Book review:The Shipwreck of a Nation. Germany: An Inside View by H. Peter Nennhaus (9781432734039)

1432734032.01._SX50_SCLZZZZZZZ_H. Peter Nennhaus grew up in Berlin during WWII; a volatile time in German and world history.  The book is different in that he tells the story from a German boy’s point of view who saw things differently at that time in history.  You can see Mr. Nennhaus’s interest in history by reading the historical events in this book.  He tries to link these events to what was happening in his life at that same time.

A memorable scene was when his father, who worked for the German Ministry of Agriculture, was trying to deter the young 15-year-old Peter from wanting to join Hitler’s war.

It was not how he said it; he spoke with fatherly concern, earnest and like a friend.  It was what he said.  It not only contradicted my innermost feelings and desires, but it also violated my idealism, which had been burned and hardened in the patriotic kiln of war….I was on the threshold of what I had been waiting for these past five years, and now Father told me it was wrong.

Despite his dad’s hopes, Peter was drafted at 16 years old to attend pre-military training at the Adolf-Hitler School in the Swiss Alps and he finds out first hand that the war is going no where.

The prose went back and forth from historical events to events happening in his families lives which only seemed to slow down my reading.

Mr. Nennhaus’s account of his life at this frightening time in history is verypersonal and heartbreaking and I commend him and his family for the courage and perseverance they displayed in trying to survive such a horrible event.

Book review: Winter in June by Kathryn Miller Haines (9780061579561)

a9f88ec6560661a9839d1e45ae78f358Third in the Rosie Winters series, Ms. Haines takes us to the South Pacific during World War II. Rosie and gal pal Jayne have joined the USO and are headed to the South Pacific to try to find Rosie’s ex-boyfriend, Jack, who is missing in action (MIA). The minute they step foot on the boat, the dead body of an actress/former WAC (Women’s Army Corp) is found shot and lying in the water.

What a start to an enthralling ride. Rosie and Jayne are wonderfully witty and downright stubborn in their pursuit of finding Jack, and their having to deal with military higher ups and movie stars—all who have something to hide–is an especially difficult challenge. The military slang was a delight and the USO events on the islands were memorable.

The historical settings seemed well researched and the characters had a down-to-earth realness to them, but the story was a little too neat and convenient when all those familiar faces were popping up in the same place. Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and would like to go back and read the first two books in the Rosie Winters series.