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    An intriguing and compelling story

    <b> “With every labored step, she vowed to never put her faith and fate into anyone else’s hands again.” </b> With a nice premise and interesting characters, this book kept me hooked from the very start. The action started right on the first page: no introductory (and usually boring) chapters, just Anna receiving a voice-mail that “knocks her world off its axis”, sending her on what turns out to be a very eventful trip to Germany to discover her family’s hidden secrets. She returns to her hometown, which she hasn’t visited since her childhood and ends up reading four notebooks that her grandmother Martha left her. Those notebooks contain a detailed description of the most part of her grandmother’s difficult life, they contain secrets that Anna knows were the cause of a major fallout between her mother and her grandmother. I thoroughly enjoyed the first parts of the story – finding out about Martha’s life was interesting, since the beginning of her adulthood coincided with a very rough period in German History – the period between the two World Wars. Her story was heart-breaking, yet it was also a tale of resistance and defiance. Her actions were often morally grey: hardened by the events that shaped her life, she was often faced with tough decisions and her choices didn’t always seem like the right ones, yet they were understandable. In my opinion, the part of the plot that took part in the present wasn’t as intriguing. The romance felt a bit forced, and at a certain point too many coincidences started happening and the book lost part of its credibility. Furthermore, the fact that Anna, who was supposedly born in Germany, had German parents and lived in Germany for 5 years, was incredibly ignorant when it came to basic knowledge such as how the EU borders work or the fact that German men shake hands when they meet sounded ridiculous to me. The writing was an issue as well: there was nothing remarkable about it and the author constantly used too many exclamation and rhetorical questions. There were also some sentences and thoughts that felt childish coming from 30/ 40-year olds. That being said, this was a fun and beguiling read, which I would recommend to those who like mysterious stories that span several decades. <i> I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. </i>
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