Cover Image: The Wife Who Risked Everything

The Wife Who Risked Everything

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

I am a long-time fan of Ellie Midwood, and I have read nearly every book she has written and they are always superb. She has written many novels, but I believe this one might be her best yet! This book is a excellently researched, and it is clear, as always, that Ms. Midwood is a scrupulous historian alongside her authorship. Wonderful, captivating writing and original plot gives this novel the depth and ability to pull in any reader. I highly recommend this author and all of her other books I have read have been nothing less than fantastic. She is definitely an auto-buy author for me, and I can't wait to own this novel in print.
Was this review helpful?
A huge fan of historical fiction and during WWII, this book will amaze4 you at the love and dedication of Margot. She never allowed herself to be swayed from her affection for her husband, Jochen. The fact that this book focused on the relationships/marriages of Aryans and Jews was a little different. You get glimpses of this in other WWII historical fiction books, but the primary focus of the way the people were treated just for loving a Jewish individual is heartwrenching. A difficult story to read but definitely one to put on your to-be-read list.

Thank you to NetGalley and Bookoutre for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

For more reviews, please visit my blog at: Over 1000 reviews posted!
Was this review helpful?
Based on a true event in Berlin during WWII, Midwood tells the story of Margot and Jochen. Margot is a Aryan German and Jochen is Protestant of Jewish decent. Margot like several other German women married men of Jewish decent. With the rise of the Nazis, they were told they could divorce their husbands but many did not. Margot is one of those women. As a result, Margot gets some of the same restrictions placed on her that her husband does. First, Margot loses her job. Then they have have to move out of there home and into a home with another mixed family. For years they have been saved from being rounded up and going to camps because the wife is German, and the Nazis did not want to upset Germans, but in 1943 they start to round up the husbands for transport. When the wives find out where their husbands are being held they go there and protest outside. 

This is a story that is about love and what one will do for those they love. It is filled with allies as well as family who will tow the party line over love of family in order to have a better life for themselves. If you like WWII novels and ones that are not French Resistance ones you might enjoy this one. It is inspiration from those who appear to be small everyday people.
Was this review helpful?
“The Wife Who Risked Everything” is a pre-WWII historical fiction book by Ellie Midwood. In this book, the reader learns about the German wives who remained married to their Jewish husbands in Berlin, Germany. Only a few months ago did I learn about the “mixed marriage” law that the Nazi regime enacted. In this book, Ms. Midwood describes them in a lot more detail - in fact in ways I hadn’t fully thought about. I found the character of Margot to be a good one to represent women finding themselves in that position. I could feel the helplessness of the situation while reading this book too. While reading this book, I did consult the internet for more information (such as for Lisa Baarova), but I’d also recommend reading Ms. Midwood’s note at the end of the book. This is the third book I’ve read written by Ms. Midwood and, once again, this was another book I’ve enjoyed the writing style and topic she covered. 

Margot was a German woman, her husband Jochen a Jew. As the months moved forward and things worsened for the Jewish population in Berlin, Margot vowed she wouldn't let anything separate them. She would stay by his side no matter what. As they were evicted from first one apartment, then another until they lived in little more than a hovel, Jochen managed to procure a pup for Margot, which they named Goose. Devoted and loyal, Goose even came to realise he shouldn't make a sound.

Eventually Jochen was arrested by the SS, along with countless others. When Margot found out where he was, she joined other women, as well as some men, outside where they were detained, and voiced their objections. They continued, calling out, yelling, refusing to leave their posts for days on end. When they worked in shifts so women could get some sleep, the protest continued. Would their cries of "Release our men. Release our men" be heard? Or would they shoot the woman, even though they were German?

I think I've heard everything despicable the Nazis did during the war, until I read another book and learn more of their atrocities. The Wife Who Risked Everything by Ellie Midwood is based on the true story of courage and the power of love, and those women and men's determination to stop the Nazis from taking their loved ones. A brilliant read, heartbreaking but heartwarming, Margot and Jochen were inspirational - the people surrounding them no less so. I loved Anastasia's character - she was a power house! Highly recommended.

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Margot is a German woman married to a man she loves. Which shouldn't be a problem. Except she lives in Berlin in the late 1930s, the Nazi party is in power, and her husband is a Jew. But even when given the chance, she won't divorce her husband, and they won't be separated. In fact, she'll fight with every took she has, standing toe to toe with Nazi officers to keep her husband safe. 

