Stay or flee? Life or family? An impossible choice. It’s Aug 13, 1961, in Berlin Germany. Goodreads
Author: Leah Moyes
Publication Date: September 14, 2017
*Disclaimer* I was financially compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the author and/or its affiliates in any way.
A journey that will leave your heart racing while wanting to know more. The journey of the other people in Berlin will also leave the heart aching and sympathy for them.
Follow Ella, a fifteen years old girl, who lost everything when the Nationale Volksarmee soldiers created the first Berlin Wall. Her ailing father is bedridden while Anton is planning an escape with Josef and her to the other side of the wall. What they did not expect is for Ella to stay with their father. Now left alone after the death of her father and no one to go to but for her job to pay back the Franke.
Overall, the plot differed from most historical fictions I have read. Instead of reading of a person trying to survive as a Jewish or on the wrong side of the government, it is about Berlin’s own people trying to survive a life in Germany during 1961. Ella, whose full name is Adela, is a strong-willed character that stands up for what she believes in. This is the drive that keeps the story moving and have an interesting plot. If she was compliant and listens to orders, it does not create a conflict or a problem.
This book is a historical fiction with a fair amount of romance in it. The main pairing between Ella and Stefan is excellent. Their contrasting personality and lifestyle create an interesting love story. The constant internal battle within Ella regarding her love life helps keep the readers engaged and wanting to know more. The problem I had with the way the romance came about was there was no clear reason to the reader why Stefan would choose Ella as a lover. Ella is understandable to fall for Stefan seeing the situation she is in but Stefan did not explain why he loves her besides being beautiful. This is a spoiler but in the beginning, Stefan appears to hate Ella. Then suddenly, he is flirting with her and asking her out. This may be because of their situation in Germany but it may have made more sense if there was a small explanation.
At the start of the book, personally, it felt like it was a slow start but it did no part in hindering the book. If you like books with a slow start, then you will have no problem with this, but if you are someone who does not like a slow or mundane start, then persevere. Once it gets past the first few chapters, the pacing may feel like it does not matter much but I also felt at the same time it was too slow for me overall or there was not a lot of action happening.
The book needs editing regarding its formatting and punctuation. There were several times when it is missing either the starting or ending quotation marks when a person is speaking and sometimes part of the sentence is cut off and continues as a new paragraph. Not too sure if the author accidentally pressed enter or if it was just the formatting when reading on the phone.
I would recommend this to those who love or enjoy reading historical fiction and romantic novels seeing that’s the genre of this book. Those who like reading a story with a stubborn character, this will also be a book for you too. Like said previously, if you don’t like a slow beginning and moderate pacing overall, this may not be a book for you because it may seem boring. At times, especially in the middle, because of the pacing and it being mostly about Ella’s work life, it got slightly boring for me too. It got interesting for me when it got more serious, and I will not say anymore without spoiling. All in all, I would recommend this to people.
It has been a while since I have read a historical fiction. For some strange reason, personally, I find it hard to judge historical fiction because it feels like I am criticizing history. Therefore, for this review, I tried to stick more towards the plot and other elements of the story.
If you really are interested in seeing the rating to the books I have read, then go to my Goodreads account.
To understand my rating system or my reviews, please check this out: My Rating System on Goodreads otherwise, I may sometimes seem really harsh.
Thanks for reading, I always appreciate you reading the things I write (in this case, type) about. Love you all ღ.