Title: The Munich Girl
Author: Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Genre: Historical Fiction, Contemporary
First published: November 14th 2015
Finished reading: June 16th 2016
“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! ***
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.
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…
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.