I loved this story of a mixed-marriage couple in WW2. I read a lot of WW2 historical novels, and I've never seen this take before. In my research, I haven't found if this exact scenario actually could have played out in Berlin, but I do like to think that a woman with the chutzpah that Margot had would had, who would have stood up to the Nazis, could have kept her family safe. The book starts off slow, but picks up, and the way it was written really pulls you in to the story. 4.25 stars out of 5 stars.

I was provided an ARC copy of this book through Netgalley. My thanks to the publisher and the author for providing it to me.
Was this review helpful?
Oh my goodness this book has it all. I was right there on the street with these amazing women as they protested for the release of their husbands.  The book highlighted the true historical event- the one and only mass protest against what the Nazis were doing - it unnerved Hitler and his henchmen. If only the people of Germany and elsewhere all rose up against the evil regime before.  Miss Midwood has the ability to turn historical data into engrossing stories.  Highly recommended.
Was this review helpful?
This book is a sucker punch to your soul. I don't care how much you read about world war 2 and what you think you know. This book will grab at you from the very beginning and take you on a journey Like you've never experienced before. Margot Is a German during the war. She should be free to do what she wants but she has a scarlet letter on her face because she refuses to leave her Jewish husband, Jochen. Yes that's right. They actually wanted her to get a divorce otherwise she couldn't have a job,an apartment or do anything that is respectful. Margot fights the SS and the ever changing laws for the Jews. She feels defeated but still keeps fighting. Although very heartbreaking, this war story will make you believe in love again. The kind of love that doesn't leave. The inconvenient kind of love. The love that lasts a life time.
Was this review helpful?
Never Ending Love

A Love Story to Remember. Margot and Jochen were madly in love with each other and determined to stay together no matter what happened. Margot's husband Jochen is Jewish and her mother does not approve and when the Nazi's come into power in Berlin her mother tries to get her to leave her husband but she refuses to do so. The only person sympathetic to her was her Father and his Russian girlfriend Anastasia.

Margot was a film star until the Nuremberg laws were passed by the Nazi's then because she was married to a Jewish man she was replaced by another star and she was given the job of seamstress. The only friend she had left at the studio was Lisa a Slavic immigrant. Lida too had troubles as she was admired and courted by a man she loathed Minister Goebbels.

When the Nazi's broke into Margot and Jochen's apartment and stole their furniture and they were forced to leave it was Anastasia who gave them a place to stay until they found another apartment. Then Margot lost her job because of new Nazi rules and shortly after Jochen's American employer left the country and he had no job.

It got worse and worse with all the new rules and regulations. Then Jewish and partially Jewish families could no longer have pets and Anastasia took in the Jewish pets, dogs and the cat.

Then Jochen and others were gathered up and taken by the police. Margot didn't know how but she had to get him released before he was sent to the concentration camp in the cattle cars.

Don't miss this thrilling story and the conclusion. Will Margot get Jochen released, will both of them be sent east, or will they all be shot? What happens next? You will definitely want to read this book.

Thanks to Ellie Midwood for writing another great WWII story, to Bookouture for publishing it and to NetGalley for making it available to me to read and review.
Was this review helpful?
A very powerful read based on historical events that are horrifying. I absolutely loved this book and I definitely recommend 

Thank you to netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own and areht influenced. BY anyone else
Was this review helpful?
Thank you NetGalley, Author and Publisher for providing me with a copy of this book to read.
World War II historical fiction is top of my list to read nearly every time I make a selection so I was very intrigued by the title,  summary and cover of this book.  

Although much is written about this time period and the atrocities conducted by the Nazi regime, the rules against mixed couples (Aryan and Jew) is not one I have heard or read much about.  This is a story of strong women with an abundance of courage.  These couples had to humble themselves and take jobs beneath their skills, experience and abilities just to earn a wage.  They were kicked out of their homes strictly on the basis of their "mixed" marriage status.

The author made it possible for the reader to put themselves in Margot's place and see how she and others were forced to make horrible decisions and tradeoffs to survive.  In the face of unimaginable evil, love did overcome.
Was this review helpful?
I have loved every book I’ve read by this author. I cannot help but be taken in by her story tellling and I usually end up crying by that end of her books. I highly recommend this book. It’s a beautiful and roller coaster story. I recommend to my family & book buddies. One of my favorites this year.
Was this review helpful?
Margot and Jochen love one another.  However, their love and marriage is illegal, as Margot is German and Jochen is Jewish.  They lost their home, their lives, and their jobs, but their love never waivered.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley and Bookouture for giving me a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

First off, Ellie Midwood has quickly be one of my favourite historical fiction authors. This book was just a phenomenal as the rest of her books that I’ve read. One of the things I adored most about this book was including the interactions between the characters and real historical people, such as Alisa Baroova. I love how Midwood handled this with the utmost respect and responsibility. The entire plot drew me right in, demonstrating the early parts of the persecution of the Jews in Germany before the war itself started. This is an angle which many authors don’t take in historical fiction.

