Cover Image: The German Heiress

The German Heiress

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Member Reviews

Unfortunately, I found this book very hard to follow, and I wasn't very interested in the plot or the characters. I think this mostly stems from me greatly disliking Clara as a main character, which made it difficult for me to read her POV. The main plot, Clara trying to find her friend Elisa and Elisa's son, reminded me a lot of the plot of The Alice Network by Kate Quinn, where the main character, Charlie, is trying to find her cousin Rose after WWII. I might have enjoyed the similarity if I had liked any of the characters, but I didn't, so the plot felt very boring and uninteresting to me. Although I will say I like the concept of a character like Clara, whose family supported the Nazis during the war, being a POV character; unfortunately, this book was just not for me.
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I immediately felt drawn into the story  of fraulein Müller. The life she lived in a time when things were beyond difficult.  Feeling responsible for her actions while trying to be a better person. Very well written.
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An interesting take on World War 2 fiction. After the war people are of course still struggling and coming to terms with what they had to do to survive in Germany. What they do to protect their family leads to betrayal but then understanding.
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If you are a WWII book lover you’re going to want to read The German Heiress! Clara Falkenberg runs and operates her family’s ironwork business, despite not believing in industrialism or the Nazi cause. She arrives back home after the war is over to find the city destroyed and her friend missing, all while dodging the officer trying to charge her with war crimes. The German Heiress is a story about overcoming odds, all while learning and making changes for the better. This book will keep you turning the pages until the very end, and just wait for the surprise ending. I loved it!
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What a great book! I literally could not put it down. The characters seemed so real and I was so interested in what was going to happen to them all. The ending was WOW. Thank you netgalley for this ARC. One of the best I have read.
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Who to trust

The German Heiress takes place at the very end of WWII.  The British are hunting and arresting the Nazis' and those German’s closely associated with them.

One British captain “captain Fenshaw” was especially focused on finding “Clara Falkenberg” , once a famous heiress to the German steel factory empire and the daughter of a known Nazi sympathizer. 

This is the story of Clara, her memories of happy times before the war, during and after.  It is also the story of her best friend Elisa, her mother Anna, her ex boyfriend Max,  Elsa’s son Willy and his canary Gertrude, and Clara’s new friend Jakob.

It is not only the struggle to survive the war, or Clara’s many escapes from Captain Fenshaw,  but a struggle within minds as to how they allowed the atrocities of the war to take place around them without doing something to stop them. It’s about choosing family or country.  It’s about guilt and remorse for their own part in the war.  It’s hard to know how one will react when faced with impossible choices.

This book focuses on the feelings of the characters. They search for truth and honesty, but feel they can trust no one.  It is in an atmosphere where you could be betrayed for a loaf of bread. Buildings are shells with people living in cellars, food is scarce and people are desperate.

There are sad parts, exciting parts, tragic parts and some smidgen of human kindness.  It was a good read and I would recommend it.

Thanks to Anika Scott, Harper Collins Publishers and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review an advance copy of the book.
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An intriguing premise—Germany in 1946 from the POV of a German woman who ran a munitions plant and is therefore wanted as a war criminal—that doesn't shy away from big questions about guilt and culpability. It was a bit too black-and-white for my tastes, though. Yes, Clara ran an iron plant for the Nazis, but only because she had to, y'see, and she tried to make life better for the Eastern prisoners forced to work for her. She never subscribed to the whole Nazi philosophy, don't you know, unlike her mother and her ex-sweetheart. I guess we're supposed to sympathize with her (imo, feeble) efforts to help the prisoners and with her prickling conscience, but I got a sense of "she doth protest too much" from both the writer and the character. I loved the character of Jakob, however, and the writing and pacing flowed. I just wish there had been more depth and complexity.

Thank you, HarperCollins/William Morris and NetGalley, for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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These days I’m usually not tempted by World War II-era historical fiction. It’s a crowded subgenre and most of it is historical romance... not my cup of tea. However, The German Heiress intrigued me because, as the name implies, it presents a German perspective, which is uncommon.

Despite its unconventional approach, this book definitely suffered from comparison. I’ve read many truly spectacular WWII books; next to them, The German Heiress was good, but not great. It didn’t pack the emotional punch I expected, although it had its moments. It was an enjoyable reading experience, and well-paced; when I sat down to read the book, I was surprised by how fast I flew through it.

For the first half of the book, Anika Scott went out of her way to establish Clara as unequivocally “good,” a woman with virtuous beliefs who tried to do the right thing. Not only did I find this boring and flat, I also wasn’t buying it. Clara’s moral righteousness seemed all talk and little action. She was also surprisingly naive, considering who she was and her experience during the war, and acted recklessly for a woman on the run. This version of Clara was nothing like the calculating, morally gray, iron-willed woman I expected based on the book’s synopsis.

Starting at around the halfway point, Clara finally begins to question the morality of her family’s actions during the war and grapples with feelings of guilt and regret. While this was a refreshing change of pace, it happened so abruptly it didn’t seem believable. The book had a few well-developed side characters - Jakob, in particular, was wonderfully complex and realistic - and I would have been more invested in the story if they had played a more prominent role from the beginning. The romance was better than most, which coming from me (a heartless cynic) is a significant compliment.

The plot was interesting, and probably the highlight of the book. There were several narrative threads that Scott wove together seamlessly. She wrote from a third person point-of-view following three main characters: Clara, Jakob, and a third whose identity you’ll discover partway through the book. Each of these characters had multiple goals they were working toward, and there was even an element of mystery as Clara and Jakob searched for Elisa and Clara uncovered secrets about her family. The ending was perfect.

If you go into this book knowing what to expect, I think you’ll enjoy it.
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Clara Falkenberg, once Germany's heiress and nicknamed "the Iron Fraulein" during World War II. She's taken on another name, after running away, only to return two years after the war is over to discover her home town in ruins and her friend she's been in search of is nowhere to be found. 
Running from a British officer wanting to interrogate her for war crimes. 
This novel will keep you turning the pages until the end. I stayed up way past my bedtime unable to put it down until I finished.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the eARC.
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The story begins two years after the war is over.  The main character is a German ironworks heiress who is searching for her friend while trying to avoid being captured and investigated as a war criminal.  I found this story thought-provoking and captivating, an enjoyable read if you like historical fiction.
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