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Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly RingMunich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring


Publisher: Whole Sky Books (November 14, 2015)
Category: Historical Fiction,  WWII, Germany, Family Saga
Tour date: Feb 1-Mar 31, 2017
ISBN: 978-0996546980
Available in Print & ebook, 356 pages

The Munich Girl

Description of Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring


The Munich Girl: A novel of the legacies that outlast war.

The past may not be done with us. What secrets is a portrait of Eva Braun hiding?

Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun. Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never did—that her mother and Hitler’s mistress were friends.

Plunged into the world of the “ordinary” Munich girl who was her mother’s confidante—and a tyrant’s lover—Anna uncovers long-buried secrets and unknown reaches of her heart, to reveal the enduring power of love in the legacies that always outlast war.

Fiction Finalist in 2016 Eric Hoffer Book Awards

My Thoughts Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring


Anna Dahlberg’s mother, Peggy has asked her to come over to talk.  She has something important to tell her.  However, Peggy dies before Anna can get there.  What did she want to tell her?  Not long after, Anna moved into her mother’s house with her husband, Lowell. Lowell has been writing a book about Hitler and also owns a magazine called “The Fighting Chance”.  Although Anna has a job lined up, Lowell demands that she write some articles for the magazine to help the promotion of his upcoming book.

A German man by the name of Hannes runs the magazine for Lowell and he respects Anna’s work, unlike her husband.  Anna and Hannes decide that she should write an article on Eve Braun, Hitler’s mistress.  She gets to work with research and is surprised at what she finds.  It turns out that Eve was friends with Anna’s mother.  As she digs deeper, Anna unearths many family secrets.

The Munich Girl is told by Anna and her mother, Peggy, via a manuscript Anna found.  It shifts back and forth from the 1990’s to World War II.  It is a story of the self discovery of Anna Dahlberg, lost family, history, romance, and of course, the real life person from history, Eve Braun.

I was a bit worried about how I would feel reading about Hitler’s mistress.  How could anyone have cared for the monster, let alone slept with him, willingly.  However, woman throughout history have made poor choices in men.  I included, my first husband was not a nice person.  So over the course of the book, I did build some sympathy for Eva.  I would have liked an author’s note at the end of the book to find out if that sympathy was really warranted.  I loved Anna’s character and how she developed and grew over time.  Actually all of the characters were well drawn out.  The sense of time and place were also well written and Phyllis Edgerly Ring’s descriptions of World War II Germany were excellent.  I highly recommend ‘The Munich Girl’!

4.5/5

I received the Kindle ebook for my honest review.

About Phyllis Edgerly RingMunich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring


Author Phyllis Edgerly Ring lives in New England and returns as often as she can to her childhood home in Germany. Her years there left her with a deep desire to understand the experience of Germans during the Second World War. She has studied plant sciences and ecology, worked as a nurse, been a magazine writer and editor, taught English to kindergartners in China, and served as program director at a Baha’i conference center in Maine.

She is also author of the novel, Snow Fence Road, and the inspirational nonfiction, Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details. Her book for children, Jamila Does Not Want a Bat in Her House, is scheduled for release by Bellwood Press in early 2017.

Blog: http://phyllisedgerlyring.wordpress.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PhyllisEdgerlyRing?ref=hl
Twitter: http:// www.twitter.com/phyllisring

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Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

Loving Eleanor by Susan Wittig AlbertLoving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert


There are some public figures that I have admired all my life and Eleanor Roosevelt is one of them.  It doesn’t matter that she had already past a year before I was born.  I admire her for all that she did for the U.S. and especially did to progress women’s rights!

‘Loving Eleanor’ is a fictionalized account of Eleanor Roosevelt and the female reporter, Lorena Hickok (nick name: Hick)  assigned to  cover her during FDR’s run for the presidency.   Yes, it covers the affair the two females had with each other and their love letters but in a tasteful way.  It also showed how much Eleanor grew into her role as first lady, a role that she did not want but finally embraced.

Lorena Hickok, one of few female reporters of the time, was assigned to cover the 1928 election. She primarily covered Eleanor Roosevelt and they grew a fast rapport and friendship that became romantic, for a time.  Hick is the narrator and seems to want to make sure people know about their relationship and the love she had for Eleanor.

There are a lot of details about the Great Depression and the era of FDR’s presidency.   It also talked about FDR’s love interests.  Yes, they both had affairs, plural.  However, his were mostly accepted while Eleanor’s were not.  That double standard is still alive today.

In the pages, we also get to know Hick, who I had heard of but didn’t know much about her other than she was a female reporter.  The book is writing like an autobiography by Hick and I really enjoyed getting to know her and researching what was true and what was fiction.  From my research, it looks like Susan Wittig Albert stuck mostly with the facts and filled in the back story to make it entertaining.

