Book Review: City of Women

City of WomenCity of Women by David R. Gillham
Publisher: Amy Einhorn/Putnam Books
Release Date: August 7, 2012
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Publisher’s Description:

It is 1943—the height of the Second World War—and Berlin has essentially become a city of women.
Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model German 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, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime. But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her Jewish former lover, now lost in the chaos of the war.

Sigrid’s tedious existence is turned upside down when she finds herself hiding a woman and her two young daughters – whom she believes might be her lover’s family – and she must make terrifying choices that could cost her everything.

Sigrid was an interesting character. She wasn’t that likeable and I found some of her decisions puzzling. I wondered how realistic her behavior was for a woman in the 1940s. I wouldn’t think that people were having sex in movie theaters in that era but I actually have nothing to base that assumption on so who knows? Despite Sigrid’s many flaws, I wanted her to be successful and have a good life.

The first two-thirds of this book dragged a bit for me and then things really picked up in the last third. I had some trouble keeping some of the characters straight. There was a lot of intrigue and sneaking around and I couldn’t always follow what the plan was or understand how the characters had managed to coordinate it. I will say that I often have this problem when I watch any kind of action adventure or spy type movie so it may not be the book’s fault.

I found this book to be just okay. However, it has gotten a lot of great reviews so you may want to seek out some reviews other than mine before you decide whether or not to pick this book up.

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(I received this book courtesy of the publisher.)