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The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War by [Ring, Phyllis Edgerly]
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The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War Kindle Edition


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Length: 358 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Anna Dahlberg grew up eating dinner under her father’s war-trophy portrait of Eva Braun.
Fifty years after the war, she discovers what he never did—that her mother and Hitler’s mistress were friends.

The secret surfaces with a mysterious monogrammed handkerchief, and a man, Hannes Ritter, whose Third Reich family history is entwined with Anna’s.

Plunged into the world of the “ordinary” Munich girl who was her mother’s confidante—and a tyrant’s lover—Anna finds her every belief about right and wrong challenged. With Hannes’s help, she retraces the path of two women who met as teenagers, shared a friendship that spanned the years that Eva Braun was Hitler’s mistress, yet never knew that the men they loved had opposing ambitions.

Eva’s story reveals that she never joined the Nazi party, had Jewish friends, and was credited at the Nuremberg Trials with saving 35,000 Allied lives. As Anna's journey leads back through the treacherous years in wartime Germany, it uncovers long-buried secrets and unknown reaches of her heart to reveal the enduring power of love in the legacies that always outlast war.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3020 KB
  • Print Length: 358 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0996546987
  • Publisher: Whole Sky Books; 1 edition (7 January 2016)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01AC4FHI8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,899 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars 104 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Story about Hitler's Mistress, Eva Braun 4 April 2016
By Book Club Mom - Published on Amazon.com
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People choose their life paths for many reasons and their decisions are sometimes hard to figure. During wartime, many ordinary people become trapped on these paths, in situations that are bigger than themselves. Perhaps that is a good way to describe Eva Braun’s relationship with Adolf Hitler, a man who set his own path and destroyed nearly six million Jews and others who did not fit his Aryan profile. Phyllis Edgerly Ring’s The Munich Girl is the story of Eva Braun and her friendship with Peggy, a German girl she meets on a train outside Austria. In this historical fiction, Ring suggests how one might understand and even sympathize with Eva, who met Hitler when she was seventeen and waited sixteen years for him to publicly acknowledge their relationship. Facing wartime defeat, Hitler finally married her and, less than two days later, they committed suicide.

The Munich Girl begins in a New Hampshire college town, as Peggy’s daughter, Anna is hired by Hannes Ritter, the new editor of a military history magazine owned by Anna’s husband, Lowell. Anna’s first assignment is to write an article about Eva. As Hannes describes his native Germany, Anna is instantly drawn to him for reasons she does not fully understand. Long silenced by her controlling husband, it’s the first time Anna’s opinions matter.

Anna is already facing change as she grieves her mother’s recent death. As she sorts through Peggy’s belongings, Anna discovers a number of items that suggest her mother’s life in Germany was far different from the one Anna knew. At the center of this curiosity is a portrait of Eva, a post-war prize acquired by her father that has been hanging on their wall for as long as Anna can remember.

In the midst of her research, a sudden turn forces Anna to face her life in a new way. Her discoveries about Peggy and Eva set her on a journey towards renewed strength and self-worth and show her the true meaning of family, love and going home.

Ring successfully tackles a tricky subject by suggesting a sympathetic understanding of Eva, who is often portrayed in history books as selfish and uncaring. By drawing parallels between the three women, their shared feelings of loneliness and despair, the author offers a possible explanation for Eva’s choice to love one of the most despised men in history. As Peggy tells her good friend Eva, “I may never understand your being with him. But I can well understand why someone would want you near.”

In addition to these parallels, Ring shows how German citizens were forced to endure Hitler’s reign. Many bravely joined the Resistance and others risked their lives by protecting the resisters. Her story shows the human element that exists on all sides during wartime and the hardships all people must endure.

The Munich Girl is an excellent story with unique ideas, layers and themes. And while Anna’s journey reaches a satisfying finish, Ring leaves the reader with much to consider.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written story, full of surprises about one of the most mysterious women in contemporary history. 30 November 2015
By VL Towler - Published on Amazon.com
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I am stingy with my stars because I believe people don't pay attention when they see five stars. They think, "Yeah, right," and they chalk up the exuberance of the rating to the relationship of the reviewer to the author.

I had already been interested in Phyllis Ring's writing after reading her book, "Snow Fence Road." Her writing conjures up a different era, of a 1940s sensibility, where the less said, the more is explained. She has a simplicity to her writing, which I have learned, as a burgeoning novelist, myself, is extremely hard to achieve without someone of Phyllis's abilities (and, in full disclosure, I did hire her to be my editor).

Now, let me tell you the many reasons why I so love this novel and believe it should be considered an American classic.

Phyllis writes so beautifully, for one. Her love of language, whether English or German, jumps off of the page and into your mind with such ease, you don't even feel as though you're reading. She speaks to you. Her characters become your friend, even the subject of the novel, Eva Braun, which is absolutely frightening. That I should feel any sympathy with a woman who was romantically involved with one of the most heinous human beings ever to be brought into this world is disturbing to me. Which is one of the reasons why this book is so important.

As someone who had loved film most of her life, I had wondered about Eva Braun's importance to both German cinema and filmography, as I was aware that her films extolled Hitler's iconography, as it were. But I never took the time to research Braun, in particular. Conjuring up her name usually accompanied an imaginary bile, in me, a distaste in what she represented, so she was not someone whom I really ever wanted to know, per se. So, when I learned about Phyllis' work, I was truly fascinated with what she might glean about her for us.