The book dragged in a couple places for me but overall I really enjoyed it and it compelled me to find out more.  I was thrilled to see some further reading recommendations at the end and the author note also talked about what was fact and what was fiction. I always look for an author’s note at the end of historical fiction.  It make a historical fiction novel more credible to me.  I highly recommend ‘Loving Eleanor’ to historical fiction lovers!

4/5

I received the ebook version for my honest review.

About Susan Wittig AlbertLoving Eleanor by Susan Wittig Albert


Susan Wittig Albert is the award-winning, NYT bestselling author of the forthcoming historical novel Loving Eleanor (2016), about the intimate friendship of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok; and A Wilder Rose (2014), about Rose Wilder Lane and the writing of the Little House books.

Her award-winning fiction also includes mysteries in the China Bayles series, the Darling Dahlias, the Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter, and a series of Victorian-Edwardian mysteries she has written with her husband, Bill Albert, under the pseudonym of Robin Paige.

She has written two memoirs: An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days and Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place, published by the University of Texas Press.

Her nonfiction titles include What Wildness is This: Women Write About the Southwest (winner of the 2009 Willa Award for Creative Nonfiction); Writing from Life: Telling the Soul’s Story; and Work of Her Own: A Woman’s Guide to Success Off the Career Track.

She is founder and current president (2015-2017) of the Story Circle Network and a member of the Texas Institute of Letters.

For more information please visit www.susanalbert.com and www.LovingEleanor.com, or read her blog. You can also find Susan on Facebook, Twitter,Google+, Goodreads, and Pinterest. Like the Loving Eleanor page on Facebook.

Marceline Loridan-IvensDescription of But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens


“You might come back, because you’re young, but I will not come back.”—Marceline Loridan’s father to her, 1944

A runaway bestseller in France, But You Did Not Come Back has already been the subject of a French media storm and hailed as an important new addition to the library of books dealing with the Holocaust. It is the profoundly moving and poetic memoir by Marceline Loridan-Ivens, who at the age of fifteen was arrested in occupied France, along with her father. Later, in the camps, he managed to smuggle a note to her, a sign of life that made all the difference to Marceline—but he died in the Holocaust, while Marceline survived.
 In But You Did Not Come Back, Marceline writes back to her father, the man whose death overshadowed her whole life. Although her grief never diminished in its intensity, Marceline ultimately found her calling, working as both an activist and a documentary filmmaker. But now, as France and Europe in general faces growing anti-Semitism, Marceline feels pessimistic about the future.

Her testimony is a memorial, a confrontation, and a deeply affecting personal story of a woman whose life was shattered and never totally rebuilt.

My Thoughts On But You Did Not Come Back by Marceline Loridan-Ivens


I have read many fictional, non-fiction, and memoirs about the Holocaust.  I just can’t seem to get enough of the subject.  I think it is a deer in the headlights kind of thing, I keep wondering how humanity can let this happen.  Yet, similar things keep happening to this day.  How is shooting or bombing mass amounts of people, much different than making them work in forced labor and then gassing them to death so different?  I personally don’t think it is.  They are all evil.

In ‘But You Did Not Come Back’, 15 year old Marceline Loridan-Ivens is taken with her father from France to the camps during WWII and the Holocaust.  They are in neighboring camps and her father manages to get a note to her which lifts her spirits.  She is relieved to know he is still alive.  However, by the time she is rescued, she finds out he did not make it. 

When she returns to France she is reunited with her mother and other family members who were able to hide when her father and herself were taken.  They can’t possibly understand what she went though and it was hard for her to relate to them the same way as before.  It is hard for her to just go on as if nothing had ever happened.  However, she does find a way to move on.

Marceline Loridan-Ivens writes a poetic almost meditative account of her experience during the Holocaust.  It is deeply moving and had me in tears, in parts.  However, She is a survivor and an inspiration to us all!  She has gone on to work as an actress, a screenwriter, and a director. 

5/5

I received the ebook version via Net Galley for my honest review.

About Marceline Loridan-Ivens


Marceline Loridan-Ivens was born in 1928. She has worked as an actress, a screenwriter, and a director. She directed “The Birch-Tree Meadow” in 2003, starring Anouk Aimee, as well as several documentaries with Joris Ivens.


About Sandra Smith

Sandra Smith is the translator of “Suite Francaise” and eleven other novels by Irene Nemirovsky, as well as a new translation of Camus s “L Etranger.” She has been awarded the French-American Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize and the PEN Translation Prize. She lives in New York.”