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The Ragged Edge of Night

Autor: Olivia Hawker
Spieldauer: 11 Std. und 40 Min.
3 out of 5 stars (1 Bewertung)

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Inhaltsangabe

For fans of All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and The Nightingale comes an emotionally gripping, beautifully written historical novel about extraordinary hope, redemption, and one man’s search for light during the darkest times of World War II.

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage - in name only - to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too - atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth expects their lives to be shaken once again by the inescapable rumble of war.

As Anton struggles to adapt to the roles of husband and father, he learns of the Red Orchestra, an underground network of resisters plotting to assassinate Hitler. Despite Elisabeth’s reservations, Anton joins this army of shadows. But when the SS discovers his schemes, Anton will embark on a final act of defiance that may cost him his life - even if it means saying goodbye to the family he has come to love more than he ever believed possible.

©2018 Libbie Hawker (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

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I should have stuck to just the Kindle version...

This is my second and a half book by Hawker and I truly do appreciate her style and her passion for the genre she writes in. The novel is absolutely solid, the writing rich and detailed with only the occasional overwritten passage or situation which might ring false (I found the spy/message situation questionable, for example. The amount of time Pohl spoke with Anton and the extreme details he shared as Anton and he exchanged messages seems, to me, highly improbable and at time conflicting with previous descriptions in the passage).

There were only two things that really prevented my absolute enjoyment and the inconsistency in point-of-view is the first. Although Starzmann's POV was central, on occasion I was bounced about in some other character's head and I was having to ask, "Yes, but how could Starzmann KNOW that?" On other occasions, the prose was directed at the reader with things like "you", "your" or "our" (i.e., our little village; in prose, not in dialogue) and that really tripped me up. I might be highly sensitive to this but it did detract.

I also had both the Kindle and audiobook versions (I was doing Whispersync), and it is really unfortunate that the performance was not at all up to par. First, the mix of British English dialects (some very broad) for various characters, based in Germany, in the same town, really did me in (I sometimes had to laugh out loud and it was not a funny scene), and then the children's and female's voices reminded me of a Monty Python skit. That really distracted.

That said, this WW2 novel portrayed, to great depth and with freshness, an extraordinary man and his family. The opening was already surprising and I was immediately invested. There were rich layers of plot, too--internal and external motivations, self-doubt, and despair were well balanced with hope, every-day hilarity (I was laughing out loud in public listening to Maria and the Communion dress escapade), and real relationship building.

Hawker has delivered a very well-written novel while honoring Anton Starzmann, the man. I will definitely be reading more and am already looking forward to her next two projects!!