One part of this book that I didn’t really enjoy was the repetition and the lack of anything happening in some chapters. However, Midwood definitely made up for this in her beautiful storytelling and dynamic characters who have stayed with me long after I’ve finished the book.

This is definitely one to read if you love historical fiction and a good love story to match!
Was this review helpful?
4.5 stars!
Good story of love and loyalty.
It tells a touching and intense story of a couple, Margot and Jochen. It takes place In Berlin during WW2, the Nazi era.
Was this review helpful?
Thanks net galley for letting me read this book.
The story of Margot and Jochen who were so much in love but in troubled Berlin in 1939 it was not a good place to live if you were married to a Jewish man as Margot was.
She would do anything for Jochen, even if it meant risking her own life for him,
The gestapo were treating them both very badly, they lost their jobs and their home and knew their lives were at risk,  but love would conquer everything so they thought.
I found the story very repetitive and sometimes they were terribly ignorant about what was happening around them, and though they could carry on with their lives as usual. I
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to NetGalley, the publishing house and the author for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of this book in return for a review based upon my honest opinion.

This author always writes a good take, usually based upon a true event during WWII. This book was based upon the Rosenstrasse protest; this again was a story I had not heard of before. These women were so strong and actually caused the captors to release their husbands and loved ones. Well written book and lovely fictional story about true events.

Will look forward  to more books by this author.
Was this review helpful?
When you find a book that's based on true events, for me it makes them credible, and the characters become real people and not just names on a page. 

This is the first of Ellie's books I've read and it made an interesting change to read the story from the perspective of a German couple.

It's certainly an emotional read and will give you all the feels for these women fighting to protect their loved ones.

So powerful, utterly compelling and an absolutely fantastic story of love, bravery and war. 

I thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend in a heartbeat. 

Many thanks to Bookouture for my tour spot.

Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Was this review helpful?
A wonderful historical fiction book where the author Ellie MidWood brings the fictional characters, Margot and Jochen's story inspired by real people who lived in Berlin during the Nazi Hitler rule. The novel shows how the hypocrisy of Nazi leadership, the bravery and selflessness of normal German citizens who would do anything to save their persecuted spouses. Outstanding research study conducted by Ellie can be seen through out the novel. Margot an Aryan woman was married to a Jew named Jochen in those days where Jews were not welcome in the new Germany as they were considered minorities. Everyone in Babelsberg knew Margot's husband was Jewish. Margot found it just fine, for the reason why right after the Nuremberg law had been passed, prohibiting all relationships between Aryans and Jews, just stopped short of dissolving existing marriages - they had changed her from Margot and replaced it with Rosenberg - Margot Rosenberg. 

Anastacia, an artist, half Russian, half German  who Margot's father had fallen in love with ten years ago became a mother figure to Margot, where she considered not having blood relation with her own mother from whom he had been estranged long before Anastacia. Anastacia knew what to say and how to make everything better. Margot had worked as a model for the Wertheim department and loses her job and becomes homeless because she remained married to a Jew and later to provide for the family she becomes a seamstress for private clients. Margot and Jochen struggled with reduced income and couldn't afford a decent home for themselves. Having married for ten years Margot couldn't imagine a life without Jochen. This novel is a must read - unimaginable bravery, sacrifices, heroism and fearlessness of women displayed through Margot in the midst of WW2 and the atrocities of Nazis towards Jews in the period of 1935- 1946 well portrayed. 

I just reviewed, The Wife Who Risked Everything by Ellie MidWood. Thanks to Netgalley and Publisher Bookouture for an advance copy for my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I just finished reading The Wife who risked everything by Ellie Midwood and here is what I thought about it.

Margot falls madly in love with Jochen… Things should be perfect, but they live in Nazi Germany and he is a Jew. Their marriage is technically illegal and she is commiting a crime just for being in love.

