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The Girl From Krakow: A Novel

The Girl From Krakow: A Novel

Написано Alex Rosenberg

Озвучено Michael Page


The Girl From Krakow: A Novel

Написано Alex Rosenberg

Озвучено Michael Page

оценки:
4/5 (14 оценки)
Длина:
13 hours
Издатель:
Издано:
Sep 1, 2015
ISBN:
9781491588680
Формат:
Аудиокнига

Описание

It's 1935. Rita Feuerstahl comes to the university in Krakow intent on enjoying her freedom. But life has other things in store-marriage, a love affair, a child, all in the shadows of the oncoming war. When the war arrives, Rita is armed with a secret so enormous that it could cost the Allies everything, even as it gives her the will to live. She must find a way both to keep her secret and to survive amid the chaos of Europe at war. Living by her wits among the Germans as their conquests turn to defeat, she seeks a way to prevent the inevitable doom of Nazism from making her one of its last victims. Can her passion and resolve outlast the most powerful evil that Europe has ever seen?

In an epic saga that spans from Paris in the '30s and Spain's Civil War to Moscow, Warsaw, and the heart of Nazi Germany, The Girl from Krakow follows one woman's battle for survival as entire nations are torn apart, never to be the same.

Издатель:
Издано:
Sep 1, 2015
ISBN:
9781491588680
Формат:
Аудиокнига

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4.0
14 оценки / 9 Обзоры
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  • (4/5)
    Rita, a student at the Krakow University, leaves her studies to marry and bear a child. However, her marriage lacks the passion she desires. After her husband discovers that she is having an affair, she breaks it off with her lover and resolves herself to her mundane life. When WWII breaks out, her husband flees to Russia. She and her son are sent to the Ghetto. This was a well-paced and interesting book. The characters were very realistic and dynamic. It was slow at times, but none of the slow periods lasted for long. Overall, well worth picking up.
  • (5/5)
    Beautifully told story...never overtold. Filled with pathos and the complexity of all that it is to be human. For me made all the more poignant as I read it against the backdrop of a world gone COVID-19 mad.
  • (3/5)
    'Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger.'

    This review is also available on my blog: Under Literary Construction

    The Girl from Krakow follows Rita's life from meeting her husband at university to changing her identity in order to survive the Nazi's mission to rid the world of Jews. A love affair, a lost child and a secret that can change the outcome of the war and put than her life in danger. Along the way she meets those willing to help her survive despite the risk to their own lives and many anti-Semitics siding with Hitler's mission. Her wits and ability to think quickly are just a few things keeping Rita and her newfound companion, Dani, alive until the America's enter the war and the Nazi regime falls.

    I enjoyed this book, but there were some hurdles for me to enjoy it, mainly the language. I am not well-versed, nor have I ever claimed to be, in any language outside of English. I know the bare minimum of being able to scrape by an understanding, but that has never impeded my ability to read and enjoy a book.

    This book, however, had me looking up the phonetic alphabet in order to pronounce names like Tadeusz, which I think I am still pronouncing wrong. Then there are the Nazi terms, the German terms, the Polish slang and the majority of these items weren't available for "translation" or lookup in my Kindle's dictionary. Every time I came across a new word, I would look it up and often have to leave my page and go to the internet browser to look it up there and hope there was a translation or at least a pronunciation if I could figure out what the term meant through context clues.
    But let's put this aside because the novel does take place in Paris, Germany, Poland, and Moscow. Unfamiliar terms are bound to be abundant and I am willing to look past this.

    I enjoyed the beginning, the middle was what kept my attention, but the end fell apart for me. If it weren't for the fact that the historical details were accurate, as far as I can tell (I am not a History major by any means), I think I would have given a lesser star review for this book.

    The characters are well built and described in enough detail to form an image in my mind. Rita the Jewess that looks more German than Jew, according to Hitler's image of Jews, and speaks fluent German. I could see her in my mind, along with Urs, Tadeusz, and even Dani. All of the characters were well-formed in my mind, which is the most important aspect of a book for me because the characters tell the story.

    One of my biggest issues, however, was the constant point of view shift throughout the book. At one point, it interrupted with the timeline sending the story backwards in order to catch up another characters timeline and I was a little confused as to what was going on and what year it was in the end. At one point, the shift was within a paragraph. We are understanding things from Rita's perspective and then the next sentence is from her landlady's perspective and then right back to Rita's.

