Wednesday, January 1, 2014

CITY OF WOMEN by David R. Gillham

Some reviewers have called this book a thriller, and I'll go along with that, but this is no beach read.  Sigrid is living with her despicable mother-in-law in Berlin during WWII while her husband Kaspar is serving in the Germany army.  To add some sparkle to her life, Sigrid has indulged in an affair with a married Jew named Egon, who has now gone into hiding.  As if this relationship weren't risky enough, she befriends Ericha, a neighbor's nanny, who is helping to hide Jews and smuggle them out of the country.  From here, things start to get very dicey and complicated, with men who may or may not be Gestapo and a family in hiding who may or may not be Egon's wife and children.  Having already served as Egon's courier on several occasions, Sigrid soon becomes involves in Ericha's work as well and finds that she has untapped strengths and talents, as she comes to realize that the horrors she hears about from the BBC are not propaganda.  She becomes increasingly reckless with her own life, given that it's fairly torturous anyway, between her clerical job in the patent office and the RAF air raids almost every night.  She's a bit of a chameleon, nervy at times, occasionally reluctant, sleeping with the enemy, and relying on her intuition to help her make savvy choices and elude trouble.  Simultaneously her greatest asset and her greatest weakness, though, is her passion, propelling her into questionable sexual liaisons on the one hand and into the dangerous world of saving lives on the other.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I liked this book. Thanks for your post.

Also...thanks for stopping by my review of Once We Were Brothers.

Going to look around your blog. :)