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Ratings and Book Reviews ()

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4.5 out of 5
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  • 4.5 Stars!

    4.5 Stars! Magda Aderbach and Nina Dahkle are grandma and granddaughter, respectively. There may be some 40 years difference in age, but their lives and choices seem to run parallel. They are both brave and courageous and want to right wrongs. There are also long held secrets that may break them. Magda’s story begins in Berlin at the start of WWII and Nina’s in 1970’s Berlin that had become a part of the GDR. Told in both their perspectives, it is, at times, a horrific tale of the atrocities that took place in both time frames. Yet there is a also deep sense of love and sacrifice they share. I’m not knowledgeable enough to know how accurate the details are in The Secretary. But this story seems to have been researched and woven into a tale that was both so very heartbreaking and fascinating. There were times that I was gripped by the terror of what was happening and dumbfounded by how any one human could hate another with such fierceness. I’ll never understand it. I was taken by the love and commitment to the help at any cost. The story is captivating. I definitely recommend it.

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  • We Do What We Must

    This is a dual storyline featuring Magda in the 1940 world war II years and her Granddaughter Nina in the 1980's during the cold war times when there was an East Berlin, a West Berlin and a wall between the two. Magda never talks about the war years and her time spent during them to her granddaughter. Nina finds a picture of a beautiful tower house her grandmother once lived in which is in West Berlin. Magda and Nina both live in East Berlin. Nina does not agree with the communist control and is always in trouble over her views. She tries to escape to the west with a few dollars in her pocket and a fake passport. She is caught and put in a secret prison. When the wall comes down she is released and travels to the west to find the Tower House. Magda's story is the second story in the book. It is her time during WWII when she was a secretary to Himmler. She acted the part of a Nazi in every way, but she was truly stealing secrets and helping the Jews escape. She makes an enemy of Eva and before she leaves the Tower House and goes home at the end of the war something horrible happens between her and Eva the wife of an SS Officer. When Nina finds documents in the Tower House that are very damning to Magda and when she meets Eva and is told her Grandmother Magda worked for Himmler and was responsible for Eva's father's death and the death of millions of Jews Nina is torn. She does not believe her Grandmother could do such a thing but she has the evidence in her hands. When her grandmother Magda is arrested can Nina solve the mystery and redeem her Grandmother or will Magda be sent to prison for war crimes? This was a very good book and I would recommend it. Thanks to Catherine Hokin, Bookouture, and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advanced copy for my honest review.

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  • Berlin Wall, Resistance Spying, Poignant, East Ber

    This book brought back memories of being in West Germany when the famous Wall came down. My husband was military and we just happened to be stationed over there at that point in time. It was definitely a poignant moment and you could see on the faces of people how meaningful it was and what memories it must have evoked in them. The author Catherine Hokin not only tied the Wall coming down, but her Character Magda was so deeply immersed into being a spy for the resistance that only a few new and those that did were killed. She was out in the wind so she kept her mouth shut and remained loyal on the East side because it was the safest place for her and her unborn child. Now her granddaughter Nina was chafing at the constraints of the East and Magda was going to be forced into dealing with her secretive past. This is an explosive book looking at a different type of angle of resistance and the nuances of what sacrifices one has to pay. I love all the characters because they are relatable and you can feel them and sympathize. I definitely would recommend this book. I received a free advanced copy from NetGalley and these are my willingly given thoughts and opinions.

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  • The Secretary

    The story was reviting. I enjoyed the characters very much. An excellant read.

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