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The German Woman
Synopses & Reviews
The German Woman opens at the end of WWI. English by birth but married to a German doctor, Kate was forced to leave London when war broke out. They served in a German mobile army field hospital in Poland, then made their way back to Germany. Reaching Hamburg they struggle to find enough food to survive the ongoing British blockade. As Kate experiences the British post-war starvation of German civilians she struggles to define her allegiances.
The second half of the novel opens in London just after D-Day in WWII. Claus Murphy works by day as a film-maker in the Ministry of Information and by night as an Air Raid Warden. Half Irish and half German, hea (TM)s an ideal double agent, and at the behest of British intelligence he feeds false information to the Germans. But when Kate appears in London, without her husband and under somewhat mysterious circumstances, Claus begins to question his loyalties - he is falling in love with her, despite being told that British intelligence believes shea (TM)s a spy.
Paul Griner was initially inspired by something E.M. Foster wrote: a oeIf I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.a The end result is this very topical love story and wartime drama.
"For a novel with two main characters, logic dictates that each performer should take one of the leading roles to create a mini-cast production, but this audio proceeds the old-fashioned way, in tag-team style. Anne Flosnik, performing the first section set primarily in Germany after the Great War, has a brittle voice that takes some getting used to. Her range is dwarfed by the talented Michael Page, who picks up the story in London in 1944. Though narrating in a slightly British accent, Page captures the American cadences and personality of Charles/Claus with all his yearnings and ambivalence, and his Kate, the British-born woman at the heart of the first section, outshines Flosnik's interpretation. Despite the unevenness of the performances, Page's galvanizing narrative makes this well-researched historical novel worth sticking with. A Houghton Mifflin Harcourt hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 27). (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This riveting war story introduces us to beautiful Kate Zweig, the English widow of a German surgeon, and Claus Murphy, an exiled American with German roots?two lovers with complicated loyalties.In 1918, Kate and her husband, Horst, are taken for spies by Russian soldiers and forced to flee their field hospital on the eastern front, barely escaping with their lives. Years later, in London during the Nazis? V-1 reign of terror, Claus spends his days making propaganda films and his nights as a British spy, worn down by the war and his own many secrets. When Claus meets the intriguing Kate, he finds himself powerfully drawn to her?even after evidence surfaces that she might not be exactly who she seems. As the war hurtles to a violent end, Claus must decide where his own loyalties lie, whether he can make a difference in the war?and what might be gained by taking a leap of faith with Kate. Echoing Pat Barker's spare power and the sweep of Sebastian Faulks's historical sagas, The German Woman takes us inside the world wars that defined the twentieth century and the hidden histories of two unforgettable characters whose love story will haunt listeners? hearts and minds.
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