Cover Image: The German Heiress

The German Heiress

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Member Reviews

I'm glad I had a chance to read this book through an ARC. I normally am not a fan of Historical Fiction. Don't hate it, just don't seek it out. But, this was an engaging read for me. I truly wanted to know what was going to happen. 
How was the author going to resolve the plot complicationa? I was distraught thinking about how it was going to play out and as one of the descriptions I read said the book has you questioning what behaviors you would and could find acceptable in yourself. This was correct. 

Our protagonist, Clara Falkenberg, aka the Iron Fräulein is doing exactly that in the story. 
Would you give in to the little sins? 
Would you stand up for your principles? 
Or do you tell yourself that you're doing enough? 
How do you settle the score with yourself for doing what you felt you had to during a difficult time?

I never thought I'd be feeling sorry for what was on the surface a Nazi character. But, was she? Did she stand up for her own convictions or did she buy into the lies?
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The German Heiress is the story of Clara Falkenberg, a German heiress, who has been living in hiding for eighteen months since the Germans lost to the Allied Forces. The lack of a response to the one letter Clara has written to her childhood best friend leads Clara to return to her home town of Essen. Clara knows that she is wanted for war crimes just like her father, who is awaiting trial. Clara's father was sent to Berlin during the last few years of the war. Clara was left to run the family business and gained the nickname the Iron Maiden. This was a nickname that did not really suit her but she never discredited it because it was difficult enough to be a woman in Nazi Germany. The stronger she seemed to people the more she could get done for the family business. During the war years the family business used forced labor to keep the mill producing for the Nazis. Clara did everything in her power to provide her workers the best working and living conditions. 

On the trip back to Essen, a British soldier, Captain Fenshaw, pulls Clara, who has been living as Margarete Müller of the train the cat and mouse games begin. Captain Fenshaw has an extensive dossier on the Falkenberg family, especially Clara. His interest in her is obsessive.

As Clara hides from Captain Fenshaw she meets people along the way who are willing to help her. One man Jakob, an amputee from the way, helps Clara learn the secrets and truths about her family while coming to term with her own involvement and actions/inactions during the war years.

There are two particular details that made this book a particularly good read in my opinion. First, this story is told from the German post-war perspective. Second, the Allied Forces, particularly the British, are not portrayed in a positive light.

Thank you to NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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4 made me think stars

This one is set in post-WWII Germany and follows Clara Falkenberg. She’s from a prominent family that ran an iron business before and during the war. Once her father is off at war, Clara is the one who takes the helm. I say that this one made me think because Clara’s motives and thoughts feel a bit muddled. It made me think, what would I do in her place? Would I step into my father’s shoes and just carry on the business or would I question the humanity of what is happening?

Now that the war is over, Clara is living under an assumed name and on the run from Allied soldiers that are hunting war criminals. She finally decides to make her way back to her hometown in the hopes of reuniting with her best friend and starting over. She meets a few interesting characters along the way, including Jakob, a black-market expert. They make a bit of an odd couple, but I found myself rooting for them.

This one had the thrill of the chase and at times I rooted for Clara and then I remembered that she had likely done terrible things so she should be caught. Again, it made me think! And realize that it is not always black and white in the world.  Should there be justice or does Clara deserve a second chance? You won’t know until the very end of this one, but it was worth it!
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Could. Not. Stop. Reading. Well done - a fantastic page turner, with fully realized characters and an interesting perspective on the affect of WWII on those who weren't in the camps.
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The German Heiress by Anika Scott is one of the most original and intriguing historical fiction WWII novels I have ever read. It mainly takes place after the war in 1946 and partly tells how the Germans suffered through poverty, illness and death after Germany lost the war. Its the first book I have read with this point of view.

The main character, however, was not an ordinary citizen innocently caught up in the politics of a crazed narcissistic ruler. Clara and her family benefited financially and socially as the Nazis came to power. 

We first meet Clara as she is living under an assumed name as a  wanted war criminal. She tries to justify her actions as a Nazi sympathizer by explaining she tried to treat the Jews forced to work in her family's factories with kindness and had no choice but to go along with the Nazi propaganda. This is my problem with Clara. She is sympathetic but her regret  about her actions is from a place of fear of being caught not of shame for her inaction.

As Clara tries to find her best friend, Elisa  she meets up with ex soldier Jakob who has lost a leg in the war and has helpful black market connections. 

There are secrets and surprises with some unexpected twists as the story becomes a bit of a mystery thriller with some romance. Clara, Jakob and Elisa each has a story that will make you feel emotional and questioning how you would behave in their situations.

I started this book last night and had to finish it today. I was fully invested in the lives of these people and that is a testament to the creative writing style of the author. This book is more than just a story of war, love, loss, and mystery it is a thought provoking testament about the human connection and how we all must stay empathetic to each other.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley from the publisher for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own
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Nearly eighteen months after the end of World War II, Clara thinks enough time has passed and writes a letter to her dear friend, Elisa. When the letter goes unanswered, Clara decides to make a quick trip to her hometown of Essen to try to see Elisa. She unwittingly sets off a life-changing chain of events.

She thought accepting Dr. Blum’s marriage proposal would merely make her life dull, if more secure, but fortunately she discovers his true character and realizes that not only can she not marry him, she can’t return to Hamlin, her refuge since the war ended.

In Essen, Clara is pursued not only by a British officer, but also so many memories. She tries to make peace with both her past life and those who inhabited it. Although she’d hoped she was forgotten in Essen, she learns that many people remember her and cling to inaccurate ideas of her past behavior. 

