Monday, May 24, 2021

Review: The Secretary by Catherine Hokin

The Secretary
by Catherine Hokin

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 354
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  The Tower House. Down a secluded path, hidden by overgrown vines, the crumbling villa echoes with memories. Of the family who laughed and sang there, until the Nazis tore them from their home. And of the next woman to walk its empty rooms, whose courage in the face of evil could alter the course of history…

Germany 1940. As secretary to the leader of the SS, Magda spends her days sending party invitations to high-ranking Nazis, and her evenings distributing pamphlets for the resistance. But Magda is leading a dangerous double life, smuggling secrets out of the office. It’s a deadly game, and eventual exposure is a certainty, but Magda is driven by a need to keep the man she secretly loves safe as he fights against the Nazis…

Forty years later. Nina’s heart pounds as she steps into an uncertain future carrying a forged passport, a few bank notes, and a scribbled address for The Tower House taken from an intricate drawing she found hidden in her grandmother’s wardrobe. Separated from her family and betrayed by her country, Nina’s last hope is to trace her family’s history in the ruins of the past her grandmother ran from. But, when she finally finds the abandoned house, she opens the door to a forgotten story, and to secrets which will change everything: past, present, and future…

Kritters Thoughts:  Two storylines in this book.  A woman in 1940s Germany ends up working for a high level Nazi operative and uses her position to smuggle out reports and secrets to the opposition in order to save lives and maybe turn the tide of the war.  Her granddaughter is living in 1980s Berlin and is dealing with a a divided country that is having what felt like the same issues within its country of infighting and sides and neighbors turning in neighbors for "despicable" behavior.

I have read quite a many books set during World War II, but surprisingly few actually take place in Germany.  So the time of that storyline wasn't unique, but the setting did and it was interesting to put the storyline of that time and place and put it next to 1980s Berlin as they were dealing with same and different issues.  I had never thought about history repeating itself in an odd way in this country.  

For me this book was good, but for some reason the pacing felt very slow and it took me a lot longer to read this one than my typical reading pace.  It could have been the crazy of the times that I read it, but it didn't capture my attention and suck me in like most historical fiction reads do.  

I would be interesting in trying another Catherine Hokin book, have you read any of hers?  Where should I go next with her backlist?

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 57 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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