Reflective novel set in Denmark, France and Canada
Novel set mainly in WW2 MUNICH (and Dachau)
24th January 2022
The German Wife by Debbie Rix, novel set mainly in WW2 Munich (and Dachau).
#Audiobook – narrated by Tamsin Kennard.
This novel is inspired by true events. Annaliese is the daughter of a grocer and after her father’s death decides to sell up. She catches the eye of Hans Vogel, a doctor, who courts her. His mother is singularly unimpressed with his choice of lowly girlfriend but they nevertheless marry as the thunderclouds of WW2 start to build.
He is keen to find a cure for malaria and jumps at the opportunity to work at Dachau, where he understands his work will be valued. But he is required to administer experiments that are very different from those he anticipated and finds himself navigating a very precarious path between his own survival and heinous work he is expected to do. He observes terrible things at the camp and they prey upon him and gradually he withdraws into himself.
Annaliese is kept in the dark about his work and, given her husband’s increasingly dolorous disposition, soon finds herself drawn to the gardener, whom her husband has rescued from terrible experiments in Dachau. He is a sensitive architect from Russia and is at the Vogel home in a capacity of ‘slave’ – he is to be fed and watered minimally and then has to return to Dachau in the evening.
As a reader, their affair is outlined in the content summary and at first it feels a little disappointing to know so much about the essence of the story. However, as the narrative progresses there is increasing depth and the story develops well, with plenty of detail of the era (several visits to Munich’s iconic Café Luitpold in the Briennerstrasse) and the author conjures up a real sense of foreboding.
I felt the whole construct was sensitively handled and made for an engaging and often gripping read.
Tina for the TripFiction Team
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