Friday, 26 August 2016

HF Virtual Book Tours Review & Giveaway: The Munich Girl by Phyllis Edgerly Ring

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The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies That Outlast War
By Phyllis Edgerly Ring
Publisher: Whole Sky Books (November 2015)
Source: Author/Historical Fiction Virtual Tour Books
Pages: 356


Disclaimer: I would like to thank Phyllis Edgerly Ring for gifting me a copy of her book and HF Virtual Book Tours for allowing me to take part in this book tour.

"Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun. Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never did—that her mother and Hitler’s mistress were friends. The secret surfaces with a mysterious monogrammed handkerchief, and a man, Hannes Ritter, whose Third Reich family history is entwined with Anna’s. Plunged into the world of the “ordinary” Munich girl who was her mother’s confidante—and a tyrant’s lover—Anna finds her every belief about right and wrong challenged. With Hannes’s help, she retraces the path of two women who met as teenagers, shared a friendship that spanned the years that Eva Braun was Hitler’s mistress, yet never knew that the men they loved had opposing ambitions. Eva’s story reveals that she never joined the Nazi party, had Jewish friends, and was credited at the Nuremberg Trials with saving 35,000 Allied lives. As Anna's journey leads back through the treacherous years in wartime Germany, it uncovers long-buried secrets and unknown reaches of her heart to reveal the enduring power of love in the legacies that always outlast war."

My Thoughts:
The Munich Girl is primarily a story of self discovery and the importance of being true to ourselves told through the narratives of three women from present day and 1940's timelines.

In part, it tells the story of Anna Dahlberg, and her journey of uncovering the story behind her mother's portrait of an enigmatic pretty young woman.

It is through her diaries that Peggy, (Anna's mother) tells of how she comes into possession of the painting and becomes the unlikely friend of Ava, (Eva Braun).  It gives us a fascinating imagined glimpse of the world of Hitler's secret mistress.

I loved the writing style, the pace was perfectly timed with scenes flowing effortlessly through each timeframe. Yes, it's beautifully written with meticulously drawn characters, I truly believed in them, and that's where my problem with it lies. It bothered me that the lines between fact and fiction were so exquisitely blurred that I believed in the premise that Eva was an innocent in her naivety and worship of her abuser. I was confused and didn't feel comfortable with it.

Eva Braun was the 'highly kept secret' mistress of Adolf Hitler and yes she was a woman in her own right who under different circumstances may have been all the book portrays of her. She is not to be blamed for the evil acts this man was responsible for, however she did love him and chose to stay with him with the full knowledge of his monstrous beliefs and actions.  No, we shouldn't demonise her, but nor too can I accept a romanticised fairytale version of her. I tried but I failed. Had this been a work of pure fiction I would not fault it.

This isn't a negative review but I do have an opinion that could be perceived as such so I hope it won't dissuade anyone from reading it as Phyllis Edgerly Ring has written an exemplary piece of historical fiction which I truly enjoyed reading. It was just the portrayal of the little known about, factual character I found hard to come to terms with.

Perfect for fans of historical fiction that address history in some form and book groups as I think it could generate some lively debate.

“I was drawn in by Phyllis Ring’s economical and expressive language. Then the story took over! Protagonist Anna Dahlberg must face the emotional fallout from a traumatic plane crash, while simultaneously uncovering the first clues in a shocking generational mystery involving key players in the Third Reich. Everything’s complicated by a new romance that may help her overcome the past and find her true inner strength. But is it real? Love can manifest itself in enigmatic–and unexpected–ways.” -Elizabeth Sims, author and contributing editor at Writer’s Digest magazine
“… fresh perspective of German women at opposing ends of the warring spectrum … a beautiful story of enduring friendship and the lengths people will go to for love.” -The Stellar Review
“So persuasive is this novel that, before I could believe it was in fact a piece of fiction, I contacted the author and asked where she did her research and where she came up with the idea.” -Leslie Handler, The Philadelphia Inquirer

About the Author
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Author Phyllis Edgerly Ring writes fiction and non-fiction. She left a part of her heart in her childhood home of Germany, which she visits as often as she can.
Her newest release, The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies That Outlast War, follows the lives of three women there before, during, and after the Second World War. The novel’s protagonist begins a journey that links past and present when she discovers that her mother shared a secret friendship with Hitler’s mistress, Eva Braun.
The New Hampshire author loves writing, travel, and the noblest possibilities in the human heart and is always curious to discover how history, culture, relationship, spirituality, and the natural world influence us and guide the human family on its shared journey.

For more information, please visit Phyllis Edgerly Ring’s website. You can also find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Giveaway - Open Internationally
To enter the giveaway for a paperback copy of 'The Munich Girl', please click here:
Two copies are up for grabs!

Blog Tour Schedule
Monday, August 1
 Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book!
Tuesday, August 2
 Review at Creating Herstory
Thursday, August 4
 Spotlight at CelticLady’s Reviews
Friday, August 5
 Interview at Dianne Ascroft’s Blog
Monday, August 8
 Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective
Tuesday, August 9
 Review at First Impression Reviews
Wednesday, August 10
 Guest Post at Let Them Read Books
Friday, August 12
 Spotlight at Just One More Chapter
Monday, August 15
 Guest Post & Excerpt at The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
Wednesday, August 17
 Review at A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, August 18
 Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Friday, August 19
 Review at Book Nerd
Monday, August 22
 Spotlight at Passages to the Past
Friday, August 26
 Review at SJ2B House of Books

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