City of Women

  • by David R. Gillham
  • Narrated by Suzanne Bertish
  • 13 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It is 1943 - the height of the Second World War. With the men taken by the army, Berlin has become a city of women. And while her husband fights on the Eastern Front, Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model soldier's wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime.
But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former Jewish lover, who is now lost in the chaos of the war.
Sigrid's tedious existence is turned upside down when she finds herself hiding a mother and her two young daughters - whom she believes might be her lover's family - and she must make terrifying choices that could cost her everything.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Foggy, Ungrounded and Vague

I read an excellent review for this book in a newspaper and without further research or reading other Audible reviews I bought the book. My mistake. Finally after hours of listening to wandering, detached and vague storytelling I was so frustrated that I resorted to reading the Audible reviews. Several less favorable reviewers hit the nail on the head with their writeups. I won't echo their concerns here as they said it perfectly. Suffice it to say, this story did not feel grounded in history, character development or reality.

Ghost-like characters remain flat shadows that simply fill the space. There is little background provided to explain behaviors and help the reader connect with the story being told. So much sex and so little historic fact grounded in the time sunk this book into the romance genre for me.

My biggest issue was that if you know history you know that Germany was involved in the battle of Stalingrad during this time period. The battle, arguably one of the bloodiest and most disastrous in military history, started in late August 1942 and continued to early February 1943--with some fighting continuing into March. The sixth army, the unit main character Sigrid's husband is fighting with on the eastern front, was destroyed in this battle. I think that it highly unlikely that letters home would either reach Berlin or would be so bland and talk about soup?? They were trapped in Stalingrad durning the winter of 1943 due to Russian flanking maneuvers and were cut off--Berlin attempting airdrops of supplies....really....talk of how the soup was not bad???

In reality, Berlin was probably in turmoil with massive troop movement as they stripped the western front and redeployed soldiers and artillery to join the flagging eastern front. There must have been great action going on in Berlin at the time. Our characters, however occasionally work part-time, constantly go to the movies and wander about bickering with neighbors and in-laws. Ugh--too unbelievable for me. Cannot recommend.
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- Sara "Avid Reader"

WONDERFUL Narration.

I believe a good book can become a great book simply with the right story teller. Thus is the case here. The story was very good although done before but the narration was the best I have heard in a while. I recommend City of Women for both.
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- C. Byrnes "Christine"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-07-2012
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio