Set in Europe in 1938, during the tense run-up to war, and perfect for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, Robert Harris, and Susan Elia MacNeal, this gripping historical novel features the half-British, half-German actress (and wholly covert spy) Clara Vine, who finds herself enmeshed in a dangerous game of subterfuge.
The colorful, lively streets of Paris come as a welcome relief to Clara Vine after the dour countenance of Berlin, where bunkers and bomb shelters are being dug, soldiers march the streets in their high boots, and Jewish residents rush to make it home before curfew. Though Clara is in Paris to make a film, her true work is never far from her mind. Approached by a British intelligence officer, Clara is initially confounded by his request: Get close to Eva Braun and glean as much as she can about the Fuhrer's plans and intentions. Clara has already established friendships with several high-ranking Nazi wives, but Eva Braun is another matter altogether. Hitler keeps his "secret" girlfriend obsessively hidden, fiercely guarding their relationship as well as Eva's delicate psychological state. From the gilded halls of the decadent City of Light to the cobbled, quaint streets of Munich, and even to the chilling, rarefied air of the Berghof, Hitler's private mountaintop retreat, Clara flirts with discovery at every turn - and a dangerous, devious plot unfolds.
©2014 Thynker Ltd (P)2015 W.F. Howes
this is the same book as War of Flowers under another name i need a refund
"A cozy WW2 spy story"
I stumbled on this series of books from WW2 or just before the war and am quite delighted. I would call the spy genre my favourite one, but when there was finally one written in a gentler, more female style, I thought I'd found the best ever. It was something I'd craved and never realized! As others have said, it isn't fast moving, but there is an authentic suspenseful story line that is resolved, but it's well mixed with lots of history and description, with a little romance and girly gossip thrown in for fun too. I haven't yet determined how the 3 books she has written with this heroine fit together in terms of sequence and perhaps they don't, but I've started another of the 3 already. Interestingly enough, Jane Thynne is married to Philip Kerr of the Bernie Gunther WW2 series. Can't you picture them travelling to Berlin for research! The narrator, Julie Teal,seems to have improved her French a bit since the last time I heard her and overall, she is a wonderful narrator, bringing all the characters to life. In another review, some of the accuracy of the author's historical details were questioned, such as the personalities of Eva Braun and Goebbels, but from what I've read, they were portrayed accurately, albeit in a fictionalized situation.
"This was a great [modern] historical novel"
Yes, I already have. The story is compelling and I learned so much about the 3rd Reich, history that I think it is important to know.
The main character, Clara Vine. She is very relatable, and I like her.
Julie Teal made the book come alive for me. I'm sure I would have liked the book, had I read it, but her narration gave it more depth.
No. I needed to process the historical material, which wasn't boring at all, but learning more than I already knew about the 3rd Reich, especially the role of women, was a lot to take in without taking time to think about it. I would take a break from listening sometimes to look up the historical characters that were in the book, and some of the places and what was happening in real time. Seeing photographs of the historical characters, and reading their biographies in Wikipedia added even greater depth (and horror) to the book.
I actually skipped the last third of the book, finishing up with the last chapter. When I read a book, I can skim, but you cannot skim a recorded book. The action of the book got too tense for me, and I feared so for some of the characters that I couldn't bear to hear what might have happened to them in Nazi Germany. I contemplated buying the book on Kindle and skimming those chapters, but the book, even in Kindle is expensive, esp. since I'd already purchased it from Audible, so I guess I'll never know what happened to those characters - and that's OK with me. This is not to say that I shan't buy more books in this series (and the series is not chronological, although I would try to read them that way) - I probably will.
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