2020 Reviews · historical fiction · new release · World War II

New Release Book Review: The Berlin Girl by Mandy Robotham

Title: The Berlin Girl

Author: Mandy Robotham

Published: December 2nd 2020

Publisher: Avon GB -HarperCollins Books Australia

Pages: 400

Genres:  Fiction, Historical

RRP: $29.99

Rating: 4 stars

The heart-wrenching new WWII story from the bestselling author of The German Midwife.

Berlin, 1938: It’s the height of summer, and Germany is on the brink of war. When fledgling reporter Georgie Young is posted to Berlin, alongside fellow Londoner Max Spender, she knows they are entering the eye of the storm.

Arriving to a city swathed in red flags and crawling with Nazis, Georgie feels helpless, witnessing innocent people being torn from their homes. As tensions rise, she realises she and Max have to act – even if it means putting their lives on the line.

But when she digs deeper, Georgie begins to uncover the unspeakable truth about Hitler’s Germany – and the pair are pulled into a world darker than she could ever have imagined…

From the bestselling author of The German Midwife comes the heart-wrenching story of a country on the brink of war, a woman who puts herself in the line of fire, and a world about to be forever changed.

Review:

The bestselling author of The German Midwife returns with a novel of war, love, sacrifice, secrets, ambition and truth. The Berlin Girl by Mandy Robotham is a heart stopping tale, full of intrigue, knife edge tension and heart-stopping love. My first taste of the work of Mandy Robotham was a gratifying experience.

Opening on the brink of the Second World War in the year 1938, The Berlin Girl introduces Georgie Young, a rookie reporter with big ambitions. When Georgie is sent to Berlin, she is acquainted with Max Spender, a fellow Brit and together they face the challenges of pre war Germany. Georgie and Max watch on in horror as the Nazi Party gains momentum. With terrible acts of inhumanity becoming commonplace, Georgie and Max are compelled to take action, which means they have to place themselves in danger to help the innocent. When Georgie’s reporting efforts expose an awful reality, this couple’s lives become very complicated and their survival depends on the risks they are prepared to take for the greater good. The Berlin Girl is a compelling tale of risk, sacrifice, action and high stakes.

We are definitely spoilt for choice in the historical fiction category with the sheer range of novels set during the Second World War on offer, which is good news for keen eyed readers of this sub-genre, such as myself. I have been meaning to get to Mandy Robotham for some time now and I was fortunate enough to be sent a review copy of the author’s latest release, The Berlin Girl. Despite the heart wrenching subject matter, I was absorbed in this one from the onset. I would happily recommend The Berlin Girl to all historical fiction readers, based on my appreciation of this new tale from Mandy Robotham.

As a historical fiction writer, it is important to know your time period and location. I was immediately struck by Mandy Robotham’s clear grasp of the pre-World war II era. Germany just prior to the outbreak of the life changing Second World War was presented in a candid and authentic manner. With many books set during the conflict and after, it was a welcome change to read a book focused on the before moments of this significant world event. Robotham does a good job of exposing the early influence and fanaticism for the Nazi Party. We see just how seducing the promises, viewpoints, opinions and practices were of this war machine. So many ordinary citizens fell under the spell of hope that Hitler’s Nazi party offered. Robotham manages to express this aspect well within the pages of The Berlin Girl.

Much of The Berlin Girl is focused on the central female protagonist, Georgie Young. Georgie was an inspiring and resourceful character. I genuinely enjoyed getting to know Georgie as Robotham’s story progressed. It was great to see a female lead cast as strong, ethical, enterprising and selfless. Robotham pairs her lead well with Max, another unforgettable character, who managed to win me over more than a few times. Together this dynamic duo manage to achieve a great deal, while putting their lives on the line more than a few times. Tied to this solid characterisation is a tension filled plot containing plenty of drama, high emotion, intrigue, dark truths, heart stopping moments and a touch of love. With this balance of content, The Berlin Girl managed to completely capture me from cover to cover.

The Berlin Girl offers an opportunity to take a safe step back in time and experience life in pre war Germany, a time of overwhelming change and revolutionary action. With danger, conspiracy, unease, courage and action defining The Berlin Girl, a historically intriguing novel awaits interested readers.

The Berlin Girl by Mandy Robotham was published on 2nd December 2020 by Avon – GB. Details on how to purchase the book can be found here.

To learn more about the author of The Berlin Girl, Mandy Robotham visit here.

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