Review: A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham

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Title: A Woman of War
Author:
 Mandy Robotham
Publication Date: December 7, 2018
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating:4.5 Stars


Germany, 1944. Taken from the camps to serve the Führer himself, Anke Hoff is assigned as midwife to one of Hitler’s inner circle. If she refuses, her family will die.

Torn between her duty as a caregiver and her hatred for the Nazi regime, Anke is swept into a life unlike anything she’s ever known – and she discovers that many of those at the Berghof are just as trapped as she is. And soon, she’s falling for a man who will make her world more complicated still…

Before long, the couple is faced with an impossible choice – and the consequences could be deadly. Can their forbidden love survive the horrors of war? And, more importantly, will they?


Review_

*MINOR SPOILER AHEAD!*

A Woman of War is part historical fiction, part alternate history centered around a fascinating concept: what if Eva Braun had conceived a child with Hitler? Enter our main female character, Anke, a renowned midwife who was arrested for caring more about the children she was bringing into the world than the Nazi regime. She’s tasked with the impossible – bringing the child of the man who’s caused her and her beloved country so much heartache. 

As I read this book several things stuck out to me. First of all, I ADORE historical fiction and alternate history (although the alternate history I read is usually less nuanced, less delicate), especially when it’s set around WWII. There’s been a huge influx of WWII fiction lately – most of which centers around a strong female character – and while I’m not complaining, it is a bit easy for the stories to blend together in my head. A Woman of War made a mark because it tackled Anke’s life after the concentration camp rather than focusing on the horrors she faced while inside. The reader gets to see her pick up the pieces, strengthen herself, and move on. 

Second of all, the alternate history aspect of this was fantastic. The few alternate histories I’ve managed to read are far less subtle than this one. They involve magical elements or complete changes to regimes, countries, etc. A Woman of War focused on one simple thing. One tiny detail that, for all we know, could have happened! Mandy Robotham found a small ‘what if’ and wove a tale so believable that I found myself sinking into the story and forgetting that Eva Braun, as far as the world knows, never had a baby.

The last major thing that stuck out was the completely unashamed, accurate descriptions of childbirth. Mandy Robotham is a practicing midwife and paragraphs dedicated to bringing life into the world didn’t shy away or sugarcoat the act – think call the midwife, but a bit more graphic. That aspect of the book alone made it fascinating to read and, more importantly, contributed to the feeling that Hitler’s baby had actually come into the world. 

Anke was an intensely likable character and without giving anything away, I found her love interest a perfect match. The chemistry was a little rocky to me at first, but after they’d met a few times I was totally won over by the two of them. The supporting cast was all very well written in my opinion and I was thrilled to see that the SS officers weren’t over the top. It’s easy to turn a Nazi into a caricature, but that didn’t happen here.

I’ll be first in line to read anything else Mandy Robotham writes! 

4.5 Stars

ARC provided in exchange for an honest review

3 thoughts on “Review: A Woman of War by Mandy Robotham

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