Happy December! Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Solstice, Blessed Bohdi and good wishes for all the holidays I’ve failed to mention.
Thanksgiving and business reading took up a chunk of my time this month. However, I have two amazing book that you should add to your 2023 reading list.
The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer: If you watched the Step into the Story episode discussing this book, then you know I think Kelly Rimmer is a genius. The woman managed to make me feel sympathetic towards an SS Officer and his wife. Only a writer on top of her game can pull that off.
At the very end of World War 2, the US Government captured several German scientists and brought them to America to work on the US rocket program. These Germans and their families lives and worked at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. That program, Operation Paper Clip, was the inspiration for The German Wife.
Rimmer’s book focuses on two women, Sofie, the German wife, and Lizzie, the wife of an American scientist who opposes the German’s presence. After establishing the awkward arrangement, Rimmer takes readers back in time to illustrate how life shaped their identities. Both women are products of their environment. Sofie, obviously, is marked by the rise of Nazism and how it effects her friends and family. One of the most poignant lines in the book occurs when Sofie realizes that in order to keep her family safe and intact, she must send her son to school to be indoctrinated. Meanwhile Lizzie watches helplessly as dust storms and the Great Depression destroy her family. A tragedy will turn her into a survivor and color every decision she makes going forward.
Be forewarned. You will be infuriated at the powerlessness of women in the pre-modern era, and you will want to strangle one of the characters. You will also shed more than one tear at Abigail’s resolution.This was my first Serena Burdick read, but it won’t be my last. Click here to buy at Bookstore.org
Disclosure: Bookshop.org helps independent bookstores compete online. Customers purchase a book and decide which bookstore they wish to receive the sale. It should be noted that Step Into the Story is an affiliate of Bookshop.org. By clinking purchasing through on the provided links, Donna and I will earn a small commission which will be donated to literacy education.