#Review #WarGirlUrsula @MarionKummerow #WW2Fic #Indie #HistFic

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War Girl Ursula by Marion Kummerow

Synopsis:

Berlin 1943: Compassion is a crime.

A prisoner escapes. A guard looks the other way.

Why does Ursula Hermann risk her life and brave the Gestapo to save a man she barely knows?

Ursula has always lived the law, never broken the rules in her life.
That is until the day she finds escapee British airman Tom Westlake and all the right she’s worked so hard to maintain goes wrong…

He runs.

And she does nothing to stop him.

Torn with guilt about what she did, Ursula battles with her decision when suddenly Tom returns, injured and pleading for her help.

This is her opportunity to make things right.

But shadows from the past tug at her heart, convincing her to risk everything, including her life, in order to protect a man from the nation her country is fighting.

As they brave the perils and dangers of the ever-present Gestapo, will Ursula find a way to keep Tom safe?
Or will being on the opposite sides of the war ultimately cost both of them their lives?

My review:

I have read and loved Unrelenting by the author and I am a huge fan of her writing style. She knows exactly how to write straight to the hearts of her readers. After already being astounded with her writing abilities, I was desperate to read this!

The novel opens in Berlin, January 1943, at the wedding of Ursula Klausen and Andreas Hermann. However, only Ursula is present. Andreas is buried deep in the eastern front, fighting in the war! I don’t know if it is because I married a soldier myself at just 17 years old and the catastrophic events of 9/11 occurred just a month later. But the vulnerability and loneliness of Ursula’s plight really struck a chord with me. There she goes again Kummerow hits me straight in the feels with her opening pages! 🙂

Ursula’s young brother Richard, is also away at war, at the fragile age of just 17 years old. She lives with her mother and sisters Anna and Lotte. Lotte is extremely anti-Hitler and despises the policies of the Nazi’s so much so, she is often shushed by family members for fear of someone overhearing her cast off comments. Anna longs for an education, which is virtually unheard of in Nazi Germany society. She settles for nursing school in an attempt to appease her parents and the Nazi government.

The atmosphere of being inside Nazi Germany, with real life German citizens is written incredibly well. It details exactly how fascism takes hold of a nation. Goebbels suggests in his speeches great things await those who are worthy! Ursula desperately wants to be deemed worthy. Ursula is by no means a rule breaker, she the typical ‘good girl’ that follows the rules and does as she is told. That is until she is forced to witness the atrocities herself………

With young rebel Lotte sent to relatives in the countryside with her mother and Anna at nursing school. Ursula must begin her own role to contribute to the greatness of the Fatherland. She is assigned a detail at a local prison, a prison that will open her eyes to the sheer brutality of Nazi rule. At the prison she meets a wealth of characters and she begins to develop empathy and even sympathy for their situations. So much so, she becomes known as the ‘blonde angel’.

When Ursula receives a devastating Telegram regarding her husband. She finds comfort in the words of the prison priest. But cracks are beginning to show and Ursula is waking up to the inhumanity that surrounds her. Months go by and she is forced to watch further barbaric practices when the mass executions begin. Has Ursula started to realise the Nazi regime for the morally unjust government that it is?

When there is a shell strike at the prison and a young British Captain escapes, Ursula stands by allow it. Why has Ursula, in her own words, suddenly become a disgrace to the Fatherland? What if she is caught and who is the young escapee?

This is a novel of the characters, their lives and the aftermath of their actions or inaction. Living with a continual element of fear, the captain and Ursula begin to bond. Ursula is faced with the difficult task of coming to terms with the brutality she has ignored and the propaganda she has believed. This novel reads right to the very last page and leaves you with an emotional cliff-hanger of an ending that will have you begging for the next in the series! A fabulous historical fiction novel 5*

MK
Marion Kummerow
Authors links:
Web: http://kummerow.info/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6868348.Marion_Kummerow
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AutorinKummerow/
Twitter: @MarionKummerow

*The novel is available free to #KindleUnlimited members!

Q&A with Marion Kummerow

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Q&A Marion Kummerow:

Q) Please explain to the readers the true story behind the novel unrelenting?

A) Unrelenting and the two following books Unyielding and Unwavering are the fictionalized account of the true story of my grandparents Hansheinrich and Ingeborg Kummerow who fought in the German resistance against the Nazis.

When I was a child, nobody ever talked about them. You have to understand that they worked for the “wrong” side of the Allies in WW2.

During the cold war they were still considered as traitors, because of their communist/socials ideals.

Only after the German reunification, the political climate changed and they were now seen as “real” heroes who had fought to free their country from its evil government.

I wanted to give them a voice and remind the world about how hard it is to stand up and fight for what you think is the right thing.

 

Q) Do you feel there is a lack of novels about the German resistance? I know I personally haven’t read that many myself.

A) Probably yes. But I believe the world hasn’t been ready to read them until recently.
As the losing party of WW2 the Germans were the bad guys. You can see that in every Hollywood film. It took at least one generation to get enough distance to be able to see things a bit more differentiated.

 

Q) There is a real message in this novel of the dangers of fascism and the suffering it brings everyone in society. Do you feel this is something people are too easily forgetting from history?

A) People tend to forget very fast. Fascism is fun and easy in the beginning – at least to the majority of people. It’s a “we” against “them” and humans are prone to think in these categories. You can see similar things happening during any sports game.

