Book of the Week: The Girl From Munich by Tania Blanchard

Book of the Week: The Girl From Munich by Tania Blanchard

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Historical fiction lovers rejoice! Here’s a debut from an Australian author to set your heart racing. Tania Blanchard’s The Girl from Munich is a compelling love story set in Germany during the closing years of the Second World War. It’s moving, tense and deliciously gripping.

girl-from-munichLotte is an intelligent and beautiful young German woman living in Munich. From a wealthy household, she is mostly shielded from the ravages of the war, until its closing years. She has a passion for photography but, with Germany’s foundering fortunes, her career dreams are foiled and instead she takes a position as a secretary at the local Luftwaffe office. She becomes engaged to her childhood sweetheart, medical student Heinrich who is from a good family and loves Lotte wholeheartedly. It’s a choice encouraged by her determined Mutti, who has already suffered the loss of her two other children.

Lotte is a loyal German – schooled in the ways of Nazi regime – and she remains devoted to the Fuhrer, even as it becomes apparent to many Germans that he’s responsible for bringing the country to its knees. As the War rages and the German position deteriorates, with allied forces moving in from the West and the dreaded Russian army closing in from the East, Lotte’s family is torn apart. Her father is called to Berlin and her mother escapes to the country, while Lotte’s fiancé is finally called up and must attend a field hospital in the perilous east.

As her work becomes more intense Lotte becomes secretly and strongly attached to her superior Erich, whose wife and children are missing in another part of Germany. Lotte is devoted to her work and continues with her duties even when the office is evacuated of Munich.

The story follows Lotte’s journey from Munich to an American controlled district where her life is increasingly in danger as the war comes to an end and loyalties are torn and atrocities committed. We feel the drama of Lotte’s personal life and the consequences of her decisions as she must choose between the safety of a wealthy childhood suitor and the pull of a deep passion. She faces moral decisions as the war forces choices unthinkable in peacetime. We also trace Lotte’s transformation from an ardent, indoctrinated German girl into someone who realises the true horrors that really took place in her own backyard.

This is a story that’s full of twists and turns as the universal turmoil of war causes havoc among families. It’s fascinating to hear the story from the perspective of German civilians and it’s not surprising to hear that The Girl from Munich was inspired by Blanchard’s own grandmother’s real life stories. This is historical fiction that pleasingly combines authentic historical backdrop with well thought-out romance and drama.

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Tania Blanchard lives in Sydney with her husband and three children. Coming from a family with rich cultural heritage with a German mother and Italian father, stories have always been in her blood. Following a career in physiotherapy, it was only when she had her family that she decided to return to her passion of writing. Her debut novel is The Girl from Munich, the story she has always wanted to write, inspired by the fascinating stories told by her German grandmother, and she is currently working on the sequel, set in Australia in the 1950s. Tania is excited to have found her light bulb moment, her love for writing historical fiction. She looks forward to delving further into her interests of history and family stories to enrich and bring to life the many ideas inspired by the amazing tales she has gathered over the years.

More: Sydney Morning Herald interview with Tania Blanchard here, purchase a copy, or start reading now.

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          Publisher details

          The Girl From Munich
          Author
          Tania Blanchard
          Publisher
          Simon and Schuster
          Released
          01 September, 2017

          Synopsis

          Germany, 1943. The choices she makes will change her life forever.Growing up in Hitler’s Germany, Charlotte von Klein has big dreams for the future. Her mind is full of plans for a sumptuous wedding to her childhood sweetheart Heinrich while working for the Luftwaffe, proudly giving her all for the Fatherland.But in 1943, the tide of the war is turning against Germany, and Lotte’s life of privilege and comfort begins to collapsing around her. As Hitler’s Reich abandons Germany and the country falls to the Allied forces, Lotte is forced to flee from the unfolding chaos to the country with the darkly attractive Erich Drescher, her Luftwaffe superior.Amid the danger, pain and heartbreak of a country turning on itself, Lotte must forge a new life for herself. But as the country struggles to find its future, shadows of the past come rushing back and Lotte finds herself questioning everything she has fought for - love, duty and freedom.About the AuthorTania lives in Sydney with her husband and three children. Coming from a family with rich cultural heritage with a German mother and Italian father, stories have always been in her blood. Following a career in physiotherapy, it was only when she had her family that she decided to return to her passion of writing. Her debut novel is The Girl from Munich, the story she has always wanted to write, inspired by the fascinating stories told by her German grandmother, and she is currently working on the sequel, set in Australia in the 1950s.Tania is excited to have found her light bulb moment, her love for writing historical fiction. She looks forward to delving further into her interests of history and family stories to enrich and bring to life the many ideas inspired by the amazing tales she has gathered over the years.
          Tania Blanchard
          About the author

          Tania Blanchard

          Tania Blanchard was inspired to write by the fascinating stories her German grandmother told her as a child. Coming from a family with a rich cultural heritage, stories have always been in her blood. Her first novel published by Simon & Schuster Australia, The Girl from Munich, was a runaway bestseller, as was the sequel, Suitcase of Dreams published in 2018. Tania lives in Sydney with her husband and three children and is working on her third novel, Letters from Berlin, to be published in 2020.

          Books by Tania Blanchard

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