Book Reviews

Berlin Calling by Kelly Durham (Review # 23)

Thank You very much to publisher – Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for a review copy.
Genre: General Fiction (Adult)/ Women’s Fiction
Release date: 14 02 2017
Price*:£8.99 (GBP)/ $9.43 (USD)
Pages: ~430
My rating: 8/10
You can get this book here:
Summed up in few words: World War II, spy’s life during war, adapting to differences.
Description of the book: Germany 1938. While young and old are captivated by the country’s rapid ascent under the leadership of Adolf Hitler, naive Maggie O’Dea, an American studying abroad, finds her own fortunes turning after falling in love with a handsome soldier and landing a job with the Propaganda Ministry. Embodying the infectious spirit of nationalism sweeping the country, her powerful dispatches launch her broadcasting career as a champion of the Fatherland.
But as Germany invades one peaceful neighbour after another and the wheels of World War II are set in motion, Maggie starts opening her eyes to the grim reality of Hitler’s intentions. Torn between her successful career rooted in the allegiance to her adopted land and a growing dread over her role in a tyrant’s ruthless reign, Maggie—supported by a new love—must fight her own war of conscience. Will she survive a conflict threatening the world…and her own life?
How this book made me feel: I am quite a bit of a fan, when it comes to books about World War II, add women in it, and I’m intrigued. That was what drew me to this book, a woman figure in the context of war and not just woman, a foreigner. The description above, describes this novel quite well.  It started with very romantic notes, how Maggie met Kurt, and how she ended up in Berlin, landing a job in Propaganda House. Maggie is very interesting character in this book, and I really loved her in this novel. She is beautiful, pleasant to be around, incredibly hard working and independent. I’m kind of used to these disturbed characters which are used in most of the books, and it was very refreshing to read about one, who is not mentally or emotionally messed up. Other characters were interesting to read about as well, and all of them where quite the personalities. I really enjoyed, that author did not make this book from one characters perspective, and included most of the characters by allowing them to speak. This made the book more pleasant to read, and more interesting. 
The plot of this book was really absorbing, and different from most of the WWII books I read. Normally, I encountered the books, which used to describe the tragedy of war, such as concentration camps or Jew’s killings, and their fighting for survival. This book was softer on that part, it mentioned the cruelties’ which happened during the war, but never in so much detail to make it stomach turning. It was written more about the political aspects of it, and how German propaganda was used to influence people from other countries. It’s been a while since I studied history of WWII, and I studied from different countries’ perspective, so to see how it looked from Germany’s perspective was quite appealing. I think that author was trying to show, how Germans thought about this war and why most of them supported what Hitler was doing. 
I am a big fan of short chapters, and this book didn’t disappoint me with that. The chapters were divided into smaller parts, which made it more pleasant to read. Every chapter was quite detailed, but the meaning and the point of that chapter was very lovely opened, and concluded for the reader.  The story was flowing nicely and smoothly. I believe Author has a great personal knowledge about war, and used it greatly in this book. There was a little bit of monotony while reading this book, and lack of twists and turns, that would’ve make it more exciting. The language used was not difficult and easy to read, but I had to look up some German terms used in this book, as I’m not familiar with the language.  The ending of the book was really entertaining but not complete. I wished more conclusions, and to know what happened to Dieter. To conclude, it is a great book if you looking for World War II stories of war from German perspective, love, and survival.
About the Author: Kelly Durham lives in Clemson, South Carolina, with his wife, Yvonne; their daughters, Mary Kate, Addison, and Callie; and their dog, George Marshall. He is the author of four previous novels, including Wade’s War, The Reluctant Copilot, The War Widow, and The Movie Star and Me. A graduate of Clemson University, Kelly served four years in the US Army with assignments in Arizona and Germany before returning to Clemson and entering private business. He was an award-winning Wendy’s franchise owner for more than twenty-five years, as well as a private pilot, and he was named a distinguished alumnus of Clemson University in 2012. 
*-the price was taken from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com at current date. Price might change at your time of purchase.

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