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City of Women by David R. Gillham

City of Women (edition 2012)

by David R. Gillham

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5988016,394 (3.85)65
Title:City of Women
Authors:David R. Gillham
Info:Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 400 pages
Collections:Your library

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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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Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
story of a german woman during WW 2 who has an affair with a Jew and her growing involvement in resistance and helping save jews. ( )
  lindaspangler | Nov 23, 2015 |
Gritty description of life in Germany during W W II. Memorable characters and brutal action yet humane and endearing. ( )
  kellyn | Jun 18, 2015 |
Only for the most serious reader of World War two fiction!

The writer in an afterward asks the question "what would
you have done?" I have often said that most people imagine
themselves more brave than they really are and would have
been hiding Anne Frank in their attic.
In 1943 Berlin Segrid appears to what would be described as a good
German housfrau.
Her husband is fighting on the eastern front and she is home living with
his battle axe mother faithfully going to work at a government patent
office everyday. She has no friends except a woman from work that
she sneaks an occasional cigarette with.(smoking for woman is frowned
upon by the Reich).
Segrid is not so ideal a German woman because she met a man in the
cinema previously and has been having an affair with him. He is a Jew
avoiding the authorities he tells her.
One night while she has indulged in an escape from her MIL she goes
again to the cinema. Suddenly the girl who is an au pair for the family upstairs
in her building sits down next to her and requests a huge favor because
as Ericha says "she can tell Segrid will say yes". She tells the Gestapo
man that Ericha has been with her all along at the movies. From this
point on even though she fights it at first Segrid is drawn into a circle of
Germans who are helping "U-Boats",Jews are under the radar hiding from the
There are many twists in turns in this story involving a cast of characters
with varied motives and who are not what they seem to be.
The author did a fantastic job of conveying the under the surface sense
of darkness and gloom that penetrated the into the lives of the citizens
of Germany at this time. On some subliminal level they all sense that
Germany has already lost the war regardless of the constant news to the
The story does end on a hopeful note for some of the characters BUT
having the benefit of hindsight we know there are two more bloody,awful
years of the war ahead so anything could happen. ( )
  MEENIEREADS | Jun 2, 2015 |
Excellent book. The only issue is the historical facts. There has been a trend lately of books that show Germans saving Jews and protesting the war but this is not accurate. But a very good read and somewhat unpredictable. ( )
  shazjhb | Mar 21, 2015 |
Perfect book to read on your BVG commute. ( )
  Noa.Tamir | Dec 28, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (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
To Ludmilla
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The blind man taps his cane rhythmically.
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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.
Haiku summary

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)

(summary from another edition)

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