Sunday, 9 March 2014

February Book Review

I only read 2 books in February

A fictionalised account of the Kaiser Wilhelm’s last years in Nazi-occupied Holland.
It is 1940 and the exiled Kaiser is living in Holland, at his palace Huis Doorn.The old German king spends his days chopping logs and musing on what might have been.
When the Nazis invade Holland, the Kaiser’s Dutch staff are replaced by SS guards, led by young, eager Untersturmfuhrer Krebbs, and an unlikely relationship develops between the king and his keeper. While they agree on the rightfulness of German expansion and on holding the country’s Jewish population accountable for all ills, they disagree on the solutions. Krebbs’s growing attraction and love affair with Akki, a Jewish maid in the house, further undermines his belief in Nazism. But as the tides of war roll around them, all three find themselves increasingly compromised and gravely at risk.
This subtle, tender novel borrows heavily from real history and events, but remains a work of superlative, literary fiction.Through Judd’s depiction of the Lear-like Kaiser and the softening of brutal Krebbs, the novel draws unique parallels between Germany at the turn of the 20th century and Hitler’s Germany.

I'm really unsure about this book, it had been on the shelf at work for sometime & as it was a thin book I thought I'd give it ago. It took me a while to get into & I can't say I really enjoyed it. It spent so long building up to what could've be good ending but by which time I'd lost interest! But I  did like the way it mixed fact & fiction. 
Has anyone else read it?

World's End is the story of Donald Wheal¹s childhood in Chelsea's World's End at the height of the Second World War.

Not for him the privileged bohemian world of Chelsea a few hundred yards away. Descended from rural immigrants, ladies of the night and bare-knuckle fighters, Donald Wheal¹s upbringing took place amidst grimy factories and generating plants, illegal street bookmakers, dog tracks, tenements and street walkers who plied their trade in Piccadilly and Soho.

World's End is the story of how he and his family struggled free from this underclass. It is also an individual history of the Second World War, of a small boy¹s grappling with the bitter separation of evacuation, the return to an already battered London, the wonderland of bomb-damaged houses to play in, and the nights of terror as the Blitz returned.

Now this is my sort of book!
Not the best wartime memoirs I've read but I still really enjoyed it. It makes you think how you would cope if you had to live through war. I can say I'd be pretty rubbish & most of the children who get my bus wouldn't cope either…… & thankfully we won't have too.
If you like this sort of book I would defiantly recommend this one.

I'm on my 2nd book for March but it's a 700 pager so I think I might only manage 2 again. This will be my 7th book of the year so I think I'm doing ok!


  1. Thanks Josie Mary! I might well look at that first one. As to the second, I will keep the title in mind (no bomb fell on Worcester but hubby's childhood was not too different!)
    All the best,

  2. I think I'll try World's End Jo! Love a good book recommendation xx

    Thanks for popping over to Thriftwood, lovely to see you!

    Love Claire xx