The Munich Girl: A Novel by Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Description: Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun. Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never did—that her mother and Hitler’s mistress were friends. The secret surfaces with a mysterious monogrammed handkerchief, and a man, Hannes Ritter, whose Third Reich family history is entwined with Anna’s. Plunged into the world of the “ordinary” Munich girl who was her mother’s confidante—and a tyrant’s lover—Anna finds her every belief about right and wrong challenged. With Hannes’s help, she retraces the path of two women who met as teenagers, shared a friendship that spanned the years that Eva Braun was Hitler’s mistress, yet never knew that the men they loved had opposing ambitions. Eva’s story reveals that she never joined the Nazi party, had Jewish friends, and was credited at the Nuremberg Trials with saving 35,000 Allied lives. As Anna's journey leads back through the treacherous years in wartime Germany, it uncovers long-buried secrets and unknown reaches of her heart to reveal the enduring power of love in the legacies that always outlast war.
Genre: Fiction - Historical
Why I Picked This Book: I enjoy a good historical fiction and I realized I know almost nothing about Eva Braun.
My Impression: When this book came across my desk I was instantly intrigued by the premise. While I know who Eva Braun is I've always dismissed her as just Hitler's mistress/wife and the idea of someone discovering they have some kind of connection to her is intriguing. Plus, I can't resist a good family secret - especially not when paired with some historical fiction.
In the present day time line I really enjoyed getting to know Anna. She's intelligent and hard working and it's hard not to sympathize with her struggle to stay positive after her mother's death as well as making the best of a troubled marriage. I also liked that while Anna's husband, Lowell, is most definitely a creep he does come off as a fully fleshed out character. He has his moments of sweetness as well as being incredibly brilliant. I also found the research that Anna did during the book fascinating. Not only did we get a look at Eva Braun but she also interviews a woman who was a journalist on assignment in Germany during World War II. I also enjoyed getting a look at life in Germany during wartime for regular civilians.
Not only did I enjoy the look into a little discussed (or at least that I'm aware of) aspects of World War II but I also enjoyed getting to know Anna and watching her world open up as she becomes captivated by her research subject and aware of the connection. Hannes is also an interesting character if at times a little too perfect. There's a lot going on though it's a slow build for the bulk of the book which I enjoyed. I always love when I feel like I'm figuring out the puzzle right along with the characters. My only complaint is that a lot of different things developed and were resolved in the last third of the book which made it feel a little more frantic. Overall, I enjoyed this story and it has made me wanting to find out everything about Eva Braun. I always think it's a super high compliment if a historical fiction story has me wanting to dive into my own research about the topic.
Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely! I enjoyed how she brought this piece of history to life and I'd love to see more of that.
Would I Recommend this Book?: If you enjoy historical fiction I think you'd enjoy this book - especially if you are interested in World War II.