War forces us to hate one another based on outside characteristics such as the nation of origin. But that does not mean, that we can see each other as human beings once the conflict ends.
The German Wife, by Kelly Rimmer, was published last year. The book follows two women as their fates are intertwined in post-war Huntsville.
Lizzie Miller experienced unimaginable loss during The Great Depression. After the war is over, she is appalled that Operation Paperclip has allowed former Nazi scientists into the country and into the most sensitive scientific work of the era. While other women in the community are eager to welcome the wives and children of these scientists, Lizzie is completely against the idea and is not silent about it.
In 1930 in Berlin, Sofie von Meyer Rhodes, whose husband is a respected academic, does not agree with the politics of the new government. But his status gives them a leg up. For this alone, she is willing to make some compromises. It slowly becomes clear that that are difficult decisions to be made. After the war, Sofie arrives in America, expecting some sort of hostility. But she has no idea that the secrets from the past are going to catch up with her.
This is an amazing book. Both Lizzie and Sofie are in a tough position. Due to circumstances forced upon them by history, they have to make choices that would otherwise not exist.
I wanted to be on Lizzie’s side. She has every right to be angry. But I also understand that Sofie is caught in an impossible position. She has two young children to take care of. But she also has her own moral compass that goes against everything she is seeing and hearing.
Do I recommend it? Yes.
The German Wife: A Novel is available wherever books are sold.
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