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
Thriller Author, BookGobbler Admin

 


 

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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 – The Amnesiac and Other Stories  by Christopher Walker

Book Review – The Amnesiac and Other Stories by Christopher Walker

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Book Review – The Amnesiac and Other Stories

by Christopher Walker

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1 Blogger Review

 

Dale E. Lehman 
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A Collection of Beautifully Told Short Stories

In “The Amnesiac and Other Stories,” Christopher Walker presents thirteen engaging, beautifully told short stories about a diverse collection of dreamers, seekers, and malcontents. Be it a photographer recalling a young woman he almost loved, a coffee shop owner unwittingly caught up in an assassination plot, or a group of young English writers in search of a legacy in Spain, Walker paints a delicious series of portraits alternately tinted with pathos, danger, and humor. It’s a diverse collection, too, mostly mainstream fiction but with a smattering of fantasy and science fiction, that romps all across Europe.

Walker’s storytelling is straightforward but thoughtful, punctuated by great imagery, as in this excerpt from “The Castle,” in which a young girl looks out on her climate-change altered world where nonstop rain and rising sea levels have reconfigured the land:

“Sarah was peering out of the window again, her forehead pressed up against the cool glass. She imagined the feel of the rain on her skin, and she thought about how whenever they got out of the rain some of it always seemed to linger like a memory on her clothes.” (p. 252)

I felt the editing might have been a bit inconsistent. Some parts of some stories don’t quite have the smooth texture that typifies the collection. However, that doesn’t distract much from the engrossing character of each story. You’re walking alongside these people as they traverse their world and their lives, sharing in their joys and sorrows. “The Amnesiac and Other Stories” earns five stars for both story and writing. Well done, sir!


The Reviewer is the Author of The Howard County Murders series

This review will feature in his blog along with Q&A with this author
www.DaleELehman.com

 

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Free book – The Path of the Child by Sojourner McConnell

Free book – The Path of the Child by Sojourner McConnell

The Path of the Child / Sojourner McConnell

Giving away:

  • 1 Paperback between all entries  – ended
  • 20 eBooks for Review only (ENDED)

– Ends 1 Oct 2017

Genre:

Fiction, YA

 

Blurb:

Seventeen-year-old Melanie Easton lives in a loveless home with her negligent, self-absorbed, and potentially dangerous mother. Consequently, she knows loneliness. Unexpectedly offered a ride with a classmate, Robert Reynolds, Melanie finds there is more to people than she ever imagined. Living in self-imposed anonymity, Melanie struggles to survive without becoming bitter and hate filled.

After being befriended by Robert Reynolds, windows of opportunity open for Melanie. Accordingly, the road to discovery divulges there may be reasons for her strange home life. The reasons she never imagined until she begins unraveling the documents hidden away, until now.

Out of the discovery of the secrets, lies, and deceptions, come the possibility for exciting changes. Perhaps along with the answers, comes the opportunity for genuine happiness.

A suspenseful story that will engage your heart and mind with hopefulness and admiration for Melanie’s courage and willingness for self-discovery and personal growth.

 

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