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Shattuck has written a throughly enthralling and captivating novel of vivid Historic Fiction. Set in post WWII Bavaria the story swirls through time and captures Germany before the war. Using character flashbacks and memories, an intense picture of the war is captured. Not since reading the novel Stones From The River by Ursula Hegi have I read a book that succeeds so beautifully in deepening the readers understanding of how WWII Germany could have happened.
The characters are fully and richly developed and this to me makes it possible to understand the impossible. Shattuck was able to make me care about the most unlikely characters. The writing explores the duality of people, what makes us kind or cruel, and how most of life, in the author's opinion, is lived not in black and white, but in shades of grey. This is a difficult story that is horrifying and shockingly sad--but at the same time absolutely riveting.
I don't speak German so I can't comment on the accuracy of the accents and pronunciations of German words in the narration. However, I thought Campbell did an excellent job with the reading. She captured the emotion and feeling behind the words.
If you liked the book The Nightingale I think you will love this book. Be forewarned, this story is grounded in history and leaves you with more questions than clear and easy answers. Thought provoking, subtle and disturbing. I was transfixed.
130 of 139 people found this review helpful
This audiobook kept me up late... Needed to hear the next chapter, and was glued to the story. The author gave us a very different look at the war and how it changed its people. Despite much of the story being sad, it was also a story of hope and the power of time's ability to ease the burden of painful memories. Cassandra Campbell certainly outdid herself, with incredible performances for each of the characters. At no point did I have any trouble figuring out which of the persons was speaking. Also, her accents were spot-on. Interestingly, for the most part, I am not usually a fan of hers, mostly because she tends to over dramatize everything... But not this time. 👍🏼😊 Will recommend the audiobook to others.
74 of 80 people found this review helpful