Happy Publication Day to Kelly Rimmer on the publishing of The German Wife. This is a wonderful dual timeline, historical fiction story that I was fortunate to be able to do a read/listen to. Scroll down for my review and an excerpt from the book.
The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer, Narrated by Nancy Peterson and Ann Marie Gideon
Published June 28th 2022 by Harlequin Audio, Harlequin Trade Publishing (Graydon House)
About the Book: The enmity between two women from opposing sides of the war culminates in a shocking event as anti-German sentiment sweeps America, when the aristocratic wife of a German scientist must face the social isolation, hostility and violence leveled against her and her family when they’re forced to relocate to Alabama in the aftermath of WWII. For fans of Beatriz Wiliams, Pam Jenoff, and Kristin Harmel.
Berlin, 1934—Ilse Meyer is the aristocratic wife of a scientist whose post-WWI fortunes change for the better when her husband, Jurgen, is recruited for Hitler’s new rocket program. Although Ilse and Jurgen do not share the popular political views rising in Germany, Jurgen’s new job forces them to consider what they must sacrifice morally for their financial security. But too late they realize the Nazi’s plans to weaponize Jurgen’s technology as they begin to wage war against the rest of Europe.
Huntsville, Alabama, 1949—Jurgen is one of hundreds of Nazi scientists offered pardons and taken to the US to work for the CIA’s fledgling space program. Ilse, now the mother of four, misses Germany terribly and struggles to fit in among the other NASA wives, who look upon her with suspicion. In a moment of loneliness, she confesses to a neighbor, Rachel Carlson, about Jurgen’s membership in the SS and her resentment for being forced to live in a country that will always see her as the enemy. What she doesn’t know is that she has trusted the wrong neighbor.
When the scandalous news about the Meyer family’s affiliation with the Nazi party spreads, idle gossip turns to bitter rage, and the act of violence that results will tear apart a community and a family before the truth is finally revealed—but is it murder, revenge or justice?
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
The German Wife is a dual timeline story about the lives of Jurgen and Sofie von Meyer Rhodes. In 1934, Jurgen is a University professor who dabbles in rocketry. As Hitler comes to power, their best friends join the Nazi party and become anti-Semitic, even though one of the women’s best friends is Jewish. When Jurgen is offered a position working for the government on rockets, he declines, but when he loses his job and his family is threatened, he agrees even though he doesn’t believe in what Hitler and his government are doing. As time goes on, he becomes more complicit in the Nazi plans. When the war ends, Jurgen is taken to the US under arrest, but when they realize his knowledge would benefit them in the space race, he moves to Huntsville Alabama to work for the CIA’s fledgling space program. He is allowed to bring his family, Sofie and their two youngest children, to the US where they live with the other German families also working in the program. Rumors about Jurgen and his affiliation with the SS and Nazi party keep the other women from befriending Sofie. When Sofie shares information and her feelings with her neighbour, she tells others and they become pariahs. Things happen that cause many lives to be changed forever, all due to hatred of all things German.
Although the story is called The German Wife, it is the story of two women: Sofie von Meyer Rhodes, the German Wife and Lizzie Miller, an American women who grew up in Texas during the depression and married a wealthy man who is Jurgen’s boss. It was interesting to see these two women, both strong minded, stubborn and not happy about the Germans working for the US government. They butt heads on more than one occasion. Seeing how their pasts influenced their lives, gave me insight into both of them and their emotions. I enjoy historical fiction and this was a time with events that I really did not have a lot of knowledge about. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for these German families to come and live with people who thought of them as the enemy. Racism, hate and violence occurred and the police didn’t do much about it as they also didn’t want them there. Kelly Rimmer’s research on this book was thorough and I enjoy how accurate her stories are. This story is told in alternating points of view from Sofie and Lizzie in both the past, 1930s and the 1950s. It also has three different setting, Nazi Germany, Oakden Oklahoma, and Huntsville Alabama. The different timelines meld together well and I was hooked from the start to the end. This was a heartbreaking story and I felt for all the characters involved in the tragedy that takes place. It is a story of family, survival, grief, love and trying to be accepted. It deals with racism, evil, PTSD, good vs evil, and more. I definitely recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction, especially stories dealing with WWII or the time immediately surrounding the war. The audiobook was narrated by Nancy Peterson and Ann Marie Gideon. They gave each of the narrators their own voice, so it was easy to know who was speaking. The accents, voice, expression and emotion were excellent and I was pulled into the story. I definitely recommend it, if you enjoy audiobooks. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating and opinions shared are my own.
About the Author: Kelly Rimmer is the worldwide, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Before I Let You Go, The Things We Cannot Say, and Truths I Never Told You. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. Please visit her at https://www.kellyrimmer.com/
I am a retired teacher/librarian. I love to read, especially to my grandchildren. I read most genres, but lately have gravitated to cozy mysteries, romance (not erotic) and Christian Fiction. I do enjoy a good thriller every now and then, as well as some fantasy and the odd sci-fi. I have ventured into Blog tours, but I do not do well reading under pressure. I travel to Florida for 2 to 3 months in the winter (Canadian Snowbirder) but otherwise live in Windsor, Ontario Canada. Feel free to follow and comment on my blog. I try to respond to all comments.