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Thursday, September 28, 2017

The Girl from Munich by Tania Blanchard

Title: The Girl from Munich
Author: Tania Blanchard
Publisher: 1 September  2017 by Simon & Schuster Australia
Pages: 352 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: historical fiction, romance
My Rating: 5 crowns

Germany, 1943. The choices she makes will change her life forever.
Growing up in Hitler’s Germany, Charlotte von Klein has big dreams for the future. Her mind is full of plans for a sumptuous wedding to her childhood sweetheart Heinrich while working for the Luftwaffe, proudly giving her all for the Fatherland.
But in 1943, the tide of the war is turning against Germany, and Lotte’s life of privilege and comfort begins to collapsing around her. As Hitler’s Reich abandons Germany and the country falls to the Allied forces, Lotte is forced to flee from the unfolding chaos to the country with the darkly attractive Erich Drescher, her Luftwaffe superior.
Amid the danger, pain and heartbreak of a country turning on itself, Lotte must forge a new life for herself. But as the country struggles to find its future, shadows of the past come rushing back and Lotte finds herself questioning everything she has fought for - love, duty and freedom.
My Thoughts

‘It was as if a tiny crack in the very ordered, planned world of mine had appeared, allowing me to look at life around me, at the life I might want to take for myself.’

I thoroughly enjoyed ‘The Girl from Munich’ by Aussie author Tania Blanchard set in the final years of World War II. It was refreshing to read a book from the perspective of a young German girl during this period and I found it to be excellent historical fiction, especially considering it is her debut. Inspired by tales from her German grandmother, it most definitely rings true and I am thrilled to see that she intends to continue the story with a new novel set in the 1950s.

‘The war had opened doors to exciting possibilities never available to a girl like me before but my mother made sure I walked the rigid path of tradition.’

I confess to being completely swept up in this tale of duty, love, survival and new beginnings. However, it is learning about German civilians during the war, that I found the most compelling. You cannot help but feel for these people who were also victims to Nazi brainwashing - ordinary people who truly believed that the Fuhrer was doing the very best for their country. This tale provides real insights into how many Germans felt during the war and at their shame in the end when the terrible atrocities were brought to their attention. It is a most compelling narrative.

‘All the reports over the wireless, at the cinema and in the local newspapers stated emphatically that Germany was winning the war. Slowly to be sure, but winning all the same, and I had no reason to doubt those reports.’

This is a coming of age story for Charlotte and the writing has you invested in many of the characters with whom you will make an emotional connections.  You will be inspired by Lotte’s strength, courage and fortitude throughout; appreciative of Erich’s dedication and compassion; understand Lotte’s ‘Vati’ (father) love, unsure of Heinrich motives - just to name a few. It may for some at times, be a little too wrapped up in the romance, but it ticked all the right boxes for me at this time.

If you enjoy a good wartime story, especially one with a most unique perspective, then I highly recommend ‘The Girl from Munich’. It is easy to read with a good mix of fiction and nonfiction that will have you swept away as the tide turns against Germany and the impact it had upon its people.

'How could he have let these things happen? How could Germany have stooped so low? After all I had seen and heard, I had to accept that Hitler wasn’t the perfect man I had believed him to be. Germany was no better off. It was destroyed, its citizens left destitute, scarred and bereft.'

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

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