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September 22, 2023

The Novelist from Berlin by V.S. Alexander ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

The Novelist from Berlin
covers the time period from the 1930s to the 1960s but most of the story is centered on World War II and the aftermath of the war in Berlin.  The book is based on a real person, Irmgard Keun, who was a novelist in Berlin before the war. When her books were banned by the Nazis, she knew she was in danger and fled Germany for the Netherlands where she did what she could to help fight against the Nazi regime.  

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel The Novelist from Berlin by VS Alexander
September 2023; Kensington; 978-1496734815
audio, ebook, print (400 pages); historical fiction

In the early 1930s, an 18-year-old girl, who was called Niki by her friends, was what she referred to as a New German Woman.  She smoked and drank and had lots of boyfriends and affairs.  At a club, she meets Rickard Langer who was a major movie producer in Berlin.  Seeing a chance to become a movie star, she begins a relationship with him and they eventually marry.  He isn't the love of her life but she has a better standard of living by staying with him.  There is limited work for her at the studios so she decides to write a book about the New German woman.  It becomes very popular until the Nazi hierarchy becomes aware of it and bans the book.  Though he wasn't a Nazi, her husband became friends with many and his studio began to produce Nazi propaganda films.  She grabs their young daughter and escapes only to have her daughter taken from her and her life threatened.  She escapes to the Netherlands for safety but as soon as the Germans invade, her life is again in danger.  Eventually, she feels the need to return to Berlin to help the resistance and search for her daughter.  Will she ever find her daughter or find peace in war-torn Berlin after the war ends?

Niki led a pretty exciting life and stayed right on the edge of danger.  She was a strong woman -- too strong to stay in a marriage with a man she no longer respected and strong enough to work with the resistance in the Netherlands and Berlin.  She was strong enough to spend years trying to find her daughter, protect her best friend, and learn how to be a daughter to her mother after years of estrangement.  

As with previous novels by this author, the book is well researched and it shows on every page.  V. S.  Alexander has once again given his readers the story of a strong and resilient woman willing to risk her life to save those she loves during horrific times.  

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  

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