A sweeping international epic, perfect for all fans of Penny Vincenzi and Barbara Taylor Bradford
June 1909, in a large Berlin mansion, cousins Zelda and Vicky are about to meet brothers Berthold and Josef for the first time - an evening that will alter the course of their lives forever...Vicky Hudson is only seventeen when she marries Berthold and moves from her idyllic Yorkshire home to Berlin. She finds it hard to adjust to her new life, not least when she discovers that the family business she has just married into - Remer Steel - is producing weaponry for the German army. With the First World War looming, Vicky flees to Yorkshire with her children, leaving Berlin, and her husband, behind.
Striking dark-haired beauty Zelda Wallace is no stranger to marriage. Widowed at just twenty-one with a young son, she is eager to meld into Berlin's high society and sever all ties with her American identity in order to become a true Berliner. But beneath her exotic looks, Zelda holds a deeply hidden secret that if revealed, could threaten everything she holds dear...
©2010 HarperCollins Publisher Limited (P)2010 HarperCollins Publisher Limited
"An impressive, epic debut" (Daily Mirror)
"An immensely satisfying, sweeping saga ...it is one of those engrossing tales that never seems to let up on incident as we belt through four decades full of fascinating detail, skilfully written. A book to curl up with and lose yourself in." (Sarah Broadhurst)
"Fans of Barbara Taylor Bradford will devour this epic as I did." (The Sun)
.after 3 yrs membership best book yet..... well written, well read and thoroughly good listen ...sorry when it ended.
I am 64 years old and positively love audibles. I listen to my books all the time, from morning till night and spend a fortune every month.
Wonderfully narrated. the story takes you back to a time of war, and you hear the other side of the story. A family on both sides of the atlantic separated by ethics and a war that seems different hearing the story from bothe sides. Highly recommended.
After a mammoth 20 hours of listening the end is very disappointing, it's almost as though there's more to come but it doesn't. You never find out about so many of the characters and what happened to them. This is a long listen, my advice is, don't.
I have read and watched lots of stuff on the subject of germany in the first half of the last century and was impressed that this story gave another insight from yet a different angle than I had encountered before.
Love the characters and forgave the reader her what I think is a perculiar german accent - sounded like Nina from Big Brother most of the time but the story wins out.
I found this story more engrossing than I expected. I had read a Rebecca Dean before and found it light and enjoyable and romantic and this was much the same but characterisations were deeper and well sustained throughout the long time-span of the story. Some characters dropped by the wayside but hey, there were enough others to fully sustain the storyline. Descriptions of eras and places were evocative and probably fairly authentic, though I did find some aspects just too facile (how did they manage to feed themselves in Berlin in the immediate aftermath of WW2? It didn't seem to be much of an issue.) The juxtaposition of calm, plentiful Yorkshire with bombed out Berlin was well expressed and the tying up of loose ends of the many characters was satisfying. Some characters grew with the story, others remained pretty much the same over time, though perhaps that is the case with real life too. Generally a good read and I was never inclined to fast forward as I am with some books!
This was a thoroughly enjoyable listen, with a fair amount of detail. I was hooked quite quickly and became involved with the characters. I would however agree with a previous review, that the ending was rather unsatisfactory, it just rather trickled out.
I gave this book 4 stars because, simply, it is a very enjoyable listen, and I would recommend it to anyone. It well blends a big rich family's love and complicated relations during the World War II and was very powerful emotionally. I especially loved the third part, which is at the peak of the war. The characters were well designed too, with absolutely lovable and believable personalities.
I didn't give it 5 star because in spite of the good flow and words, I didn't quite like the plot. Through till the middle of the book I didn't know what it was really about - what are these people running around for, what do they want to get at the end of the book. For a long time I thought this book was simply describing the family's development over generations. I thought it was quite boring as I have no expectations. But half way through it became clearer and clearer, and I was hooked so badly that I finished the second half at one go.
It is also a good education on the Nazi history and its impact on German citizens if you were unfamiliar with that like me.
Overall, highly recommended.
I only bought this book because it was on special offer and had the longest duration, I am afraid to say it wasn't very good, for three reasons.
1. Too unrealistic, everything all turns out just so...this must be the luckiest family in the world!! Dont want to spoil it but I had moments where I rolled my eyes.
2. The author was just a little too discriptive, unecessarily so and there was a silly repetition of words i thought was a little lazy i.e. 'the rising concern he had for his mother concerned him'. Or something along those lines.
3. Not sure where the title Enemies of the Heart comes from. It isn't entirely clear who are the enemies and of whose heart
GOod things-the narrtion isn't bad and its interesting to have a book on the war from a German perspective but otherwise i would give this book a miss
"An epic without an end..."
Good story involving many family members during the two world wars. Told in an interesting way by a talented narrator yet somewhat slow at times. What really surprised me was the end of the book, it just cut off suddenly. I had to check my library & the Audible site to make sure I had not missed downloading part of the book. I had not, it just abruptly ends. Strange, the author had gone to much work on this book, yet lost it in the end.
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