Book Review – The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Book Review – The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Book Review –

The Munich Girl

by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

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 Joni Dee
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Some Stones Are Best Left Unturned

As I’m sitting in front of the laptop trying to review “The Munich Girl”, an historical fiction / romance  novel by Phyllis Edgerly Ring, my mind stutters. How does one sum-up an emotional roller-coaster ride, which not only sees the highs and lows of its protagonist’s story but of WWII, Adolf Hitler and Eva Brown.

Anna is anything but a confident woman. She is normally full of self -doubt, and does her best to attend to her husband’s needs and demands, serving as both his academic editor, and housewife, while helping him to cost-effectively run his late father’s WWII magazine.
All this is about to change, as Anna discovers a link between her late mother Peggy (who’s half German) and Eva Brown, the notorious tyrant’s mistress. A simple article which Anna sets upon to write for the magazine spirals into a quest after her mother’s old life in Germany during the war, when an old manuscript that Peggy had written resurfaces.
Oh, and there’s Hannes. The mysterious German who pops into her life and seems to be on top everything, especially when she needs him the most. This is a story within a story within a story, that will take us on a journey to Eva Brown’s life story.

I am rather ambiguous about “The Munich Girl”. Let’s start with the one undoubtful thing: Ms. Ring’s writing is superb. It is fluent, descriptive and accurate. The fact that some of the dialogues are in German (and translated) does not hurt the above, and in fact that is hardly noticed. Great job by the author on that front.

The fact that Anna discovers a manuscript is okay, however Anna’s time-line is not continuous. It’s divided to before/after a significant event, and I have found myself struggling at times to understand whether this is the “pre-event” Anna or not.

While the story itself is very compelling, and has twists and turns, some plot milestones were a bit too “convenient” for me. Without giving away any spoilers: While the Peggy/Eva Brown manuscript was fascinating, I found Anna’s story hard to believe, especially her husband’s fate, who is probably the most underdeveloped character in the book.

In a complete contrast, all the other characters were extremely developed and complex, which brings to my ultimate issue with “The Munich Girl”:
The novel gives a voice to Eva Brown, portraying her in a complex psychological light, and at times as kind and compassionate. Personally, whether Ms. Brown was like that or not, I find it hard to cope with novels which romanticize, to any extent, Nazi Germany and its key figures. Sure, there were good Germans at the time, yet I think their contribution to the German history is negligible compared to the atrocities done by the German state and its accomplices.
Whether Eva Brown was among them or not, is irrelevant, she has made her historical choice by being the lover of a mad mass murderer, and standing by his side (and if she indeed prevented his order to execute the POWs in Germany as this novel claims, it was too little too late).

I had a similar issue with “Alone in Berlin” by Hans Fallada, but while “Alone in Berlin” handles the lives of everyday people, I found that Ms. Ring – perhaps unintentionally – had made the Hitler-Brown relationship to a touching love affair. A stone that I thought would have been best left unturned.

The novel gets 4/5 stars, I did enjoy reading it, although as I mentioned it has some complications. I’ll let you be the moral judges of the historical events.


The reviewer is the author of “And the Wolf Shall Dwell“, a political-spy thriller.

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Book Review : Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) The Resurrection Trinity  by Pete Planisek

Book Review : Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) The Resurrection Trinity by Pete Planisek

Book Review –

Free eBook Giveaway : Frankenstein A Life Beyond (Book 1 of 3) The Resurrection Trinity

by Pete Planisek

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Rodney Strong
Fiction Author
 

 


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A Nicely Written Story

It’s always tricky to take a well known literary world and expand on it.  In this case the world, as the title suggestions, is that of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

In this book, the family Frankenstein faces new challenges, as well as the possible return of the demon that Victor Frankenstein created.

The story generally flows well, although it does get bogged down in patches.  The writing is very good, and captures the period perfectly, and the world Planisek has created is fleshed out nicely.

There were some minor issues with formatting of the epub version I received which made following the constant chopping between POV difficult to follow, and the introduction of characters only to not see them again for some time, does make things stutter a bit.

Overall though a nicely written story.  4/5 Stars.


The Reviewer is the Author of “Troy’s Possibilities” and “Murder in Paint

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Book Review – Elthea’s Realm by John Murzycki

Book Review – Elthea’s Realm by John Murzycki

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Book Review – Elthea’s Realm

by John Murzycki

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2 Bloggers’ Reviews

 

Dale E. Lehman 
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“Elthea’s Realm” straddles the border between SF and fantasy

Philip Matherson, slaving away at his inglorious job of Fourth-Level Assistant for Reviews and Reports, receives a strange email requesting information on the Utopia Project, a college paper he completed years before with a group of four other students. When he ignores it, a threat follows. Nor is he the only target. Soon the Utopia Project leader, now a wealthy tech magnate, invites the whole gang for a reunion at his remote cottage in the Berkshires. While there, they are attacked by a terrifying group of adversaries and mysteriously transported to another world where they learn that human technology has spawned several races of sentient beings, some good, some evil. And the most evil of all, the Bots, want to use the Utopia team in their conquest of Earth.

Author John Murzycki characterizes this as a tech-based fantasy novel. That’s a fitting description. “Elthea’s Realm” straddles the border between SF and fantasy. Aspects of it will remind you of technology-run-amok SF while others call to mind epic quests of the fantasy genre. It’s a unique and intriguing story, even for a skeptic like me who looks askance on the very idea of gizmos achieving sentience.

Although engaging, it’s not a perfect novel. The writing is clean enough but could stand considerable tightening. There’s a bit too much explanatory dialogue, and sometimes the thoughts and feelings expressed by the characters are either too generic or too trite. I like these characters. I just don’t think we get to see them in as much detail as we should. The interplay between the main action and the flashback scenes to the days of the Utopia Project are handled well, but the project itself lacks detail. I think Murzycki may have written himself into a bit of a corner by taking on something so big. After all, how do you create Utopia? You don’t. (The word literally means “nowhere.”) So what’s the point of assigning this project to college juniors? Do the students realize their professors have intentionally tossed them off the deep end? And what, specifically, has Phil and the gang proposed?

Given that this is a first novel, I’ll go easy on it and allow the story 4 stars and 3.5 for the writing. Overall that’s good enough to call it a slightly weak 4.


The Reviewer is the Author of “The Fibonacci Murders” ,”True Death” and “Ice on the Bay

This review will feature in his blog www.DaleELehman.com

 


 

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