Posted on January 16, 2016
The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War
Anna Dahlberg knows little of her early years spent in Germany. Her German mother, Peggy, and American father, Rod, had settled in America after the end of World War 2 while Anna was still very young.
When Anna’s overbearing husband, Lowell, insists she keeps an appointment at the military-history magazine offices that belonged to Lowell’s father she is upset by his insensitivity. It is her deceased mother’s birthday – the first after her death – and Anna wants to spend time looking through her mother’s belongings. She misses her and feels a heavy burden of guilt that she had not answered her mother’s request to visit just before her death. Her mother rarely asked for anything but Anna had been busy helping Lowell and had put off the visit. Her mother said she had received a visitor and there was something she needed to tell her.
When Anna had arrived that terrible day and found her mother unconscious on the floor there had been a home movie playing on the television. Anna assumed them to be relatives of her German born mother; relatives she had never met. One scene showed three girls picking flowers in a field and Anna had felt it had some connection with her mother’s past.
At the magazine offices Anna meets Hannes Ritter, the new editor, who encourages her to research and write a piece on Eva Braun, the long-time mistress and eventual wife, of Adolf Hitler. As she looks at a photograph of Eva Braun she sees the same face staring at her as the one from a portrait that hung on her parents’ wall for as long as she can remember.
Anna’s journey into the past takes her into the world of Eva Braun and her love for a man who many despised. It shows a side of Eva Braun that few knew. As secrets are unravelled Anna realises she knows very little about her own mother’s past in Germany under the Third Reich and discovers her mother and Eva shared a special friendship. With the help of Hannes Anna uncovers secrets which have a profound effect on her belief of who she is.
The Munich Girl reflects Phyllis’ interest in people, their relationships and the effects we all have on one another in the decisions we make. Each character reveals different aspects of humanity and gives an insight into the human condition. We see Anna’s distress and sometimes disappointment that her mother had kept secrets from her but also we see through Peggy’s early life in Germany her reasons for making the decisions she did.
Lowell shows that our overwhelming sense of self-preservation leads sometimes to behave in a shameless and thoughtless manner while Hannes displays the good in human nature through his expression of love and kindness. Then there is Eva. A woman who was able to love a man hated by so many.
The Munich Girl is a beautifully written book which weaves history and fiction to give an incredible story. It is an uncomplicated read of a complex situation. It is one of those books that carries you along the journey with the characters while offering an understanding of the intricacies of relationships. A good read and highly recommended.
Phyllis Edgerly Ring has a profound interest in nature and humanity and conveys through writing her interest in the journey we all share on this planet. She gives thoughtful consideration to our evolution through history and the influence others, and the world as a whole, has on each one of us. Her love of inspirational writing has resulted in over 900 articles to prestigious publications such as The World and I, Writer’s Digest and The Christian Science Monitor.
In 2009 Phyllis released a collection of these essays and articles called Life at First Sight: Finding the Divine in the Details and in 2015 released her first novel Snow Fence Road. Inspiration for The Munich Girl: A Novel of the Legacies that Outlast War, released in November 2015, came from a visit to Germany where Phyllis spent some of her childhood years.
I wish Phyllis oodles of success with The Munich Girl and look forward to reading much more of her wonderful writing in the future.
For more information about Phyllis take a look at her website: http://phyllisedgerlyring.