Kelly Rimmer has done it again with THE GERMAN WIFE. One of the only books I listened to during the pandemic was The Things We Cannot Say. I absolutely loved it so when the publisher reached out to me asking if I’d like to join the blog tour for this one, it was a no-brainer.
I read a lot of WWII fiction and I found this book to be different than most. It’s much more nuanced and complicated and very character-driven. This is a dual timeline novel alternating between the 1930’s-1950 in both the U.S. and Germany. While this book was not entirely without depictions of violence and suffering, I found that it contained less than some other WWII novels as dictated by its focusing on the periods of time before and after the war.
What this book is very heavy on is moral and ethical dilemmas and conflicting interests and priorities. This is a book that makes you think and that’s the kind of book I love! I don’t have to love every character. I can disagree with their choices. Hate them even. But if I find myself examining things from a different perspective or having a two-sided debate in my head, that’s a win. Kelly Rimmer did an exceptional job of introducing these moral predicaments not only as they related to the war but also into the interpersonal and romantic relationships of the characters.
I had never heard of Operation Paperclip before reading this book. I would strongly encourage you to read Kelly’s note at the end. While it’s quite obvious throughout THE GERMAN WIFE that painstaking research had been done, I loved hearing her thoughts on both the research and the fate of her characters.
I do have two gripes about this book. Both are something I’ve never felt the need to mention in a review but I just can’t help myself. I don’t think the title or the cover has done this book justice. Both imply a story with a singular focus or plot and this book is just not that!!
This would be an excellent book club selection and it includes a thought-provoking reader’s guide. I am already looking forward to Kelly Rimmer’s next book! She is now on my auto-buy list.
Many thanks to Graydon House for providing me a copy of The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer in exchange for an honest review.