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All My Love, Detrick Paperback – October 5, 2014
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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.
The novel is not for immature readers, as the reality of a day-by-day, life-or-death existence displays some very raw situations at times. And although not too graphic in nature, the author had more sexual references than I would prefer as a reader. But, granted, it was a desperate, different time, so I'm sure people were more extreme in all their passions as they did not know if they'd be alive the next day. All in all, I really liked ALL MY LOVE, DETRICK. It is the first in a series of five books, and I will be reading more of the series.
The story moves along steadily for the most part. It includes good descriptions of the Jewish and Nazi cultures of the period and many times had me searching the internet for pictures and verification of uncommon facts. I did have a few "I didn't know that" moments.
The characters are a bit flat, but not terribly so.
The book could definitely benefit from better editing. There were quite a few times when mistakes became distracting.
Overall, it is a good read. I was tempted to purchase the sequel, but other unread books had a stronger pull.
I don’t know how many times we are told who’s talking when it’s only two people. Detrick 700 times. Leah 404.
The majority of the sentences were supposed to be active, yet the insertion of ‘had’ made them passive. 800 uses.
I’m confused on why we are told of the life Dorothy Silver settled on in the United States. What is its relevance? Was her career in the United States a cause of Hitler coming to power? It was. But why was it so detailed? It didn’t add a thing to what was going on in Germany.
The big chronology problem occurred when one of the characters Kurt is meeting with the Polish Resistance. During the meeting it is stated Kristallnacht, November 9-10, 1938 occurred one year ago. If that’s the case, then Poland would have already been attacked and defeated. When writing historical fiction one must get all the dates correct.
Chronology confusion: As the story moves forward, the timeline doesn’t. I found myself scratching my head attempting to understand what year all the events were occurring. Readers shouldn’t have to guess when the story is taking place.
The writing style is definitely YA material. Everyone of the characters is weeping or crying or gnashing with grief. They came across as soft and underdeveloped.
And finally, the grammar at times could not be overlooked. EX: Page 8, location 121 inhaling the essence; then she kissed the top of his golden hair. A semicolon is not required unless the word ‘then’ is deleted.
Page 50, location 901 The word used is decedent. It should be decadent.
Page 56 location 1004 Leah’s tried, but could not…. Should be Leah tried,
There are fifty more examples.
There are Pro’s to the work
This is an excellent introduction to those who know nothing of what when on in Germany when Hitler came to power. It accurately depicts how brutal the Nazi’s treated those them deemed untermenshen, subhuman, and how they were ridiculed, beaten and in the end, exterminated.
I enjoyed the references how people kept trying to convince themselves it couldn’t get worse. Sadly, we who know the history are aware how terrible it did become—Nine million souls put to death at the work/extermination camps, plus the additional forty million who perished during the war.
That alone is a wake-up call for anyone who doesn’t question their chosen leaders.
Based on that fact alone, the story is worth three stars. Cleaning it up and doing a rewrite would jump it to four or four-and-a-half.