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All My Love, Detrick: A Historical Novel Of Love And Survival During The Holocaust (All My Love Detrick Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 436 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a difficult book to review because I have both pros and cons.
-I like the topic of a WWII setting in a novel.
-I really liked the main characters of Detrick and Jacob Abdenstern and the father/son type relationship that they formed especially when Detrick's own father fell short in many ways.
-I admired Detrick for standing up for what he believes in no matter the cost.
-Overall, the story line held my interest and there were a few surprises.
-I found myself scrolling back and forth and rereading sections because the chronology seemed off in parts.
-There were some awkward sentences and misspellings that made certain parts a bit tedious to read. I usually don't comment on grammar/spelling errors unless it impacts the story, and unfortunately it did in parts of this book.
-Some of the historical facts were not accurate.
In the end, I'd give this novel 3.5 stars.
But then the story didn't progress properly. By the time I was 50% of the way through the book, I was really wondering where the author was going and whether she was going to tie up loose ends she had left in regards to some of the secondary characters. She didn't, and the story would have been better if she had never begun to tell those characters' stories. She should have saved their material and written separate stories about them. As it is, the holes in the narrative are so distracting that they make the stories of the main characters far less powerful than they should be.
From reading about the author, I get the impression that she has collected stories about people she has met, and she wants to tell them, but it feels like she hasn't figured out when and how to weave their stories together and when to leave them for another book. By the time I was 70% of the way through the book, I could see the story wasn't going to get any better, but I felt like I had to finish it to see if it would turn out to be as ridiculous a plot as other viewers have indicated.
Others have criticized the author for historical inaccuracies; the composition of the Hitler Youth, for instance. One reviewer claims that girls were not part of the Hitler Youth, as the author writes, because they had a separate organization. That is false. The girls did have their own organizations with different names, but so did the boys. The various girls and boys organizations TOGETHER comprised the Hitler Youth.
I am also willing to suspend my disbelief regarding the ease with which the main character is admitted to the SS. Just because it's unlikely doesn't mean it wouldn't have been possible. His position there serves the story well, and although it would be ridiculous to say that people got in this way on a regular basis, I'm not sure it would have been completely outside the realm of possibility in unusual circumstances such as this story relates. The same goes for the book's ending; I've seen really good movies end with a much more implausible resolution.
Other things that bothered me about the book:
1- I actually had to remind myself that the main character is a native German because the author uses the Americanized spelling of his name instead of the traditional German spelling of "Dietrich."
2- Occasional typos, missing words, and extraneous words appear throughout, as well as missing commas in many places and comma splices in many others.
3- The writer seems to be unaware of ways she could transition from one scene or thought to another without starting a new chapter. There are far too many chapters here that are less than a page long.
4- The quality of the writing is consistently inconsistent! Some passages are extremely well written, while others appear to have been written by a lazy writer. It makes me think one of two things happened; a) an editor had a hand in the well written passages and never saw the bad ones, or b) someone other than the author wrote the weird passages.
The overall stories of the main characters are actually very good, but a lot of their potential was lost because of all this other weirdness. THIS AUTHOR COULD BE A WORLD-CLASS WRITER IF SHE WOULD ONLY HIRE A PROFESSIONAL EDITOR.
IF YOU WANT TO ENJOY THE BOOK, DO THIS: simply skip any chapter that is about Karl Abdenstern or Dorothy Silver. They are the secondary characters whose stories aren't well integrated with the rest of the narrative.
I give the book two stars instead of one because the story wasn't so bad that I wanted to throw the book out without finishing it.