ARC REVIEW: The Munich Girl – by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

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Title: The Munich Girl
Author: Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary
First published: November 14th 2015
Finished reading: June 16th 2016
Pages: 356
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“Exiting onto the street, I heard a chorus of bells from three churches, then saw the blood-red banners with their dark Swastikas everywhere I turned. I’m accustomed to this in Berlin, but seeing them on these lovely old façades is like finding graffiti scrawled on my grandmother’s house. The Nazis are relentless with this display, like dogs marking territory.”

*** A copy of this book was kindly provided to me in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! ***

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When I was approached by Phyllis Edgerly Ring with the question if I wanted to read and review her novel The Munich Girl, it was really easy to say yes. Since I love just about every historical fiction read related to WWII, I knew straight away I was probably going to enjoy this book, and this story turned out to be particularly interesting. The Munich Girl has a fast pace and switches between contemporary scenes and the notes of the main character Anna’s mother Peggy which are set in the Germany of the 1930s and 1940s. It’s an interesting mix of contemporary and historical fiction where Anna slowly finds out more about her mother’s history, both about her time during WWII and connection to Eva Braun. I particularly enjoyed reading the historical section and I love that this book actually talks about the role of woman during the war, something that isn’t being written about often enough. The only thing I wasn’t fully convinced about were the (contemporary) romance scenes; the romantic developments/love triangle were slightly distracting and took away the focus of the main story. Still, the rest of the story is without doubt excellent and more than makes up for it. I can recommend The Munich Girl to both historical fiction fans and those who prefer reading realistic fiction with a dash of romance, especially since the historical elements are not as omnipresent as in other more ‘dense’ historical fiction reads.

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When her mother Peggy called Anna just before she passed away, she never thought her mother would have been about to finally reveal the truth about their history after all those years. Because fifty years after WWII, Anna discovers that the war-throphy portrait of Eva Braun ment more to her mother than she ever realized. In fact, Peggy and Hitler’s mistress actually seemed to be friends back then! Through the notes her mother left her without her knowledge, Anna slowly retraces the path of the two women as their friendship grows over the years… And she has the help of her husband’s magazine assistent Hannes Ritter during her investigation. They discover more and more about Peggy’s past and her relationship with Eva Braun, and Anna is starting to realize people have been underestimating the true power of the woman behind Hitler; how Eva in the end seemed to be the only woman to actually reach the man and use her influence to save lives. But the notes not only reveal secrets about Eva Braun, they will also reveal the truth about Anna’s history and change things forever…

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The Munich Girl has turned out to be yet another satisfying historical fiction WWII story. The plot is without doubt interesting and makes you think about the role of women during the war. I wasn’t sure about the romantic developments in the contemporary chapters, but the historical section and chapters set in Germany did make up for it. With its fast pace and prose that is easy to read, The Munich Girl is both an intriguing, emotional and entertaining read I can definitely recommend.

WWW Wednesdays #96 – June 22nd

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I know, I know, I have been (shamelessly) posponing A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas for the last couple of weeks. It’s not that I don’t want to read it, but I haven’t been in the mood for fantasy and the book is quite big in the first place… I did read a few pages yesterday, but I will probably not finish it before the end of the month unless I’m in the mood for fantasy again. Meanwhile I started reading Sweetheart by Chelsea Cain, which is the second book in a thriller/serial killer series and hopefully just as good as the first book.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* I finally managed to finish The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring, a historical fiction read I ended up really enjoying. The story has a fast pace and switches between contemporary scenes and the notes of the main character’s mother. I particularly enjoyed reading the historical section and the fact that the story is about the role of women during WWII (something you don’t see often). The only thing I wasn’t convinced about were the contemporary romance scenes, but the rest of the story makes up for it.
* I picked up The Ex by Alafair Burke afterwards, which had been recommended to me by various bloggers. It turned out to be a really fast-paced and entertaining thriller, although some of the scenes/plot twists might be a bit too farfetched (think Gone Girl or The Girl On The Train vibe). The end came as a surprise though.
* After hearing repeatedly I just HAD to read this book, I decided to read Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum next. And I’m glad I did, because I really loved it! The only thing that was slightly annoying would be the love triangle (rectangle?!) and the idea itself might not be that original either, but I still loved this book anyway. Without doubt a great summer read!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I still have an ARC pending: Cascadia by H.W. “Buzz” Bernard. It promises to be an adrenaline-filled suspense story about the after effects of extreme natural events (in this case a massive earthquake and tsunami), so I’m definitely looking forward to read it soon. I also want to read Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, since I really enjoyed her other novel Between Shades Of Gray. Same goes for Hitman Anders And The Meaning Of It All by Jonas Jonasson, although I’ve already learned it’s not as good as The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out Of The Window And Disappeared… My newest TBR jar pick is still The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz.

