In a world with “too many” books in it, I wonder each week how it is that I’m attempting to write another.
The fact that its story is about how another book came to be can make the whole thing seem ten times crazier.
A recent experience with reviews for The Munich Girl reminded me once again that when our doubts arise, Life often meets them with a kinder, gentler course correction.
I heard from a reader who had just finished reading the book and wanted to share it with her book club. She had found the novel through the insightful review that writer Margaret Dubay Mikus left on Story Circle Book Reviews a year ago.
While it’s a grace to have a book reviewed at all, and for the response to be a positive one, it’s a gift of heaven when the reviewer both captures and expresses what leads a writer to create a book in the first place. This Margaret did with real power, and its echoes still had effect all this time later.
“The [Munich Girl] also looks at the role of women in different cultures and periods in a way that is quite relevant right now.
“Do women choose to play the lead in their own lives or do they sacrifice themselves for others?
“Ring also leads us to ask what we know of our parents’ lives. How might their experiences or traumas be passed down to us? How open are we to the changes that can come from deep healing?
“You will want to cheer for Anna as she is drawn into the discovery of her past, re-creating her present, releasing her to soar into a future of possibilities. Engrossing and engaging with surprises and plot twists. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens next.”
You can find Margaret’s full review at: http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/munichgirl.shtml
“Three stories beguilingly intertwine in this novel. There is the story of Anna—a mature woman beset by a crumbling marriage, physical hardship, and emotional upheaval. There is the story of Anna’s mother Peggy—a World War II survivor with secrets she may have kept too long. And there is the story of Peggy’s friend Eva Braun—a young woman captivated by a man history has forever deemed a monster.
“The plot flows like a river with the author sliding in and out of tributaries that continually add context, illumination, and depth. Anna’s tale is the current. It sweeps readers along as she discovers things about her husband she doesn’t really want to know, then uncovers information from her mother’s past she finds hard to believe and accept, and finally shines a light on a dark figure from history that few have ever understood.
“Action in Ring’s novel weaves present and past into a mosaic that focuses primarily on Anna’s exploration of her mother’s past. Peggy and Eva’s war years in some of the Third Reich’s most iconic settings unspool like flickering black and white images of life in those ruinous days. This juxtaposition of different times and locales enhances interest and adds impact as revelations stack one upon another.
“Ring is a gifted writer who employs language rich with emotional resonance. While constructing an intricate narrative that manages to personalize a huge swath of history, she also empathetically plumbs the depths of Anna, Peggy, and Eva’s immersion into friendship, love, betrayal, and sacrifice.
If you enjoy fascinating stories intimately told with compassion and grace, you should definitely make time for this book.