What I’m Reading: The German Girl

I just finished up listening to the audio book The German Girl: A Novel by Armando Lucas Correa.  Being this was a Holocaust book I grabbed it up hoping for a good one.

The book started out very good.  I really liked it.  The beginning was catchy…I was soon attached to the characters but as I read along I wasn’t quite as excited.  Let me tell you more….

Hannah was a spunky girl that lost her spunk.  She’s a Jewish girl in Germany at the time of WWII.  Her family fights and get passage on a boat headed for Cuba.  Mid voyage Cuba says they can’t stay.  Somehow Hannah and her mother get to stay.  I know this is bad for me to say but the story just went blah from there on.  The story is the author’s story and he can imagine it however he pleases…but that spunky Hannah lost her spunk…and I as the reader, very much missed it.

Here’s what Amazon had to say:“Before everything changed, young Hannah Rosenthal lived a charmed life. But now, in 1939, the streets of Berlin are draped with red, white, and black flags; her family’s fine possessions are hauled away; and they are no longer welcome in the places that once felt like home. Hannah and her best friend, Leo Martin, make a pact: whatever the future has in store for them, they’ll meet it together.

Hope appears in the form of the SS St. Louis, a transatlantic liner offering Jews safe passage out of Germany. After a frantic search to obtain visas, the Rosenthals and the Martins depart on the luxurious ship bound for Havana. Life on board the St. Louis is like a surreal holiday for the refugees, with masquerade balls, exquisite meals, and polite, respectful service. But soon ominous rumors from Cuba undermine the passengers’ fragile sense of safety. From one day to the next, impossible choices are offered, unthinkable sacrifices are made, and the ship that once was their salvation seems likely to become their doom.

Seven decades later in New York City, on her twelfth birthday, Anna Rosen receives a strange package from an unknown relative in Cuba, her great-aunt Hannah. Its contents will inspire Anna and her mother to travel to Havana to learn the truth about their family’s mysterious and tragic past, a quest that will help Anna understand her place and her purpose in the world.

The German Girl sweeps from Berlin at the brink of the Second World War to Cuba on the cusp of revolution, to New York in the wake of September 11, before reaching its deeply moving conclusion in the tumult of present-day Havana. Based on a true story, this masterful novel gives voice to the joys and sorrows of generations of exiles, forever seeking a place called home.”

Amazon readers gave the book 4.2 stars.  I’m going to agree.  As I said, the book didn’t have “happy spots”….everything was pretty dreary.

1 thought on “What I’m Reading: The German Girl”

  1. I felt exactly the same about this one. I probably wouldn’t even have given it that high a rating. I did like the beginning, but was glad to finally get it finished. I almost felt like the author was grasping for paths partway through the storyline. I knew nothing about Cuba during that time, so I guess I learned a little, but overall have to say it was not that “enjoyable”.

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