The German Wife- ARC Book Review

The German Wife: An absolutely gripping and heartbreaking WW2 historical novel, inspired by true events by [Debbie Rix]

Title:- The German Wife

Author:- Debbie Rix

No. of pages:- 421 pages

Date published:- will be published on 13th January 2022

Publisher :- Bookouture

Genre:- Historical Fiction


Inspired by true events, this is a heart-stopping, unforgettable story of ordinary people fighting for survival in the darkest of times. Fans of Orphan TrainThe Tattooist of Auschwitz and My Name is Eva will be utterly gripped by this beautiful, tragic World War Two novel.

Germany, 1939:Annaliese is trapped in a loveless marriage. Her husband Hans has become cold and secretive since starting a new job as a doctor at Dachau. Every morning she watches from her kitchen window as he leaves in his car. The sight of him in the dark uniform of the SS sends shivers of fear down her spine and she longs to escape…

When a tall, handsome Russian prisoner named Alexander is sent from Dachau to work in their garden, lonely Annaliese finds herself drawn to him as they tend to the plants together. In snatched moments and broken whispers, Alexander tells her the shocking truth about the camp. Horrified, Annaliese vows to do everything she can to save him.

But as they grow closer, their feelings for each other put their lives at risk. And Annaliese finds herself in grave danger when she dares to fight for love and freedom…

America, 1989: Turning the pages of the newspaper, Annaliese gasps when she recognizes the face of a man she thought she’d never see again. It makes her heart skip a beat as a rush of wartime memories come flooding back to her. As she reads on, she realizes the past is catching up with her. And she must confront a decades-old secret – or risk losing her only son…

This book is based on true events and reading this book actually made me emotional.

The story starts with Annaliese who is married to Hans Vogel. When the Nazis come to power, Hans, who is a doctor gets a job to work as a doctor at Dachau. Though Annaliese seem to be living a perfect picturesque German family, she is trapped in a loveless marriage as she watches her husband, dressed in dark SS uniform leaving to work.

Soon, her husband, brings in a gardener, a Russian prisoner named Alexander. Annaliese soon finds solace and companionship and the two develop a friendship which in turn become a romantic relationship. Alexander tells Annaliese about the conditions at the camp, leaving her shocked as she vowed to save Alexander.

This book is beautifully written and I have to say, the author has done tremendous amount of research to make this into a factual story. Though the characters in the book are fictional, the emotions and feelings that each of these characters are facing seem too real. The appalling conditions at the camp, the brutal experiments that were conducted at the concentration camp was too disturbing to read that the reader must pause for a second that these things actually did happen in real life. Needless to say, my favorite part in the book was the blossoming romance between Annaliese and Alexander. The ending was really heartbreaking and touching as the story ended in the 1990’s with the death of Annaliese.

Overall, if you are into truly emotional and sensitive historical topic that covers Holocaust, this book is highly recommended. Worth five stars!

Many thanks to Netgalley and Bookouture for the ARC. The review is based on my honest opinion only.

Debbie Rix has written seven novels, the latest of which – ‘The German Wife’ – will be published on 13th January 2022. As an ex-journalist, historical accuracy is key, and she strives to weave her stories around real life events. ‘The research process is vital,’ she says. ‘I work on the principle that if I find something fascinating, then so too will my readers.’

Her novels have been published in several languages – including Italian and Czech and her 5th novel ‘The Secret Letter’ will soon come out in Russia.

Debbie spends a lot of time in Italy and that country is the setting for 5 of her 7 novels. When not travelling she lives in the Kent countryside with her journalist husband, children, chickens and four cats. She began her career with the BBC – initially as the news reader on Breakfast Time, thereafter appearing as a presenter and reporter on a variety of factual and light entertainment television series. She had a spell as an Agony Aunt, and has also written about gardens and gardening – one of her private passions.

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