Although the book is labeled fiction, truthfully, it's hard to believe it, as the details jump off the page. Phyllis appears to have traced the comings and goings of this enigmatic woman, who, was encamped in her various places of refuge, waiting for her man, Die Fuhrer, to return to her. And it is in this capacity that we understand her: a woman of her time period, who turned the other way while her man went off to war, doing these "manly," but hopelessly imbecilic and crazy things. He would return to her periodically, every couple of weeks or months, while she waited for him, dutifully. Did she remain willfully blind, ignoring the atrocities that were being committed in the name of the Fatherland? Or was she too close to him to even know what he was doing, because when he returned to her, he was her lover, not her military commander?

Was the man who could butcher so many people the same man who could come home to her, and luxuriate in the arms of his beloved, exposing his vulnerabilities to her only? I'm not sure we'll ever know, but there's an inkling of what Eva probably felt during the years that she was with him (17 years, I seem to count). Was there any redeeming quality in her that makes her seem more human, and less a monster of historic proportions, in our hatred of all things "Third Reich?" You'll have to read to find that out for yourself.

Above all, this novel is about women. About friendship. About the way we protect each others' vulnerabilities. Of the secrets we keep. And about our loyalty to each other, though we carry out our daily lives supporting our men, as that's what women did, especially back in the day.

The novel is also about love. The kind we women always dream about and find in the character Hannes, a new hero for all women. I defy any woman not to believe him to be the man we've all been waiting for, or, if married, for whom we'd divorce our husbands if we had a chance to be with him.

The story is also a mystery, of the history behind a portrait that hangs in the home of an American woman of English and German descent. It is a story about longing to reconnect with our beloved deceased, of learning the things that our parents could not tell us for fear of destroying our own lives yet to be realized.

Phyllis has done a very brave thing, sharing a history with us that might be part of her own past, on some level. But the care that she took in making it plausible is also a gift to the reader. She dares look at the soul of the German during WWII, and the aftermath, in a reconciliation of sorts, that still hasn't been accomplished beyond the Nuremberg Trials, except through the bravery of women like Phyllis who are willing to open the door a crack to give us an opportunity to ask questions, ponder, and reconcile our humanity with our inhumanity.

I'm sure I'll read this book a second time. There are so many layers to it. I found it an irresistible and important read.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I kept forgetting I was reading fiction! 16 February 2016
By Kit Bigelow - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
As someone who reads far more nonfiction pieces, I am very selective about which modern-day fiction I read. As with Ms. Ring's novel, Snow Fence Road, I discovered characters about whom I cared and whose inner lives and human struggles were beautifully detailed and completely believable. The protagonist of The Munich Girl, Anna, is truly a woman of the early 21st century with all of the perspectives and neuroses with which we are familiar. She finds her true self through an immersion in a past- of her mother's and her mother's childhood friend, Eva Braun. And Anna finds love, once she has found her self.

The Munich Girl offered something else in the realm of historic-romantic novel, however. It created a world that took place during World War II, where one could touch Eva Braun's strength and fragility and her deep love for one of the most evil men of the 20th century and, yet, her love became a way of making him also more human.

This book is a delight. I learned a great deal and it whet my appetite to take special note of sites, sounds, and people on my next journey to Munich later this year. One never knows where various keys to one's heart and history may lie!
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing 12 February 2017
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
One of only two, three, perhaps four books Ive read that shared the thinkjng German's perspective in a clear, uncompromising, (yet flowing with compassion for the Jews, and the millions of other untermenschen, so called sub humans,) narrative of the experiences, lost, and suffering many noble Germans experienced during and after the brutal reign of sheer hatred.
A system of repressive government that Alois, bka, Adolf wrote he learned from thee British, bka, American form of repressive governance of the so called "Indian" original people and the African they kidnapped, stole from their continental home land and drug here.
It was American racial policy on steriods.
Including, torture and death to all those of 'their " racial species who didnt fall in line with the program.
Just as the Nazi s killed those who didnt work their drill, so, unknown to most, All White Supremist organizations where established to terrify, hunt down kill other whites who didnt adhere to the doctrine of the eternal ignorance, destruction of the " red, brown, black family unit and subsistence living conditions of enslavement., not for the starved to extinction "Indian" nations of this vast continent and the stolen form their wealthy homelands of Africa, Africans as they were dubbed - they were already thee enslaved, property of others with no resources, refuge or ability to blend in and hide, as others such as the Irish, who could change their names and hide in plain sight for a generation if need be.
It is asked how why did the Germans Not do anything in that ten year period, well it could be asked why did those fleeing from such tyranny as serf, slaves and peasant, religious out casts, class of their respective native lands cone here to America and NOT DO ANYTHING FOR 400 YEARS.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerfully Compelling Story 20 October 2016
By Margaret Dubay Mikus - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War by Phyllis Edgerly Ring seems more real than a biography, telling truth from many facets including from the inside. The author successfully weaves historical times, places, and figures with modern fictional characters we come to care about. This powerfully compelling story may alter your perceptions about Eva Braun (Hitler’s mistress, and later wife), while illuminating a dark chapter in history. The book also looks at the role of women in different cultures and periods in a way that is quite relevant right now. Do women choose to play the lead in their own lives or do they sacrifice themselves for others? Ms. Ring also leads us to ask what we know of our parents’ lives. How might their experiences or traumas be passed down to us? How open are we to the changes that can come from deep healing? You will want to cheer for Anna as she is drawn into the discovery of her past, re-creating her present, releasing her to soar into a future of possibilities. Engrossing and engaging with surprises and plot twists. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happens next. Enthusiastic recommendation!