Never has a quote been so relevant to EVERY book worm around the globe (and further!). SO many books, but so little time! The same can also be said for book bloggers. We read that many books so we can share them with our audience, but we find ourselves short of time to write all our thoughts down in a comprehensive review.
This brings us nicely to ‘Mini Review Monday’. A place where, to compliment our current content, we can share with you some of our initial thoughts on books we have been reading over the last week.
Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen
Catherine Morland embarks on a journey from the world of books, via her relationship with Henry Tilney and her stay at the vast Northanger Abbey, into the real world. Her route to maturity is a cruel one, as she comes to realise that not everyone is out to make her into the heroine she would so dearly love to become.
This was read as part of the Ardently Austen Book Club being held on Instagram.
I found this a refreshing change to Austen’s previous work, as it
pokes gentle fun at her previous novels.
This book is centered around the main character Catherine, who hopes
to be the heroine of her own story, hoping to find her hero but as
this is real life not a novel things do not always go smoothly. I was
surprised to find and when visiting friends you were expected to stay
for at the very very least a month if not longer! I loved the
descriptions of society in the Georgian era, and learning about how
the other half lived in this time (the more well off classes).
I enjoyed the humour in this story and found it to be a surprisingly
quick read. This will definitely be a re-read for me in the future.
The Medal Of Purity – B P Smythe
The harrowing account of a Nazi family in World War II. Karl Borch is a senior SS officer, who is promoted to commandant of Pullhausen concentration camp.
Karl’s brief as an eugenics physician, is to create an Aryan master race by eradicating genetic defects from society and physically enhancing humans through experimentation and surgical procedure, while maintaining a holiday camp atmosphere for Nazi party propaganda. This eugenics directive has come straight from Heinrich Himmler himself.
As the war progresses, his son and daughter learn more about the atrocities taking place in the Jewish ghettoes and concentration camps of Poland and Germany. Magda, Karl’s daughter, takes her own stand, making dreadful sacrifices. When the war is finally over and the camps are liberated, Karl and his fellow SS officers including Greta Binz’ the evil female camp guard, learn what it is like to be the persecuted hunted ones.
The story opens with two teenage girls from very different families, recruited as eager ambitious conscripts into the Hitler Youth. In the first chapter, it is 1930. Greta Binz is from abusive, God-fearing parents, who despise Hitler’s ideology. Greta, taking exception to their criticism of the Fuhrer, and their scoffing at her pride for being awarded the “Medal of Purity” – given to racially pure members of the girls Hitler Youth, shows her brutality by faking an accident and burning her parents to death.
Eight years later, 14-year-old Magda Borch, on the other hand, is caring and sensitive, from a well-to-do SS family. Whilst Karl’s wife, Frieda, goes along with it all under sufferance, and in secret has Jew friends. Magda’s 11-year-old brother, Martin, is also a keen Hitler Youth conscript.
At school, Magda is also being presented with the “Medal of Purity”, for providing the purest Aryan family tree during lessons in class. “The Medal of Purity” shows how decent German families can slip into a way of life that feels good at the cost of slave labour, and how ordinary people can get caught up in the frenzy of National Socialism, no matter the cost, as the Borch family find out.
I received this book in return for an honest review.
I found this book a very interesting novel as we follow the Borch
family who live in Germany with the book starting with Hitlers rise
before the Second World War. Both of the Borch children are involved
in the Hitler Youth and their father is promoted within the SS to
commandant of the Pullhausen concentration camp this book has given an
insight into how the volume of propaganda they were confronted with
affected their relationships with family and neighbours, and some of
the horrors that was allowed to happen in the camps to further the
rise of the Reich.
A compelling read that I found I could not put down, the characters as
soon as I thought I had them figured out surprised me with their
I would recommend this to readers of war fiction.
Have you read any of the books above? Let us know your thoughts!