City of Women by David Gillham is a gripping tale of life in Berlin at the height of the Second World War.
In the very darkest hour, who do you trust, who do you love, and who can be saved?
It is 1943 - the height of the Second World War. With the men taken by the army, Berlin has become a city of women. And while her husband fights on the Eastern Front, Sigrid Schroder is, for all intents and purposes, the model 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.
But behind this facade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former Jewish lover, who is now lost in the chaos of the war.
Sigrid's tedious existence is turned upside-down when she finds herself hiding a mother and her two young daughters: Could they be her lover's family?
Now she must make terrifying choices that could cost her everything. "Gillham's Berlin is a terrified city, where nobody dare speak the truth and the smallest decision can cost you your life.
A terrifically tense first novel". (The Times). "In this moving and masterful debut, David Gillham brings war-torn Berlin to life and reveals the extraordinary mettle of women tested to their limits and beyond.
Powerful and piercingly real. You won't soon forget these characters". (Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife). "David Gillham's excellent new novel, City of Women, is built on one of the most extraordinary and faithful recreations of a time in history - Berlin in World War II - that I've ever read". (Alan Furst David Gillham lives with his family in western Massachusetts).
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 400 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 05/09/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780241962237
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Review by Luckyfloss
Wanted to like this book, but found it quite harrowing to read! Berlin in WW2 is a frightening place to live. I'm not entirely convinced by a man writing so intimately about a woman.