People around her reject her and the choice she has made but she doesn't care. The nazi regime will not stand between her and the man she loves. 
Even as things get more and more dangerous for them both, she never waivers. One day Jochen doesn’t come home and the reason shocks Margot to her core. He is supposed to be exempt from the camps as she is an aryan. 
Instead of accepting her fate, Margot risks everything to stand outside the Gestapo headquarters with other wives and family members of the men being held. Defying the Nazis means death and when the truck is driving towards them and the guns are aimed at their heads… Margot has a choice to make, her life or her husbands?
Wow, just wow. This was such a beautiful and heartwarming read. How many of us can honestly say we would stand in front of guns and scream at Nazis to set our man free? Such a powerful and moving story and based on a real event too. I couldn’t imagine living during that time and being considered vermin for marrying the man I love because of his religion. 
The book kept me gripped from start to finish. I felt like I was right there with Margot. I could feel the warmth of her dog goose… I could feel the agony she felt and the fear that drove her daily. The love came swimming off the page and I drank in every drop.
If you are a fan of historical fictions that are set during world war II you have to make this your next read!
5 stars! This book took my heart and a bucket full of tears! 
Thank you Netgalley and bookouture for this beautiful read!
Was this review helpful?
The Wife Who Risked Everything is another powerful and well written story by Ellie Midwood. It shows how in the face of evil - love is power, courage is infectious and the voices of many will not be silenced. These words sum up our main character Margot perfectly. Throughout this book she is a warrior and a strong courageous woman whose love for her husband knows no limits and she will do everything in her power to keep him safe. It was brilliant to see such a forceful and impressive female character who in the face of unthinkable cruelty and horrors remained steadfast and obstinate in her viewpoint and never once deviated from it. Based on a true story we follow Margot and her husband Jochen as they do their best to navigate their way through the war years in Berlin.

Jochen and Margot have been married for ten years and have a very strong and loving relationship. But all that is called into question when Hitler comes to power and with Jochen being Jewish his very existence is threatened on a daily basis. But Margot is steadfast in her love for him and she will do anything to prevent him being taken away. As more and more laws against Jews are introduced Jochen’s world shrinks and he loses his job as a set designer. It is Margot who must provide for them and stand against those in authority. There is a defiant streak in Margot and I loved this about her. She refused to bow down to pressure and abandon Jochen which would have meant her own life was safe and secure. She had been destined to be a star in the German film industry but with her marriage to Jochen now illegal she is reduced to being a seamstress. She suffers daily humiliations as does Jochen but she takes them on the chin and strives to make their world better in any small way she can. But knowing Jochen could have been taken from her at any point and with the sheer hatred, discrimination and persecution against the Jews only highly ramped up the more the war progresses she remains loyal and courageous in every thought and word and deed.

There is tension, unease and suspension with every turn of the page. You never know what fate has in store next for the couple and your heart is in your mouth that the worst will happen. Ellie Midwood skilfully builds up the overall picture of what the Jewish population of Berlin were enduring at the time but at the same time she showed how Margot’s family had the means to exist fairly well off during such troubling times. Her parents exist in a tricky situation in the fact they remain married but her father lives with his mistress, a Russian refugee with royal connections named Anastasia who at first I thought would bring nothing to the story. But in fact she goes on to play a very vital role. As their world shrinks around them Margot and Jochen cling to the love they have for each other and their strong bond is evident through all of Margot’s actions. It was unique to see the roles reversed and the woman defending the man and taking over his role in terms of being the provider for the house. It really was a case of stand by your man but it at all times felt genuine and real and never forced or contrived.

The book begins in 1935 and takes us all the way up to 1943. Seeing as it started several years before the actual outbreak of war the reader could see how life was once normal for the German population but through the rise to power of one madman that life for the Jewish population was forever altered. Jochen’s freedom was taken from him and all that he valued in the world apart from Margot of course was against the law. As their living situation changes and he is sent to work hard labour things get very tough for the pair but Margot was always on high alert, checking on him that he was making it through each day and could return safely to her. She was outspoken and refused to be helpless and she threaded a very thin line when it came to being out in the public. I feared that she would take one misstep and al her efforts would have been in vain.

The Wife Who Risked Everything is a quick read but it does convey its message very well. I felt the first half after the initial introduction of the characters and establishing their backgrounds and the situation in Germany things calmed down a bit and it was a bit slow just going through the years and the various laws that were introduced. Yes, we were shown how this impacted Jochen and Margot but I needed a little bit more to happen despite the tension that I did feel throughout. I wondered where was the book actually going and it’s when we reach the last quarter and a significant event occurs which was based on a true incident that the I thought the book got back on track again and Margot as a character showed her true worth and remarkable resilience and bravery. The Wife Who Risked Everything is a very good read and it makes a change to read a story that wasn’t set in a concentration camp as a light was shone on a new aspect of the war which I hadn’t heard about.
Was this review helpful?