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The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War Paperback – November 14, 2015
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I was drawn in by Phyllis Ring's economical and expressive language. Then the story took over! Protagonist Anna Dahlberg must face the emotional fallout from a traumatic plane crash, while simultaneously uncovering the first clues in a shocking generational mystery involving key players in the Third Reich. Everything's complicated by a new romance that may help her overcome the past and find her true inner strength. But is it real? Love can manifest itself in enigmatic--and unexpected--ways. ~ Elizabeth Sims, author and contributing editor at Writer's Digest magazine
... fresh perspective of German women at opposing ends of the warring spectrum ... a beautiful story of enduring friendship and the lengths people will go to for love.
~ The Stellar Review
So persuasive is this novel that, before I could believe it was in fact a piece of fiction, I contacted the author and asked where she did her research and where she came up with the idea.
~ Leslie Handler, The Philadelphia Inquirer
From the Author
Each visit had its own rhythm and pace. The first, in the spring of 2010, was a kind of mad-rush count-down to get through them all before the Archives' five o'clock closing time. This involved leaving at least 15-20 extra minutes on each end for passing through security, checking in or out, and depositing or retrieving my belongings from a locker.
I couldn't take so much as my own pencil into the resource room where her albums are housed in several piles of volumes hard-bound in dark blue. Overwhelmed as I encountered them for the first time, I was attempting to encompass 33 years of one life in the equivalent of two afternoons.
Years of reading and research later, including interviews with some of those who met the subject of my search, my approach on the second visit was more like forensics. I was watching, among those several dozen books of her photos, most arranged quite haphazardly with little attention to chronological order, for patterns and connections that form a larger picture.
There are many photos whose settings and significance I could spot more readily, based on who was present, clues in the background of interiors and landscapes, even the clothes people were wearing.
But it was that most-elusive quarry that I was watching for -- the evidence of the emotional side of things. By the time I made the second visit, the years that I've spent following the trail of this life, as my novel's protagonist does, have led somewhere deeper. In much the way I can with photos of those whom I know, I can tell when a day was a joy, or a strain; when a smile was a spontaneous response, or a tight, forced mask.
Seven years onto this trail, I trolled those hundreds of images, watching for the signs of where the shifts came. Watching for those large and little junctures at which a life was repeatedly bartered away in the shadow of another, to the detriment of its self.
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Top customer reviews
Reading this book also retraced my own years in Germany, post WWII, when the country was still trying to recover. As an American child of the military, I saw more than I hope to ever see again of the aftermaths of war. This book really helped me to "see" what it was I saw back then..Ms. Ring expressed those sights and feelings perfectly.
I was hooked from the first page. It's very well-written, and I thoroughly enjoyed the background story of a middle aged woman who finds out that her mother was a friend of Ava Braun, and needs to know more. The love story is comfortable and perhaps a little predictable, yet I was not bored by it or frustrated.
This is a very good book. And anyone interested in World War II history--and what life was like for the Germans after the war--would find it interesting. I highly recommend it.
Most recent customer reviews
This book should be read or read to by anyone over the age 14