WWW Wednesdays #95 – June 15th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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The only reason I haven’t finished The Munich Girl by Phyliss Edgerly Ring yet is that I don’t have a lot of time to read, because I’m really enjoying this historical fiction story so far. Hopefully I will be able to finish it before the weekend! And I haven’t actually read any new pages of A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas since last week, so process is still minimum. It’s not that I don’t want to read it, but I wanted to finish other books first.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Three books sounds like a lot when I didn’t have a lot of time, but when I wrote last WWW I had the first title already almost finished… And the other two are a collection of short stories and a novella, so supposedly ‘quick’ to read.
* I really enjoyed the Sherlock Holmes retelling A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro, and I will definitely be looking out for the sequel. Fast-paced, entertaining and it really shows the main characters were based on the original duo.
* The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan wasn’t as good as I was hoping for, but I guess that was mostly because I didn’t realize there was going to be a fiction part. I didn’t really like the fiction stories in general, although there were a few exceptions. The non fiction essays are really good though.
* I don’t like to say this about any book or novella, but reading Heart Of Tin by Danielle Paige was simply a waste of time. I REALLY didn’t like this sappy romance story where all that happens is that the Tin Woodman pines over Dorothy and tries to win her over… But since I’ve been promised this is the worst novella and the others are better, I will still read the next two.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I have a new ARC pending:Cascadia by H.W. “Buzz” Bernard. It promises to be an adrenaline-filled suspense story about the after effects of extreme natural events (in this case a massive earthquake and tsunami), and I’m definitely looking forward to read it soon. And I decided to keep both Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum and The Ex by Alafair Burke on my list since they sound like really entertaining and ‘easy’ reads (which is something I need right now since I don’t have a lot of spare time to read). My newest TBR jar pick is The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz.

Teaser Tuesdays #98 – June 14th: The Munich Girl

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at Books And A Beat. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I’ve finally been able to start one of my pending ARCs, The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring. I already knew I was most likely going to enjoy this book since I love just about every historical fiction read set during WWII, but this story is turning out to be particularly interesting. I love that this book talks about the role of women during the war; something that isn’t being written about often enough. (In fact, the only other title I can recall straight away is The Nightingale.) Hopefully the story stays this interesting!

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My teaser (34%):

“These are modern times, nicht? Not our grandmother’s days. There’s more to life than finding some lord and master and being under his thumb. I swear I’ll never live in such a prison!”

What are you reading right now?

WWW Wednesdays #94 – June 8th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Basically, I haven’t been having a lot of free time to read, so I’m still reading A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro even though I really enjoy the story so far. I’m hoping to finish it today though! I also have The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan and A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas on my currently reading list, although the process with both books is so minimum that I can’t say anything constructive yet.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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Wait, only one book finished since last week?! I don’t think this has happened in a long time… I definitely wasn’t lying when I said I didn’t have a lot of time to read. 😦 I finished More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera though, which took me ages to read because I didn’t really enjoy the first part of the book. I actually thought about DNFing at one point, but I’m glad I continued reading because the last part of the book was really good.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I still have the following ARC pending:The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring. I love historical fiction set during WWII, so I’m looking forward to start reading it as soon as I finish my current reads. And since I don’t have a lot of time to read I decided to put some ‘easy’ and entertaining looking reads next; I’ve heard great things about both Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum and The Ex by Alafair Burke, so I can’t wait to read them myself. My newest TBR jar pick is The Hired Girl by Laura Amy Schlitz, which works out perfectly because it’s a historical fiction read set in the 1910s, which is one of the periods I still needed for the When Are You Reading? challenge.

WWW Wednesdays #93 – June 1st

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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Basically, I haven’t been having a lot of free time to read lately… So while I have started both these books above, I’m not sure when I will actually finish them. First up is More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, a book that has been recommended to me quite a lot and I’m really looking forward to. The other is a Sherlock Holmes retelling: A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. I can’t wait to continue reading both soon!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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* The first book I managed to finish is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which turned out to be an entertaining enough middle grade classic. Still, I probably would have enjoyed it better reading it about twenty years ago…
* Another book I was able to finish is Heartsick by Chelsea Cain, which turned out to be one of the best whodunit reads I’ve read in a while. I will definitely be reading more of this series! Some of the scenes might be a bit gruesome if you have a weak stomach, but I personally didn’t mind. The main character Archie is a detective with a very messed up personal life (which is not original at all in this genre), but the story more than makes up for it.
* The last title I managed to finish is Housebroken by The Behrg, which turned out to be a really messed up thriller/horror story about a kidnapping similar to your worst nightmare… If you enjoy a good horror read, definitely make sure to check out this book!

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I haven’t be able to read much, so yet again I haven’t been able to read many of the titles I mentioned before. But since I’ve finally finished Housebroken, I have a new pending ARC: The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring, I love historical fiction set during WWII, so I’m looking forward to start reading it. I also still want to read Out Of The Easy by Ruta Sepetys, but I don’t know how much longer I can resist the temptation of reading A Court Of Mist And Fury by Sarah J. Maas… Plus, I’m afraid I will run into unwanted spoilers any day now. 😉 My newest TBR jar pick is still The Opposite Of Loneliness by Marina Keegan.