Friday, February 9, 2024

Review: The Opera Sisters by Marianne Monson

Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:   Based on the true story of the Cook sisters, who smuggled valuables out of 1930s Nazi Germany to finance a daring, secret operation to help Jews find hope for a new life in England British sisters Ida and Louise Cook enjoy their quiet, unassuming lives in south London. Ida writes romance novels, and Louise works as a secretary. In the evenings, the sisters indulge in their shared love for opera, saving their money to buy records and attend performances throughout England and Europe, becoming well-known by both performers and fellow opera lovers. But when Hitler seizes power in 1933, he begins targeting and persecuting German Jews, passing laws that restrict their rights and their lives. The sisters continue their trips to the German opera houses, but soon, Jewish members of the opera community covertly approach the sisters, worried that they will be stripped of their wealth and forced to leave their homes and the country. Danger looms on the horizon, threatening to spill across all of Europe’s borders. Ida and Louise vow to help, but how can two ordinary working-class women with limited means make a difference? Together with their beloved opera community, the sisters devise a plan to personally escort Jewish refugees from Germany to England. The success of the plan hinges on Ida and Louise’s ability to smuggle contraband jewelry and furs beneath the watchful eyes of the SS soldiers guarding various checkpoints. But how many trips can they make before someone blows a whistle? Or before the final curtain falls on Germany’s borders?

Kritters Thoughts:  A set of sisters that really lived through World War II and were driven to help Jewish people who were watching the rise of Hitler and his army and their hatred for their ethnicity, so Ida and Louise Cook were drawn to help in any way possible.  

I have read a very large number of World War II books, so I think my standards for this sub-genre of historical fiction are quite high and for me this one didn't hit the mark.  The reason this one wasn't a right fit for me was mostly in the format of the book and how it was put together.  From the beginning, the way the book was written/put together made it feel like a bunch of short stories that abruptly ended and then started back up.  I didn't feel as though the book had flow and it was interruptive and hard to read.  

With that being said, I did love these sisters and wanted to hear more of their story.  I loved their determination to help people that they didn't even know and the many ways they went about trying to take care of each and every one of them no matter their age or lot in life.  The moments where the book really focused on them and their endeavors I loved, but it would stop all of a sudden and go somewhere else and it was just jarring and took me out of the story.  

I would love to find another story about these women and their fearlessness.  


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  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.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Back to Top