This is a TRUE story of resistance to Nazi bestiality during WWII in Germany. Many books have been written on this subject, I have read many myself. Now in my eighties, I have been an avid reader since my childhood. Of the many genres that have made up my reading fare, stories on this and similar subjects have been among my favorites (since the high school librarian introduced me to Eric Williams's "The Wooden Horse"). Of all the books I have read on this subject this one stands alone as something very special.
What this book does in a way no other of this genre I have read does, is go deeply behind the action to explore (not didactically but through the thoughts, words, conflicts of conscience of the various characters) such issues as: Why do good men sometimes do evil? In what circumstances, if any, is it ever right to do wrong? To do something contrary to one's normal ethical standards in order to protect loved ones? To do evil to fight a greater evil?
Written in beautiful prose (so different from so many books of today), dramatic story line, insightful and very thought provoking. This is a very special book which I have no hesitation in recommending and awarding five stars.
Sometimes, the term, based on a true story, gets bandied about, all to loosely. In this case, however, the tale is as close to the truth, that makes very little difference. True or not, this is a thrilling, suspenseful yarn. Former Franciscan Friar, Anton Starzman, for reasons known only to himself, in a desperate need for redemption, responds to an ad in the newspaper, placed by a widow, in search of a husband to help provide for her and her children. Anton soon discovers that he may have set himself a task, that is more than he bargained for. He finds himself in a small quiet town, in Germany, during World War Two. Although Elisabeth's children easily accept Anton as their stepfather, he nevertheless, struggles to adequately support his new family. Despite finding work as a music teacher and organists, at the local church. In unusual circumstances, Anton gets involved in the resistance as a messenger. Putting not just himself in danger, but his family as well. As things snowball, Anton's involvement deepens. As does his determination to thwart Hitler and the NAZIS. This story is not about the how as much as it is about the why. What is Anton's motivation? As the story evolves, we discover Anton's history. We also discover Elisabeth has a mysterious past as well. The Ragged Edge of Night is more than a story of resistance against the evil Nazi regime. It is a story of redemption, a story of desperation, of struggle, of strength and support and of love.
I wasn't too sure about this book when I chose it as a Kindle First, however it turned out to be a really good read. Written from the German perspective of WW2 by a man whose life was changed when religious groups were disbanded. How he adapted to suddenly becoming a husband and father to three children and then how he became involved in the Resistance movement. It was very interesting and actually based on a true story. Well worth a read.
This is a perspective on the plight of Germans who did not support Hitler during WW2 and the hardship and fear that they had to live with. Anton is a former priest whose order has been disbanded and untethered finds himself responding to a newspaper advertisement to marry a widow with three young children. What happens next changes the life of Anton and those around him significantly. He discovers a resistance movement that supports everything he believes in, but will his support of this group cost him more than he can imagine? In the same genre of The Book Thief and All the Light We Cannot See, it is a great story but not quite in the same league in my personal opinion.
There are many books about the horrors of the Nazi regime. This one differs as it is tells the unusual story of a former Friar as he moves into a small village and marries a 'mail order' widow. It is a very touching story told with love. I found some of it a bit drawn out, especially at the beginning. There is a lot of description of the hero's religious beliefs and misgivings. A large part of the book deals with fear and life under an oppressive regime, but there is always hope because our hero is a good man..He shapes the lives of his step family and the village children. He takes huge risks which prejudice the safety of his family and the village but his luck holds out. Whether you believe in divine intervention or luck he is indeed blessed. A great story of kindness and compassion.
The writing was excellent, sometimes the story seemed a bit heavy on detail but it was so interesting and the sentiments so well expressed that I kept going. Then I slowed down near the end because I got so involved with the characters that I didn't want bad to happen. And almost the best part... the postscript at the end - the story is 95% based on fact, real incidents, real characters. Can't top that. Highly recommend this.
What hit me was the tension within a sections of the German population from not only the mass bombing raids of major cities but also the tension from within from the constant threat the conform. Lesson learnt is that nothing allows tyrannical regimes to grow and exist than apathy. This aspect came through clearly as well as the human story of not only the transition of a man who had decided to serve a monastic life to one of coping with the day to day tensions of family life, the love for the disabled children cared for by the Brotherhood in the former to the love for children of a family unit that had lost their father. Having not been able to protect the former from the Reich's T4 policy to eliminate all dysfunctional persons, Anton has to cope with his determination to work with the resistance movement at the same time protect the children and their mother of the family that he has committed himself to. I did not give the book 5 stars as somehow it did not move from a third person narrative to a first person narrative in which I was a party to events as they unfolded, in particular Anton's deeper personal story and deeper emotions and feelings. The source information at the finish could have been better placed at the beginning to give a little more authenticity to the narrative. All together an excellent and informative read.
This thoughtful book tells part of the story of the Author’s Husband’s past story in World War II. It covers resistance, love and hope. The culmination of the narration is the hiding of the church bells preventing them from being taken by the authorities to be melted down for ammunition. The poignancy of the writing gives this book its special and abiding quality.
A wonderful book written in descriptive, and often poetical, prose. A story, based on fact, of the struggles of ordinary people living under the Nazi regime, doing what they can, in their own small way, to resist against the evil surrounding them, whilst struggling to survive in a Germany at war facing real deprivation. Not a romance, a story of how love can bring change & strength. A book not to be missed
Loved the storyline and the characters as they unfolded. The fact this was based on a real person added to the interest, as I was shocked that the Germans could also treat their own people so appallingly! Once again, determination and compassion wins the day