City of Women

City of Women

Book - 2012
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND ONE OF  KIRKUS REVIEWS'   BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR

It is 1943--the height of the Second World War. With the men away at the front, Berlin has become a city of women.

On the surface, Sigrid Schröder is the model German soldier's wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime.

But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman of passion who dreams of her former Jewish lover, now lost in the chaos of the war. But Sigrid is not the only one with secrets--she soon finds herself caught between what is right and what is wrong, and what falls somewhere in the shadows between the two . . .

READERS GUIDE INSIDE
Publisher: New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, c2012.
ISBN: 9780425252963
9780399157769
Characteristics: 392 p. ;,24 cm.

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EmilyEm
Aug 01, 2017

Sigrid, a Berliner in 1943, whose husband is in the war in the East and lives with her cantankerous mother-in-law, is asked to vouch for a young woman one night while attending the cinema. As Sigrid gets to know Erica, she’s pulled into giving more help, setting up moral dilemmas and begging the question of what a good German should do.

While I’ve read several books in the setting and asking this question, this is the first with a male author. The characters have a harder edge and no one is either all good or all bad. Intriguing, would make a great discussion. Page-turner.

w
Winnipeg1
Jun 21, 2016

Excellent story, recommend it highly. The main protagonist was annoyingly bland for a large portion of the book, and a reluctant 'supporter' of the resistance. However, I came to think this was intentional, reflecting a realistic struggle for a person - a very ordinary, typical person - who would rather just do nothing and try to survive. A brilliant depiction of how extrordinary circumstances force morality, in one direction or another. Several complex characters, making decisions and acting under the most horrific circumstances. All about 'What would you do?'

j
jliska
Feb 01, 2014

As the author points out this is a book about history and about ordinary people who are thrust into extraordinary circumstances and the decisions they make that could reshape their lives instantly..The setting is Berlin in 1943 and the book provides a gripping depiction of Berlin in World War II. Thoroughly enjoyable, I would recommend this book for its captivating story telling and page-turning suspense.

JCLKinsleyR Oct 07, 2013

Beautiful yet tragic marriage of love and sacrifice during WWII.

mrsgail5756 Jun 13, 2013

The book was okay – but not one of my favorites

Cdnbookworm Feb 14, 2013

This novel is set in 1943 in Berlin. Sigrid is a middle class German woman, married to a Kaspar, a man she is no longer sure she loves. Kaspar worked in a bank before he was drafted to the Eastern front. Sigrid became involved with a man she met in the cinema, a man whose story both intrigues her and angers her. He is a Jew, but she hasn't seen him lately. When the girl, Ericha, assigned as mother's help for her downstairs neighbour asks her for an alibi, she becomes interested in Ericha and what she is up to.
When the new neighbour across the hall turns out to be the wife of a high-ranking officer, Sigrid finds herself drawn to the woman's sister and brother.
With everyone having secrets, and with the stories they tell about themselves covering their secrets, Sigrid finds herself with more and more secrets of her own. She must make choices and puts herself in danger as she moves forward with a life helping others.
A great homefront war story centered on an ordinary German woman who begins to find herself in more and more extraordinary situations. I really enjoyed this read.

m
muffin0321
Sep 21, 2012

i enjoyed this book. Characters could have come out a little stronger but it is my kind of book so would recommend it.

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mrsgail5756 Jun 13, 2013

“One person can make a difference and every person should try.” –John F Kennedy

mrsgail5756 Jun 12, 2013

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ― Martin Luther King, Jr

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