THE GERMAN HEIRESS explores postwar Germany and illustrates that everything isn’t as black and white, good and bad, as we sometimes think. There are many, many shades of gray. And the grim realities of near post-apocalyptic Germany seem particularly ominous in contemporary America. #NetGalley #TheGermanHeiress
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I enjoyed reading this book.  I am a fan of historical fiction based around WWII.  Most of the books I read are from the perspective of characters fighting against the Germans, whereas this book is about a German woman, Clara Falkenburg,  who has been accused of war crimes because of the family business she helped to run during the war.  It was difficult to get to like the character of Clara, but at the same time the life she was living in trying to elude authorities and also find family members was quite stark.  The descriptions of the times and all  the obstacles the people of the region were facing were heartbreaking.  Clara was portrayed as a very brave young woman with a lot of determination to be able to carry on as she did throughout the story.  The other characters in her story, both family and friends,  played very important parts in her life in varying ways, and they were integral in the storyline.  There were a couple of unexpected happenings that also were important parts of the story.  Captain Fenshaw , who had made it his personal mission to find Clara, was a character whose motive I questioned throughout his search for Clara.  The ending was a bit unexpected, but also seemed like there could have been more time taken with playing it out to get to that ending.  I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in return for an honest opinion, which this has been.  #NetGalley, #HarperCollinsPublishers
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Clara hides in post-WWII Germany under a different name until someone recognizes her and unveils her true identity. Is that all she is? Her whole life comes down to the years during the war when she made poor choices. The focus of this novel illuminates morality through the eyes of a female war criminal.

Clara’s circumstances put the reader in tight spot, and it is hard to trust her sometimes. As soon as I leaned one way, the next chapter would sway my feelings towards the opposite direction. I wanted hope, but I wanted justice.

Other characters thrown into the mix went well with the progress and principles of the story. One character particularly, who I don’t want to say because it would spoil it, had a really sad story regarding the influence that the war had on him even after it is over. Secrets, betrayal, and deception are buried deep within Clara’s family. Expect a twist or two!

Chapters are told in third person. While there are small flashbacks here and there, the bulk of the novel takes place after the war in 1946. 
There is one brief animal abuse scene near the beginning of the story.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advance copy. Opinions are my own.
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I really liked this book and I liked that it was from the German perspective. My only complaint was that I felt like the ending was rushed - it all tied up too quickly.
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A riveting book of historical fiction!

For readers of the Alice Network or The Nightingale, this one is for you!

This story is about one of the most famous German Heiresses during WWII - Clara Falkenburg. Her nickname is the Iron Fraulein for her role in operating her family's ironmill during the War. After the War is over, she has a number of questions regarding her family's past that she wants answers to.

This is a story of secrets and discovery. This is an absolutely captivating tale and is highly recommended for fans of WWII historical fiction.
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I really enjoyed reading The German Heiress.  I have read quite of few of the recent novels set in this time perioed, so it was interesting to read something from a different perspective.  Thank you NetGallley and the publisher for the advance review copy.
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Anika Scott's debut, "The German Heiress," is a masterfully crafted, hard-to-put-down, nerve-wracking novel that left me guessing until the very end. While the story takes place post World War II, I'd say there's less historical detail than I typically find in historical fiction novels but more character story-development on the lives dangerously intertwined with a German heiress named Clara. And I was not one bit disappointed. I look forward to reading more from Scott in the future.
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What a great read! I have been reading a lot of WW2 historical fiction but not until this book did I realize that I had not read a lot from the German perspective. This book was a little dark but it kept me fully engaged right up until the end. I would highly recommend this book. 

thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a great story from a different point of view than we normally see in WWII books. It's very well written and I'd definitely read more from this author.
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I wanted to like this book, but unfortunately did not. I found it pretty tone deaf and I felt it tried excusing the actions taken during the Holocaust. It was a lot of “oh I was involved, but it wasn’t me who was doing [insert crime here.] I never got into it and felt like it was a waste of time. I was so excited about this book, but everything about it fell flat to me.
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"The German Heiress" is a story of justice, loyalty, forgiveness, and trust. 

After the end of the Great War, Germany's “the Iron Fräulein” is hunted by English officers. All Clara wants is to locate her best friend and her son. As people say, be careful of what you wish for, you might get that. And what is waiting for Clara at the end of her search is a big shocking secret that has been kept from her by her closest family and friends.

While on the run and searching for her missing friend, Clara meets many people who are loyal to her family and help Clara on her mission. Clara's path crosses with a war veteran Jakob, who becomes her ally during the hard times.

In a time of war, it took a strong person to break the rules, go against the political power to perform an act of human kindness, protect the innocent. During the great war, while the men were at the front lines protecting their countries - women were left behind to shield the people in need. Anika Scott gave as a perfect example of this effort in her new novel "The German Heiress". Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow Paperbacks publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.
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This is a story of an heiress who assumes a new identity and is able to survive throughout WW2 but is searched for and eventually found out.
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Post-WW2 historical fiction. Enjoyable but somewhat predictable. A different perspective/storyline than I am used to reading on this subject.
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Wow, what a fantastic book this was!  I read a lot of WWII historical fiction, and this was one of the better ones I've read in a while.  The amount of research the author must have done was evident in the historical details and the fact that it's presented from the point of view of the defeated Germans was a departure from other WWII books.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, 5 stars.

Thanks to Harper Collins Publishers and Netgalley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was so different from other WWII stories. Set after the war it follows an heiress who ran her families company ironworks empire. Running from the Allies, she is trying to exonerate her name and find her best friend, while also playing a cat and mouse game with a British Captain who is trying to track down war criminals. This really makes you think about what it means to just get by in a war and what happens when your side loses.
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