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White Rose, Black Forest

Narrated by: Napoleon Ryan
Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4 out of 5 stars (13 ratings)

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Summary

In the shadows of World War II, trust becomes the greatest risk of all for two strangers.

December 1943. In the years before the rise of Hitler, the Gerber family’s summer cottage was filled with laughter. Now, as deep drifts of snow blanket the Black Forest, German dissenter Franka Gerber is alone and hopeless. Fervor and brutality have swept through her homeland, taking away both her father and her brother and leaving her with no reason to live.

That is, until she discovers an unconscious airman lying in the snow wearing a Luftwaffe uniform, his parachute flapping in the wind. Unwilling to let him die, Franka takes him to her family’s isolated cabin despite her hatred for the regime he represents. But when it turns out that he is not who he seems, Franka begins a race against time to unravel the mystery of the airman’s true identity. Their tenuous bond becomes as inseparable as it is dangerous. Hunted by the Gestapo, can they trust each other enough to join forces on a mission that could change the face of the war and their own lives forever?

©2018 Eoin Dempsey (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Woman’s voice awful

Why is it that women are so often portrayed in this appalling way by their weak throaty whispery voices. Spoils whole book.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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RUBBISH

I am really very sorry that I ever started this. if I could I would give zero stars and get my money back.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good story ruined!

This has to be the absolute worst narration I have ever heard! Totally ridiculous- every word read with maximum drama.. and the way he over-pronounced words like ‘face’ was extremely distracting. Thank goodness I’d bought the kindle book so I could have a break from the dreadful narration.
The woman’s voice was also terrible - everything half whispered..
A real shame as the story is really interesting!
Avoid the audible - unless you want a laugh!
Ps I tried giving the performance no stars but wasn’t allowed.

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    3 out of 5 stars

Liked the story but not the narration

Good story, reminding us that Hitler's brutal regime extended to his own people - those who disagreed and those born with disabilities both mental and physical.

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Profile Image for W. Macindoe
  • W. Macindoe
  • 18-03-18

Great story. One big annoying problem with the narration.

I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The subject was fascinating. However, although Napoleon Ryan did a very nice job with the narration, about one third of the hundreds of times he said “she” it sounded like he said “he.” It was really distracting! Maybe it was the recording equipment he used. But don’t let this keep you from listening to the book. It’s a wonderful historical fiction novel about World War II with a strong female protagonist.

23 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Maggie
  • 26-03-18

Could not handle the narration

Would you be willing to try another one of Napoleon Ryan’s performances?

Absolutely not. I actually think I might have liked this book if I'd read it myself, and might just do that. His voice grated from the first second I heard it, and I never got used to it. I understand that it's a dramatic book on a dramatic topic, but he speaks SO SLOWLY and the way that he lowers the inflection of his voice at the end of every sentence was ridiculously annoying to me. It served to make every sentence, even the most mundane, "She went to the cabinet." sound ominous, and it irritated me to no end. The over-dramatization of absolutely everything was unreal. I sped the book up as much as I could handle, and still I could not take his delivery. The story itself might not be that bad, but I could not focus on anything but how much I hated his voice. The only reason I made it within a few chapters of the end was because I was trapped on a long flight with nothing else to listen to. The only thing worse than his voice was the narration of her voice. Humans don't speak like that - no one (thank God) has that breathy a voice. Do yourself a favor and read this on your own. Avoid the audiobook at all costs.

29 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MPofahl
  • 01-04-19

Fantastic Story—but...

I loved the story and it was well written. I found the narrator verging on creepy & overly dramatic, thus the 3 stars for performance. I really want to get my hands on the actual book because some pronouns he/she weren’t used correctly. The story itself really keeps you guessing. Loved the ending!

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Dayna A. Hudgin
  • 03-05-18

Worth the listen, even with pretty bad narration

The story is captivating and compelling. Bless his heart, but the narrators voice is grating and his accents are terrible. I finished out the listen because the story kept my focus, and I was curious to see if the narration got any better. Ha!

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark Martinico
  • 14-10-19

Compelling, suspenseful tale, expertly narrated.

Looking at the reviews by other listeners, I see repeat mention of something that I myself did not notice when listening to this book: They speak of a pronoun issue, where the narrator is saying "he" when he should be saying "she". I never once encountered this. In more than nine hours of listening, I didn't experience such an issue, not even once. And going back for a second listen to select parts of it, I still cannot hear it. While his "sh" sounds are perhaps not as loud as other narrators, they are clearly there. Perhaps some listeners have lesser quality headphones? I don't know.
Moving on to thoughts about the book itself:
I found it to be a grippingly suspenseful tale. Having it weave in and out of actual historical events added to the suspense. The characters were fully fleshed out, the plot was engrossing, the pacing was precise, and the narrator's ability to provide a unique, convincing voice to each character made it a delightful listen. I will admit to having sped it up to 1.25-speed out of personal preference - another reviewer opted to complain about the speed of narration instead of simply exercising their ability to adjust the speed, and I just don't get that. I mean, that's why the feature is there.
I could (and would love to) see this adapted as a limited TV series on Netflix/Hulu/Prime. Its pacing and its use of occasional flashbacks would easily fit into an episodic format.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kris
  • 08-05-18

excellent listen

This book was great in historical detail and events and story. Bit slow on the narrator but story line kept me focused.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • GreenEyes
  • 06-05-18

Narrator doesn’t know pronouns!!!

I, he, she, it, you, and they. Personal pronouns. If the narrator cannot keep she and he separate, then it may keep many people from not continuing on. I wanted to know how the story turned out or I would have quit within ten minutes. It is pathetic and should be re-done. Forgive my harshness, but the story is grand and I loved and enjoyed it very much.

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Karla
  • 05-04-18

The MOST irritating narrator ever!

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Definitely - the narrator!

What did you like best about this story?

The actual story

What didn’t you like about Napoleon Ryan’s performance?

EvERY woRD iS SOOOOOOOOOOOOO draMATIC! Totally unnecessary. I loved the story, but Napoleon just murdered it for me. He bludgeoned every single word from beginning to end. Luckily the story itself kept me going. Never again.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Yes, as long as I don't have to listen to Napoleon Ryan :)

Any additional comments?

Please, no more Napoleon! Ever.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • WendyAM
  • 04-05-18

So glad I chose this book!

The story was a bit slow but the details were great! Sad to know there was truth to the story.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • nycgirl
  • 30-04-18

Beautiful Love Story

I looked forward to hearing the story everyday. It had a bit of history and suspense.

1 person found this helpful