The German Wife by Debbie Rix

Published January 13th 2022 by Bookouture

About the Book: Inspired by true events, this is a heart-stopping, unforgettable story of ordinary people fighting for survival in the darkest of times. Fans of Orphan TrainThe Tattooist of Auschwitz and My Name is Eva will be utterly gripped by this beautiful, tragic World War Two novel.

Germany, 1939:Annaliese is trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband Hans has become cold and secretive since starting a new job as a doctor at Dachau. Every morning she watches from her kitchen window as he leaves in his car. The sight of him in the dark uniform of the SS sends shivers of fear down her spine and she longs to escape…

When a tall, handsome Russian prisoner named Alexander is sent from Dachau to work in their garden, lonely Annaliese finds herself drawn to him as they tend to the plants together. In snatched moments and broken whispers, Alexander tells her the shocking truth about the camp. Horrified, Annaliese vows to do everything she can to save him.

But as they grow closer, their feelings for each other put their lives at risk. And Annaliese finds herself in grave danger when she dares to fight for love and freedom…

America, 1989: Turning the pages of the newspaper, Annaliese gasps when she recognizes the face of a man she thought she’d never see again. It makes her heart skip a beat as a rush of wartime memories come flooding back to her. As she reads on, she realizes the past is catching up with her. And she must confront a decades-old secret – or risk losing her only son…

The German Wife: Inspired by True Events, an Absolutely Gripping and Heartbreaking WW2 Historical Novel

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The German Wife is an Historical Fiction Story set during WWII and bookended by a present storyline set in 1989. Annaliese is a well off doctor’s wife. Her husband, Hans, joins the SS as he thinks it is the only way to get ahead and be able to do his research. He is ordered by the SS to work at the Dachau labour camp, where he will also be able to do his Malaria research. Annaliese is at home living happily, ignorant of what is really going on at the camp. When they seem to be unable to have a child, Hans is worried what this will do to his standing in the party, so he encourages Annaliese to have a sexual relationship with the gardener, a Russian prisoner that she seems to have feelings for. It is then that she finds out from Alexander what is really happening at the camp. She can no longer stand to have her husband touch her and as the Allies get closer, she has some decisions to make.

I found the plot quite intriguing and the story told from the perspective of an SS doctor and his wife was really unique. It was an easy read and flowed well, considering the topic. Although the title of this story is The German Wife, I found the story surrounding Hans to be more interesting and developed than Annaliese’s story. Seeing how he tried to do his tests and research as ethically as he could, not harming others as much as possible and trying to stop the other doctors from being reckless was a very different viewpoint from other stories set during this time. earing how complicated life could be for an SS officer and why one would join the SS even though he did not support the party of the cause, also opened my eyes a bit. Annaliese was rather sheltered, yet at times she seemed strong and had a mind of her own. I would have loved to see her more developed and known more about her ideology and thoughts. I do like to read about the German people who were just trying to survive and not strong enough to fight back, as they all weren’t evil. The story after the war ended was another eye opener seeing how some people were given passage to the US and became citizens and why. The life of a prisoner after the war was not easy and I like that there was some reference to that as well. This was a well written story that kept my attention, made me think and gave me some new tidbits of knowledge that I didn’t really know about. I recommend this book if you enjoy WWII Historical Fiction. I did a read/listen with this book and both formats were well done. Tamsin Kennard narrates this story and I very much enjoyed her performance. She uses tone and expression to add emotion and intrigue to this story. My one complaint is that the main characters and setting were German and her accent is British. Having said that, I still enjoyed the audiobook.

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Audio Links: UK: – US:

About the Author: Debbie Rix has had a long career in journalism, including working as a presenter for the BBC. Her first novel, The Girl with Emerald Eyes was set around the building of the tower of Pisa and she has since released Daughters of the Silk Road and The Silk Weaver’s Wife. Debbie writes heartbreaking historical novels about love, tragedy and secrets.

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