City of Women by David Gillham is a gripping tale of life in Berlin at the height of the Second World War. 'In the very darkest hour, who do you trust, who do you love, and who can be saved?' It is 1943 - the height of the Second World War. With the men taken by the army, Berlin has become a city of women. And while her husband fights on the ...
City of Women by David Gillham is a gripping tale of life in Berlin at the height of the Second World War. 'In the very darkest hour, who do you trust, who do you love, and who can be saved?' It is 1943 - the height of the Second World War. With the men taken by the army, Berlin has become a city of women. And while her husband fights on the Eastern Front, Sigrid Schroder is, for all intents and purposes, the model soldier's wife: she goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law. But behind this facade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former Jewish lover, who is now lost in the chaos of the war. Sigrid's tedious existence is turned upside-down when she finds herself hiding a mother and her two young daughters: could they be her lover's family? Now she must make terrifying choices that could cost her everything. "Gillham's Berlin is a terrified city, where nobody dare speak the truth and the smallest decision can cost you your life. A terrifically tense first novel". (The Times). "In this moving and masterful debut, David Gillham brings war-torn Berlin to life and reveals the extraordinary mettle of women tested to their limits and beyond. Powerful and piercingly real. You won't soon forget these characters". (Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife). "David Gillham's excellent new novel, City of Women, is built on one of the most extraordinary and faithful recreations of a time in history - Berlin in World War II - that I've ever read". (Alan Furst). David Gillham lives with his family in western Massachusetts.
Publishers Weekly, 2012-06-25 In this stunning debut about the battle between good and evil, Gillham puts a fresh spin on the horrors of WWII by focusing on civilian German women to reveal that, amid the many adherents of the party line there were a handful of unsung heroes. We first meet Sigrid Schroder in 1943. She is an unassuming stenographer stuck in a loveless marriage and living in Berlin with her sour, difficult mother-in-law. But her life is not as common as it seems, for she has a lover, a Jewish lover, and if that were not risky enough, Sigrid becomes entangled with a neighbor who is helping to shelter Jews. As the war progresses, and Sigrid's husband is sent to the Russian front, she's drawn deeper into a world where trust is a hard-won commodity. The line between what is "right" and "wrong" becomes harder to define as Sigrid, confronted with increasingly more horrifying realities, finds her resolve constantly tested. Gillham's transcendent prose ("Looking into her eyes is like staring thorough the windows of a bombed-out building"; "The words both murdered her and made her whole"), powerfully drawn characters, and the multilayered dilemmas make his first literary effort a powerful revelation. Agent: Christy Fletcher and Rebecca Gradinger, Fletcher & Company. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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