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The Dutch Wife

by Ellen Keith

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
19013113,220 (3.74)8
"Amsterdam, May 1943. As the tulips bloom and the Nazis tighten their grip across the city, the last signs of Dutch resistance are being swept away. Marijke de Graaf and her husband are arrested and deported to different concentration camps in Germany. Marijke is given a terrible choice: to suffer a slow death in the labor camp or--for a chance at survival--to join the camp brothel. On the other side of the barbed wire, SS officer Karl Müller arrives at the camp hoping to live up to his father's expectations of wartime glory. But faced with a brutal routine of overseeing executions and punishments, he longs for an escape. When he encounters the newly arrived Marijke, this meeting changes their lives forever"--Provided by publisher.… (more)
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» See also 8 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
That’s it, I’m done with WWII books for a while, done with flipping between timelines that remain unconnected until— surprise!— the end. ( )
  JenniferElizabeth2 | Aug 25, 2020 |
609 ( )
  Olivermagnus | Jul 2, 2020 |
THE DUTCH WIFE is a dual storyline book. In 1943 we get to follow Marijke de Graaf as she is forced to choose between a slow death in a labor camp or join the camp brothel. She picks the later in the hope of meeting her husband who has been sent to the camp where the brothel is. Years later, in 1977 we follow Luciano Wagerer's ordeal during the Argentine Dirty War as he is arrested and thrown in a prison he most likely will never leave.

READ THE REST OF THE REVIEW OVER AT FRESH FICTION!
( )
  MaraBlaise | May 29, 2019 |
This book alternates between three points of view. Marijke and her husband are arrested as part of the Dutch resistance and sent to Nazi concentration camps. When Marijke is given the choice of becoming a prostitute, she says yes, knowing that she will be transported to the same camp as her husband. SS office Karl Muller arrives at camp and became enthralled with Marijke. The third point of view is Luciano, who is arrested in 1977 Buenos Aires during the Argentine War.

Although Luciano's story doesn't quite seem to fit, it blended nicely with the WWII stories. The entire novel explores questions of right and wrong, love, hate, and resistance. Overall, it was well written and well paced. Highly recommended. ( )
  JanaRose1 | Apr 24, 2019 |
A stronger than average historical fiction, Ellen Keith dives into little talked about parts of concentration camp life ,noteably the camp brothel. Insightful look into the history of Buchenwald camp. A parallel them takes place in Buenes Airis in 1977 and it isn't until the end of the book that we understand why. ( )
  Smits | Feb 27, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
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"Amsterdam, May 1943. As the tulips bloom and the Nazis tighten their grip across the city, the last signs of Dutch resistance are being swept away. Marijke de Graaf and her husband are arrested and deported to different concentration camps in Germany. Marijke is given a terrible choice: to suffer a slow death in the labor camp or--for a chance at survival--to join the camp brothel. On the other side of the barbed wire, SS officer Karl Müller arrives at the camp hoping to live up to his father's expectations of wartime glory. But faced with a brutal routine of overseeing executions and punishments, he longs for an escape. When he encounters the newly arrived Marijke, this meeting changes their lives forever"--Provided by publisher.

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Amsterdam, May 1943. As the tulips bloom and the Nazis tighten their grip across the city, the last signs of Dutch resistance are being swept away. Marijke de Graaf and her husband are arrested and deported to different concentration camps in Germany. Marijke is given a terrible choice: to suffer a slow death in the labour camp or—for a chance at survival—to join the camp brothel.

On the other side of the barbed wire, SS officer Karl Müller arrives at the camp hoping to live up to his father’s expectations of wartime glory. But faced with a brutal routine of overseeing executions and punishments, he longs for an escape. When he encounters the newly arrived Marijke, this meeting changes their lives forever.

Woven into the narrative across space and time is Luciano Wagner’s ordeal in 1977 Buenos Aires, during the heat of the Argentine Dirty War. In his struggle to endure military captivity, he searches for ways to resist from a prison cell he may never leave.

From the Netherlands to Germany to Argentina, The Dutch Wife braids together the stories of three individuals who share a dark secret and are entangled in two of the most oppressive reigns of terror in modern history. This is a novel about the blurred lines between love and lust, abuse and resistance, and right and wrong, as well as the capacity for ordinary people to persevere and do the unthinkable in extraordinary circumstances.
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