This is the eighth novel by Ellie Midwood I've read, and once again, she amazes me. Metropolis is her first novel set in Weimer Berlin (1920s), instead of during World War II. As in all her World War II novels, her research is impressive and thorough. The story follows fictional Margot von Steinhoff as she becomes a skilled photographer who works on the set of the film, Metropolis. A truly revolutionary film that still leaves an impression today and was ahead of its time, Ellie Midwood does a beautiful job of describing the process of the creation of the film. In addition to the details of making a movie, she brings historical figures, such as director Fritz Lang, to life.
Not only is the reader completely immersed in the production of the film, you will feel like you are walking down the rowdy streets of Berlin with Margot. Prostitution, nightclubs, and wild nightlife mark the way of life for the struggling lower and middle classes as they tried to make ends meet. Against the backdrop of rising communist and Nazi parties, civilians simply wanted to live in freedom following the First World War. The 1920s were truly a revolutionary period in modern history.
Besides a strong female protagonist in Margot, we are introduced to many other wonderful and colorful characters. Like Margot, you may find yourself disliking photographer Paul as first, when you think the only thing he could possibly love is his art, but when romance blossoms between Paul and Margot, you will find yourself cheering for them.
Margot's best friend is a gay man named Werner, and he's totally lovable and a guy you'd want to know. It's easy in the 21st century to be open to different lifestyles, so my admiration for Margot and others being open and accepting toward Werner warmed my heart.
From the first page, I couldn't stop reading. I was completely taken in, wondering why a beautiful young woman who had her whole life ahead of her would want to end her life...only for her to find it. The book ends on a note of hope, that despite uncertain times with the Nazi party rising to power, the people who think with their hearts will triumph.