at the library conference I was at in January, and I’m glad I did.  This novel, set in Germany at the end of 1946, follows Clara Falkenberg as she attempts to find her best friend, Elisa, whom she abandoned in their home town of Essen nearly two years earlier.  Clara, nicknamed “the Iron Fräulein”, was once Germany’s most eligible heiress, running the operations of her father’s ironworks empire.  Near the end of WWII, she fled with nothing but a false identification card and a strong will to survive.  Sensing that her life as Fräulin Margarete Müller is about to change, she feels compelled to return to her hometown and try to find answers to the many questions she has about her family, and to reconnect with her friend.  Narrowly escaping an encounter with a British officer, she makes her way under cover of darkness to Essen, where she connects with people both old and new in her search for answers, and faces some cold hard truths about herself and her role in the Nazi plan.  This novel was definitely a page-turner, with interesting characters and a complex plot.  But the thing that I found most thought-provoking was the way Scott explored each character's role in the war experience, questioning the morality of each by considering the choices they made and wondering what they could have done differently, if anything, and what the consequences were or may have been.  I didn’t love this book, but Scott is definitely an author to watch.  If you enjoy novels exploring the roles of women in World War II, you won't be disappointed with this one. It would also be a great book club choice.  
That’s all for today.  Stay safe and keep reading!
Bye for now…
Julie

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