    I also found it hard to believe that Rita and Dani were able to learn so many languages so quickly. Rita already knows Polish and German. She then picks up on Russian, Yiddish and English. Dani just so happens to speak and understand English, but this is not known until the Americans arrive. I have difficulty believing that they are able to learn this many languages in a way that allows them to effectively communicate so quickly.

    The sex scenes were a source of love/hate. I am all for adult scenes in novels meant for adults and these are actually beautifully written. Not overly erotic, not tawdry, but told in a matter-of-fact way that paints an image. But, they often don't add to the story. Of course, Rita's affair would involve sex scenes, but then there are other times the sex occurs in the story that doesn't contribute to what is occurring at the time. Sex for the sake filling a page is where the hate part of the love/hate comes in, but these are well written and didn't make me cringe to read.

    Rita seems to catch a lot of lucky breaks. She happens to speak German like a German not a Jew. She meets Erich, who provides her with the right documentation. She crosses paths with Mikolaj Bilek, who also helps provide her passage at just the right time. Even when she has been "caught," she is let free because the war is coming to an end and the man in charge, the Sturmscharführer, understands that letting her go will look better for him in the end then sending her and Dani to jail. It just seems a little far-fetched that she survives as much as she does and does so without much effort.

    The ending felt thrown together as if the author and editor at the last minute realized there were items not addressed. It was a little sad for me because the bulk of the story was enjoyable and lead up to this ending that just fell flat like a deflated balloon.

    Now, it probably seems that there was a lot I found wrong, but as I mentioned the characters are well-developed and the historical aspects accurate. That alone made me enjoy the read. There are also some very memorable quotes that are applicable even today, such as:
    Ideas spread like the germs of a disease. Like the deadliest diseases, they die out because they kill their hosts before they can jump to new ones.

    I also really liked how Rosenberg effectively and easily explained Darwin's theories. Darwin is complicated and not always easy to understand. The Nazis used his theories to their benefit, but Rosenberg tells the other side of the story using Darwin's theories to explain why the Nazis will lose and how the entire war doesn't have a divine reason, but is just a part of the evolution process. Freddy explains this argument to Rita who grabs hold of it and runs, explaining it to anyone along the way in such a way that it makes sense regardless of who she is explaining it to. It was a highlight for me every time she used the Nazis reasoning against them, of course not directly to their face.

    Do I wish there was a better ending? Absolutely. Were there parts of it that were boring or unbelievable? Definitely. Did that take away from my overall enjoyment of the novel? Not one bit.
     
  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    3.5 Stars. Overall this was an enjoyable read (if you can use these words with the subject matter at hand), but at one or two points you kept thinking get on with it. It covers the period from the mid to late thirties and right through the war, as well as taking in some of the Spanish Civil War. The depravity of the times comes through strongly in this book, especially related to the ghettos and the holocaust - even worse was the way people sold out their fellow man (including people of the same faith). Overall I am very pleased to have read it.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    I thought this book was excellent. Rosenberg has a terrific grasp of the historical and human realities of the borderlands between Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany before, during and after the War. The book is well written, the suspense well maintained, and the characters artfully developed. Well worth the read.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (2/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The Girl from Krakow: A Novel by Alex Rosenberg; (1 1/2*)I am very sorry Mr. Rosenberg but I had to 'pearl rule' this book at about the halfway mark. I found it to be a boring & trite story that has been done hundreds of times and done much better. There is so much to choose from during this era that we readers can afford to be a little when it comes to time & place. My reading time is just too valuable to stick with something I cannot get into. But I do hope that others out there appreciated it for the readers here on L/T are nothing if not diverse.My thanks to Amazon Prime for loaning me this title.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    A well-researched, well-written, and thoroughly enjoyable novel about life in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Awarded by Goodreads. Very good telling of life between the wars, especially the hardships faced by Jews in a Europe rife with discrimination exacerbated by Hitler's quest to exterminate them. The girl in question is Jewish, unhappily married, and running from the Nazis after their conquest of Poland. Her assets include "looking Aryan", speaking German, and good luck in finding the right people to help her. But her life is complicated by knowing a secret that could change the balance of force in the war and the search for her infant son whom she sent into hiding with a courier of the Polish underground. While the story moves along well, one has the feeling that all is very predictable, but the ending manages to surprise by "contradicting" one of the underlying themes of the story. In the end a very satisfying read.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (3/5)
    This novel had me confused; the historical fiction part was obvious but it was erotica also. Parts of the novel did remind me of Winds of War and the horrific acts of the Nazis. The Jewish population, the homosexual population, the Gypsy population and everyone not Blue eyes and Blonde hairs were targets for their hate.The book does have happy ending.