Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

All My Love, Detrick

All My Love, Detrick, Roberta Kagan, 2012, Kindle e-book

This is a love story set in Nazi Germany.

Detrick is an Aryan, living in Berlin, who, for years, has worked in the bicycle repair shop of Jacob Abdenstern. Accompanying Jacob home one night, Detrick meets Leah, his daughter. There is an instant attraction between them. They have to keep their romance very quiet, because, in Nazi Germany, any public affection between an Aryan and a Jew is very illegal. Detrick is extremely uninterested in anything to do with the Nazi Party.

Karl, Leah's brother, is one of those accustomed to using his fists in public. During a fight, he kills a member of the Hitler Youth, so fleeing Germany is suddenly a very good idea. He finds himself in the Warsaw Ghetto, preparing to fight. Detrick's sister, Helga, has fallen for Eric, an SS officer. He treats her like a goddess, showering her with gifts; that is, until the day he tells Helga that he is married, and cuts off all further contact between them. Helga is forced to travel to an isolated "institute" to have Eric's baby, without telling her parents.

Meantime, Leah's best friend, Dorothy, has fled Germany with her family. They are living with an uncle in Chicago. Her thick accent and unfamiliarity with English make school nearly impossible. She get a job, but her career choice goes over very badly with her father, who throws her out of the house. Dorothy is noticed by an older man named Tony, who also treats her like a goddess, showering her with gifts. But Tony tells her upfront that he is married, and still wants to see her.

Back in Germany, Detrick reluctantly joins the Nazi Party. He feels that it is the only way to earn the money to pay a sympathetic family to hide Jacob and Leah in their attic. detrick goes to work every day expecting that his deception will be discovered. Do Leah and Detrick "live happily ever after?"

This is an excellent piece of writing. It shows how the Nazi era tore apart even "good" Aryan families. It is well worth the reader's time.   

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