Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: A World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany by Sigrid MacRae

Title: A World Elsewhere: An American Woman in Wartime Germany
Author: Sigrid MacRae
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Viking
Publish Date: September 4, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.

What's the Story?:

From "Sigrid MacRae never knew her father, until a trove of letters revealed not only him, but also the singular story of her parents’ intercontinental love affair. While visiting Paris
in 1927, her American mother, Aimée, raised in a wealthy Connecticut family, falls in love with a charming, sophisticated Baltic German baron, a penniless exile of the Russian revolution. They marry. But the harsh reality of post-World War I Germany is inescapable: a bleak economy and the rise of Hitler quash Heinrich’s diplomatic ambitions, and their struggling family farm north of Berlin drains Aimée’s modest fortune. In 1941, Heinrich volunteers for the Russian front and is killed by a sniper. Widowed, living in a country soon at war with her own, Aimée must fend for herself. With home and family in jeopardy, she and her six young children flee the advancing Russian army in an epic journey, back to the country she thought she’d left behind."

My Two Cents:

"A World Elsewhere" is the story of an American woman in wartime Germany. This book takes place during the second world war and a little bit before and after the war. What makes this book especially interesting is that it is written by the daughter of the woman that the stories surrounds. The author never knew her father, a German who fought on the side of Germany during World War II but she receives letters from her mother that had been sent between her parents during the war and before. From those and other research, and the author is able to put together a very vivid picture of her parents intercontinental love story and what life was like for normal everyday people in Germany during World War II.

I really like the way that the author was able to bring the story to life. I think that it can be really difficult to write about a subject that is both intimately familiar but at the same time foreign to you. I think that the author does a really good job with this. She never really got to know her father but is able to re-create the man that he was through reading his letters and talking to different family members. Her descriptions of life in Germany during or times are really good and quite interesting. It was really fascinating to read about through war from the perspective of those living in Germany at the time that may have not been necessarily targeted by the Nazis but were still wrapped up in the way that the Nazis were changing the country.

If you are interested in not just the big names of history but the everyday people who also took part in history, this book would be an interesting read for you. As somebody who likes to read about World War II a lot, I really appreciated they different perspective int this book and the rich details that the author inserted in the book in order to really make the story pop.


1 comment:

  1. Glad to see you liked it. I have it from the library, but the way my reading is going lately, I'll have to bring it back before I can even start it.


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