But when a talented demagogue uses this sentiment of “belonging to a group” for his cruel purpose, then things get out of control. And people find out too late what they have themselves gotten into.

So yes, I think, we should teach history in school and remind everyone to stay alert to dangers of personal freedom and democracy.

 

Q) The book is well researched and in-depth. What is something you came across during the research process that surprised/shocked you?

A) We had learned about the Holocaust in school, and most people tend to believe this started during the war.

But when doing my research I was surprised to find out, that Jews had been discriminated even before Hitler’s rise to power. And basically in his first year as chancellor in 1933 he made it pretty clear where he was headed – but nobody believed him. Not even the persecuted Jews.

In Unrelenting, Q’s friend Jakob is one of those person who didn’t think he should emigrate, because things “would pass”. They didn’t.

Jakob by the way is a real person, but I couldn’t find out what happened to him after 1936, so everything about him after book 1 is invented.

 

Q) I personally think this would be a fantastic novel for teenagers to debate in English or History class. Is that something you have considered, in the UK or Germany?

A) Blushing with pride.

This had crossed my mind, but I haven’t seriously considered it. My book is written in English and would probably be too hard to read for German school kids.

As for the UK, it would certainly be an idea I’m open to, if I can find a teacher who wants to take up that project.

 

Q) I hope I didn’t shock you with my admiration/love for Q and his beliefs. But there is definitely something about different characters & eras, that women in 2017 can find hugely appealing. I can distinctively remember; how long it took me to get over Leo Demidov from the novel Child 44.

A) First of all thanks, I can understand your admiration for Q. I do admire him myself. Unfortunately I never met my grandfather, but had to discover his personality through his letters and letters from several family members.

On the pictures of Hansheinrich I have, he looks amazingly like my father. And I could see many of his characteristics, i.e. the urge to collect everything, repeated in my father. So I’m sure, Q has many traits of my father as well J Hilde was a lot more difficult to write.

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*Thank you so much Marion for your help and agreeing to a Q&A on my blog 🙂

 

Violette Szabo theme day 6: Unrelenting by Marion Kummrow 5*

I picked this novel due to its resistance theme. The resistance played a huge part of the defeat of the Nazi’s in WW2 and I wanted to feature a novel that centred around German resistance, which can be rare in the WW2 fiction genre. Enjoy x

Unrelenting: Love and Resistance in Pre-War Germany (World War II Trilogy Book 1) by [Kummerow, Marion]

Unrelenting by Marion Kummerow

My review:

This novel is particularly atmospheric due to it being written by a German writer and being set in pre-war Germany. I felt that the writer had a true and clear picture of the build up to ww2. This novel got me really deep in thought and in some ways has changed everything I believed about the build up to the war. It is difficult after reading this story of German resistance and the German citizens side of the story, not to see the that the Nazi ideology firstly occupied its own country! This novel breaks down German society both prior to war and once Hitler & his party got their firm grip on power. It’s educational and gripping.

At the root of the novel is a love story between Hilde & Q. I absolutely adored the character of Q and found him very captivating with his resistance beliefs. Their story is one of a budding relationship amongst the backdrop of the growing Nazi party. It deals with many themes of: German citizens living in fear, accusations, suspicion and a terrifying sense of trouble brewing! It also manages to cover the crippling effects of the reparations from ww1 and the very feeling of poverty, despair and shame within society that gave Hitler his audience. No doubt it covers the harsh reality of living under a Nazi regime and how anti-Semitism effects everyone involved and divides all citizens, even family members. Trust was a real issue and you get a real feel for the temptation to join a party whose beliefs you can’t relate to, in order to secure a better standing in society for yourself etc.

Ultimately we are left hoping that the relationship between Hilde & Q can survive, despite the restraints of the era. Although it could be labelled as the romance genre, that shouldn’t take away from the fact that the historical facts are massively on point. I am not a romance fan, but I hugely rate this novel.

This novel is incredibly well written and well researched. I also can’t wait to read the next in the series. I have a deep suspicion my book crush for Q may grow! J

Unrelenting is available on kindle Ebook store for the bargain price of £3.05.

The Blurb:

Berlin, Germany 1932. In a time of political unrest and strife, one man finds the courage to fight back…

Dr. Wilhem “Q” Quedlin, chemical engineer and inventor, lives for his science. A woman is not in his plans—nor is it to be accused of industrial espionage.

But things get worse from there.

Watching Hitler’s rise to power spurns his desire to avoid yet another war that will completely destroy his beloved country. Q makes the conscious decision to fight against what he knows is wrong, even if working against the Nazis could mean certain death for him— and anyone he loves.

Hilde Dremmer has vowed to never love again. But after encountering Q, she wants to give love a second chance.

When Q discloses his resistance plan, it’s up to Hilde to choose between her protected life without him or the constant threat of torture if she supports him in his fight against injustice.

She has witnessed enough of the Nazi government’s violent acts to be appalled by the new political power, but will this be enough for an ordinary girl to do the extraordinary and stand beside the man she loves in a time of total desolation?

This World War II spy story is based on the true events of one couple’s struggle for happiness while battling a war against their own leaders.

Q&A with the lovely author Marion to follow 🙂