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The Watcher Paperback – October 10, 2017
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As in her first book, the author gives us a glimpse of life and attitudes during and post war from the viewpoint of Germans, normally viewed as "the bad guys" from a North American perspective. The Allies are seen as enemies to be feared. The author has captured the horrific effects of war on individuals. In contrast, the children of the town live fun-filled lives completely unaware of their parents' angst.
The characters are complex and well developed, even little Netta.
The addition of German words renders the story authentic. The author's descriptive ability is seen throughout the book. About the old German grandma (Oma) the author says "her ears were trained on the mutterings from the living room like a seasoned intelligence operative."
This book is based on a true story. It's about survival, the strength of love, courage and ultimately hope. I wholeheartedly recommend it.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher.
If you haven’t already I highly recommend you read the authors previous novel Fifteen Words. The Watcher follows directly on and it would give you some background to the characters.
Fifteen Words was the story about Max being held prisoner, The Watcher is a story about how life and Max himself have changed since his release.
Max is a torn man, he’s struggling to come to terms with what happened to him when he was a prisoner and this really made me feel for the man, I don’t imagine being a POW is something you would ever come to terms with.
His relationship with his wife is stretched to breaking, the love they had for each other just isn’t what it once was, so much has changed.
For me this tale was really about Max’s daughter Netta, I loved her. She’s a young girl who’s grown up in an adult world and she hears and sees more than people know.
While the family are trying to come to terms with their own demons a murder occurs that has the police snooping around and the author keeps you on edge until the last moment to reveal all.
I really enjoyed how the ending was written when you see the events play out from different perspectives, this really kept the suspense going.
There’s some good twists in the tale, nicely written and followed on well from the previous novel. The characters might be the same but this tale had that little bit extra with a whodunit thrown in. It was a change in direction from what I expected but it worked well and I was hooked.
Going back to Max, there is a lot of development for him during the story and emotions are very raw for him and I liked how this was explored. Not easy to read at times as he’s a beaten man with what looks like no way to build himself back up.. just when he needs someone the most he and Netta finally bond and it was a pleasure to read.
Overall I loved it, the unexpected events in the book really kept me on my toes and had me sucked in from page 1. We are left with a little cliff-hanger so I do hope we see more of Max and his family to see how things play out.
This book was very heart-wrenching. War is never pretty and this book shows this first hand. It's hard not only for the soldier but for the family that awaits back home. The war is over and building a future is hard when Max returns from war. He has PTSD, a wife keeping secrets, and a sick little girl. Erika is desperate to reconnect with her husband, while Netta is desperate for her parent's attention.
This book was sad and wrapped in mystery with the death of the housekeeper and when the truth comes to light, it is a bit of a shocker. This story was very well written with a captivating storyline and real characters. It shows the horrors of war during and after and the redemption of a family in need of a better future.