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City of Women by David R. Gillham

City of Women (edition 2012)

by David R. Gillham

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6668414,402 (3.84)66
Title:City of Women
Authors:David R. Gillham
Info:Amy Einhorn Books (2012), Hardcover, 392 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Books read

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City of Women by David R. Gillham

  1. 10
    A Woman in Berlin: Eight Weeks in the Conquered City: A Diary by Marta Hillers (betsytacy)
    betsytacy: After reading Gillham's novel about a German woman's life in Berlin at the height of World War II, including her affair with a Jewish man and her growing involvement in hiding Jewish residents, turn to A Woman in Berlin, an anonymous diary account of a woman's struggle to survive the Russian occupation of Berlin at the end of the war.… (more)
  2. 10
    Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum (pdebolt)

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It's the height of World War II and all the men are away at front, leaving Berlin a city of women.
  MerrittGibsonLibrary | Jun 21, 2016 |
Would've been 5 stars if it stuck to the premise. The story of the people who stuck their necks out trying to save others from the SS and the regime and what was happening to the average citizen during the war. I would've loved that book. But no, he had to throw in multiple affairs (not just Sigrid but every female character there not to mention the completely unnecessary acts of masturbation) to liven things up. I mean, where did she get the energy let alone the time. And seriously, neither myself or anyone in my book club has had a random man grab my hand and put it on his junk... she had that happen multiple times. A bit too much of the author's fantasy if you ask me. ( )
  Half-elf28 | Jun 1, 2016 |
The audio is fantastic! ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
The audio is fantastic! ( )
  mamashepp | Mar 29, 2016 |
My favorite part of this book was how intimate a look we get into the daily lives of the average German during WWII. The reader gets an in-depth look at the long lines for food, the ever-looming threat of the Gestapo and watching what one says, the dank fear of the bomb shelters, and the struggle to keep u hope in such a gray, drudge-filled world. I liked how this book showed that not every German was a hard-toed Nazi; some were just trying to survive in a country gone mad.

I really liked Sigrid’s character. She shows incredible character development and change as the story progressed. Starting out as a simple, pushover of a girl, she blossoms into a strong, courageous, and intelligent woman, facing all the circumstances that come her way with aplomb. I liked that she found herself in staying others and conducting her own form of resistance against the Nazis.

I also have to give a shout-out to the other characters, too. I adored the fact that most of the people portrayed are NOT what they appear to be. Allies are betrayers, neighbors are hidden people, soldiers are purveyors of assistance, and those whom one thought would be the biggest threat actually provide the best of help. The author does a great job in layering his characters to create three-dimensional models in which to explore this world through.

This book deserves all the hype it got. With a great setting, balance portrayal of Germany at war, and intense characters with an intriguing story, this book stands out in the WWII historical fiction genre. I’d highly recommend this book to those who enjoy the genre. I heartily hope the author writes something else as the world would benefit by more than his pen. ( )
  Sarah_Gruwell | Jan 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
This is a shopworn premise, but Gillham has two great strengths that elevate his story. The first is his hard-won command of Berlin in 1943, its geography, its restaurants and hotels, even its language. (There are German words on nearly every page, but they seem authentic, never showy.) Second, and more significantly, his characters suffer from the full moral complexity of their time. A woman and a man, of whose integrity we have been sure, betray their friends not out of evil, but because they face impossible dilemmas, what the Holocaust scholar Lawrence L. Langer has called "choiceless choices" — while the book's villains have flashes of crabby, unexpected selflessness.
added by ozzer | editUSA Today, Charles Finch (Aug 6, 2012)
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"Take hold of kettle, broom, and pan, then you'll surely get a man! Shop and office leave alone, Your true life's work lies at home." -Common German rhyme of the 1930s

"Who will ever ask in three or five hundred years' time whether a Fraulein Muller or Schulze was unhappy?" -Heinrich Himmler, Reichsfuhrer of the SS and Chief of the German police, circa 1941
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Book description
Sigrid Schroder is the model German soldier's wife during World War II, except for one secret, she misses her Jewish lover, but she is not the only one with secrets, and she must choose to act on what is right and what is wrong and what falls somewhere in the shadows between the two when the carefully constructed fortress of solitude she has built over the years begins to collapse.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 039915776X, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, August 2012: While the world hardly lacks for novels about WWII, David R. Gillham’s City of Women is extraordinary for what it does not do. It does not detail the events or imagined conversations of Hitler’s Reich, and it has not a single scene of life in the death camps. Instead, it chronicles-–in detail so specific that it’s mesmerizing, but not so obviously researched as to be annoying-–life for “ordinary” Berliners at a time that was anything but. Through Heroine Sigrid Schroder, a German wife drawn into an affair with a Jew, Gillham shows us a world in which not all Germans are bad, not all Jews are victims, and loyalty is a fiction, the grimmest of fairy tales. -–Sara Nelson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:47 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Hiding her clandestine activities behind the persona of a model Nazi soldier's wife at the height of World War II, Sigrid Schroeder dreams of her former Jewish lover and risks everything to hide a mother and two young children who she believes might be her lover's family.… (more)

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