Based on an actual German author, Irmgard Keun, THE NOVELIST FROM BERLIN by V.S. Andrews paints a vivid picture of life in Berlin from the aftermath of WWI to the 1960s. Niki Rittenhaus was a woman of the times. In order to survive during a time when jobs were scarce and pay was low, she did what many single women did--she entered into relationships with men who sometimes offered shelter and meals. A complicated marriage to a man with money gave her the opportunity to write, something she was good at. Her books were a success, but not with the Nazis. They were banned and burned. Fearing for her life and that of her child, she tried to go into hiding from her husband and the Nazis. Her life took on a trajectory she never could have foreseen.
V.S. Andrews has crafted a fascinating and intriguing character for the protagonist. Readers watch Niki evolve into a person of incredible courage, resolve, and strength. Her love of her daughter and her hatred of the Nazis fueled her determination to survive. As we follow her life through the horrible times of immeasurable losses during the years of WWII and the equally terrible aftermath, a question arises: What would I have done? Well depicted is her determination to fight the enemy any way that she could and to never lose hope.
Well-researched and skillfully told from the perspective of an extraordinary woman, THE NOVELIST FROM BERLIN by V.S. Andrews is well worth reading. Highly recommended.
Inspired by a true story, this new historical fiction novel from the acclaimed author of The Magdalen Girls explores World War II and its aftermath from a compelling new angle, as a young German writer exiled for her ideas flees her country and her Nazi-supporting husband and must rebuild her life during the Cold War.
1920s Germany: Though the world has changed in the wake of the Great War, it is still ruled by men. Even a woman as resourceful and intelligent as Niki Rittenhaus needs alliances in order to survive. Her marriage to Rickard Länger, a movie producer for Berlin’s Passport Pictures, seems convenient for them both. When Rickard succumbs to increasing pressure from the Nazis to make propaganda movies, a horrified Niki turns away from her own film aspirations and instead, begins to write.
Niki’s first novel, The Berlin Woman, is published under a pseudonym to great success. But Niki knows she cannot stay anonymous for long. The Nazis are cementing their power over Germany—and over her husband. Though she succeeds in escaping Rickard, he directs Hitler’s Brownshirts to do the unthinkable: kidnap their daughter. With her books blacklisted, her life in danger, and Europe descending into war, Niki travels to Amsterdam, joins the Dutch Resistance, and then returns to war-torn Berlin determined to claim freedom for herself and her child, and to write her own story at last.