Enjoy millions of ebooks, audiobooks, magazines, and more

Only $11.99/month after trial. Cancel anytime.

The German House: A Novel

The German House: A Novel

Written by Annette Hess

Narrated by Nina Franoszek


The German House: A Novel

Written by Annette Hess

Narrated by Nina Franoszek

ratings:
4.5/5 (79 ratings)
Length:
10 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Dec 3, 2019
ISBN:
9780062960252
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Set against the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963, Annette Hess's international bestseller is a harrowing yet ultimately uplifting coming-of-age story about a young female translator—caught between societal and familial expectations and her unique ability to speak truth to power—as she fights to expose the dark truths of her nation's past.

If everything your family told you was a lie, how far would you go to uncover the truth?

For twenty-four-year-old Eva Bruhns, World War II is a foggy childhood memory. At the war's end, Frankfurt was a smoldering ruin, severely damaged by the Allied bombings. But that was two decades ago. Now it is 1963, and the city's streets, once cratered are smooth and paved. Shiny new stores replace scorched rubble. Eager for her wealthy suitor, Jürgen Schoormann, to propose, Eva dreams of starting a new life away from her parents and sister. But Eva's plans are turned upside down when a fiery investigator, David Miller, hires her as a translator for a war crimes trial.

As she becomes more deeply involved in the Frankfurt Trials, Eva begins to question her family's silence on the war and her future. Why do her parents refuse to talk about what happened? What are they hiding? Does she really love Jürgen and will she be happy as a housewife? Though it means going against the wishes of her family and her lover, Eva, propelled by her own conscience , joins a team of fiery prosecutors determined to bring the Nazis to justice—a decision that will help change the present and the past of her nation.

Publisher:
Released:
Dec 3, 2019
ISBN:
9780062960252
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Annette Hess grew up in Hanover and currently lives in Lower Saxony. She initially studied painting and interior design, and later scenic writing. She worked as a freelance journalist and assistant director, before launching a successful career as a screenwriter.  Her critically-acclaimed and popular television series Weissensee, Ku'damm 56 and Ku'damm 59 are credited with revitalizing German TV. She has received numerous awards from the Grimme Prize to the Frankfurt Prize to the German Television Prize. The German House is her first novel.



Reviews

What people think about The German House

4.4
79 ratings / 11 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    In this newly translated debut, Eva takes a job as a translator for what turns out to be the case brought to trial against a group of SS officers that worked at the death camps during WWII. Set in the 1960's, this novel reminds us that history plus time allows for the distance to forget & secrets always find a way to work themselves free.
  • (4/5)
    I liked it. It wasn't a real WOW... but such a different look at WWII's aftermath.
    Sometimes a bit flat, but it is a translation so maybe that had something to do with it.

    This would be a great book for a discussion! The main character has to face some hard truths- I'm still conflicted.
  • (3/5)
    I was interested to read this book since I wasn't very familiar with the Auschwitz Trials. Though the trials are a key part of this book, the focus was not on the trials so much as on the way Eva's participation as a translator changed her relationships with everyone she held dear.Overall this was an interesting read, but I do have a couple complaints. I couldn't figure out why a whole storyline was devoted to Eva's sister. It seemed unrelated and was just strange. I wasn't a fan of Eva's love story either. What did she see in Jürgen? They seemed really mismatched, couldn't communicate well, and in general didn't seem to enjoy each other's company. I'm not sure how I felt about the ending, either.Thank you BookishFirst for the review copy of this book.
  • (5/5)
    When I first saw this historical fiction book was about the Frankfurt Auschwitz Trials of 1963 I knew I had to read it. Even though I have read many historical fiction and nonfiction books about World War 2, I don't often read books that explore the postwar years. The aftermath of the war is something I'm thankful the author deemed worthy of writing about as this was a fascinating read for me.It's 1963 and Eva Bruhns is twenty-four years old and living with her family in Frankfurt. Given her young age during World War 2, she really doesn't have many memories of that time period. She is working as a translator and is hoping her wealthy boyfriend, Jürgen Schoormann, will soon propose marriage. A man named David Miller wants to hire Eva as a translator for an upcoming war crimes trial, and that doesn't sit too well with Jürgen. Eva is horrified at what she learns at the trial and it weighs heavily on her mind.Eva is the main character and heart of the story but you do get the opportunity to get into the minds of the other characters as well. Near the beginning of the book, it was slightly jarring when you would be following one character and then without any warning it just bounced to a different character. This was something I adapted to fairly quickly, however I could see how the disjointed transitions might drive other readers nuts.I felt like there were two parts to the story. You have the trial which goes into detail about the atrocities of the war, and specifically what took place at the Auschwitz concentration camp. But the other compelling part of the story was Eva. I don't want to get into specifics about the plot and get into spoiler territory but I thought the author did a good job showing the attitudes and mindsets of the people in Germany during that time period. I lived in Germany for a few years not that long ago and actually lived not too far from Frankfurt. And I'll admit that might be part of the reason I was so into this story as in my mind I kept thinking about the differences between that time period and now. One of the more interesting things I learned while living there was it is mandatory for Germany students to learn about the Holocaust in school and many are required to tour a concentration camp or visit a museum so they can learn about the horrible things that occurred so it may never happen again.The only small criticism I have of the book is in my opinion Annegret's storyline wasn't entirely necessary. I would though be willing to change my mind if I ever found out the author's reasons for including it. Some more context would probably help.Highly recommend reading especially if you are a frequent reader of World War 2 historical fiction.Thank you to the publisher and BookishFirst for sending me an advance reader's copy! I was under no obligation to post a review here and all views expressed are my honest opinion.
  • (4/5)
    Eva is asked to translate for Auschwitz trials in Frankfurt in 1963. Her parents run a restaurant, and she has a posh boyfriend. She's hoping Jürgen will propose. The trials affect her: she learns about the horrors of the camp as she translates the witnesses' experiences. Hess uses the real trial evidence in the book. Those accused follow the standard defence: they deny they were there, suggest dates were wrong, that they had no responsibility etc. Eva is gradually overwhelmed by what she translates, but finds that her family want to deny everything. She has strange childhood memories that she can't explain, and meets a young Canadian lawyer for the prosecution who takes the case personally.Hard-hitting account of attempts to deny the Holocaust after the war.
  • (5/5)
    A perspective on the holocaust that unfolds through emotions and facts. The impact on both those who suffered the cruelty. The hardened lies by those who delivered the cruelty. And then those who knew but did nothing ..: and their whys. The final truth at the end of story leaves one helpless and powerless. Recommend.