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Eva's Cousin
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Eva's Cousin

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  191 ratings  ·  27 reviews
Berchtesgaden, Germany, is a beautiful place, set among the gentle meadow-clad hills rising to the sheer heights of bare Alpine peaks. It is here where an elderly woman arrives and recollects her past—and her peripheral role in a chapter of world history. She walks along a beaten path, which has come into being because so many tourists have ventured this way . . . to see s ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Ballantine Books (first published September 1st 2000)
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Lauren Stoolfire
In the summer of 1944, Marlene is excited when her glamorous cousin, Eva Braun invites her to come to Hitler's Bavarian mountain retreat, Berghof. The Berg is a strange sort of paradise, a world of opulence and imminent danger, of freedom and surveillance. Delighted by her cousin's attention, Marlene tries to understand the connection between Eva and Adolph Hitler. In her own way, Marlene begins to quietly rebel by listening to the BBC, which is forbidden by the Fuhrer. An act of mercy toward a ...more
Doreen
Although this is a novel, it is partially based on memories of Gertrude Weisker, cousin of Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress.

Marlene, the protagonist and narrator, spends the last year of the war at Hitler's Bavarian mountain retreat. Eva is lonely and needs to be entertained while Hitler is away, so she invites her twenty-year-old cousin to join her at The Berghof.

Life at the retreat is luxurious, and the women are isolated from the war; however, reality does gradually intrude via trips to nearby M
...more
Amy Ridenour
Fantastic. I love fiction that illuminates humanity - especially the gritty, uncomfortable sides, and explores how the seemingly impossible becomes everyday life. This is a fictional work based on the author's interviews with Eva Braun's cousin, who stayed at Hitler's Alpine Resort/Bunker and Nazi headquarters during and up until the end of the Second World War. Through the viewpoint of a twenty year old girl it shows how an entire population caught up in nationalism, or just young and naive and ...more
Olean Public Library
Based on the true experiences of Eva Braun's (Hitler's mistress) cousin, Gertrude Weisker. A fictionalized (never sure of what is fact or fiction) account of time spent with her cousin Eva at Hitler's fortress in the Alps. A fascinating look at a very insular world and the allure the Nazi's had for the young German cousins. Reads more like a memoir than fiction. Really piqued my interest in Eva Braun - what motivated her to stay with Hitler until the bitter end and take her own life? Overall, a ...more
Diana Stevan
I found it worth reading because of the history. It showed a side of Hitler's world that hasn't often been revealed in other books. Though he doesn't show up in the novel, he's very much there. What bothered me was the omissions. The author slid over the fact that millions of Jews were being murdered at the time. There were only two references in the whole novel to Jews, and none mentioned the horror. It was as if the "problem" didn't exist. Maybe this is how the majority of Germans dealt with w ...more
Anne Sanow
Fascinating, fictionalized experience of a young woman who holes up with her cousin, Eva Braun, at Hitler's Bavarian getaway during the waning years of the war. For historical detail it's superb; because the central character is based on a real person (the author interviewed her) there's also a tendency to overexplain, which I find less compelling if only because the idea of self-interrogation is such a predominate current "project" in German literature that can try to hard to tip the reader's p ...more
Bunnychip9
Sibylle Knauss has written a truly beautiful book in Eva's Cousin. How bland yet how fulfilling a title for a book based on the real life experiences of a woman whose identity became enmeshed in her relation to Germany's supreme ruler of that time, Adolf Hitler. Set in Berchtesgaden, in Hitler's own home, with the towering Alps for a backdrop, and the despairing end of World War II, Eva's Cousin is a collage of memories, and time set against the superimposition of evil. There is a personal side ...more
Marge Prohofsky
This was a difficult book to get into. I think part of the problem was the translation. I didn't understand (the main character) Marlene's motivations until half-way through. I was determined to read the book because of the historical connection that Marlene has with Adolf Hitler on a personal level through her cousin, Eva Braun. I found it disturbing to catch a glimpse of the inner-circle of women and staff associated with Hitler's mountain retreat.
Cynthia
This story was amazing. Eva Braun's cousin, Gertrude Weisker, shared her story with the author after 50 years of silence.
Marcia Chocinsky
I absolutely loved the way this book was written. This historical fictinalized account of Marlene's year spent with her cousin Eva Braun is based on interviews with Eva's actual cousin Gertrude who spent almost a year with Eva at the very end of the war. While she never met Hitler she walked and lived in his home and observed her cousin and others who worked for Hitler for quite awhile. Tha author (or should I attribute this to the translator?) writes beautifully, almost poetically and with grea ...more
Melissa Cavanaugh
I am still sorting out my feelings about this one. Overall, I quite liked it. As a fictional account of the last days of the Nazi hangers-on in Hitler's Alpine bunker, told from the perspective of Eva Braun's cousin, I first felt that the writing did not quite invoke the time and place in the way that I might have hoped. I came to realize, though, that I was really expecting a lot more melodrama and decided that the author's low-key approach did a good job of conveying just how mundane horror ca ...more
Dgoll
This is a very interesting book, a historical fiction based on the actual memories of Eva Braun's cousin and the time she spent with Eva at Hitler's Bavarian mountain retreat, Berghof. It is a fascinating look at 1944/1945 Nazi culture and the complicity of the average citizen. The book was a bit slow in the middle but a great read nonetheless. It reminds me of Farewell My Queen, a novel about the last days of Marie Antoinette. Very glad I read this.
Rlabbe 2748
Loved this. I think one of the worst things we can do for our younger generations is portray Hitler as some nefarious monster at a period in history when everyone was simply crazy. Yes he was evil. Obviously. But there was a presence about him, something that drew people and made them want to listen, made them trust him. This book captures that. It's an important thing to consider. Never again.
Debbie
Haunting novel based on the life of the cousin of Hitler's mistress.
Lauren
i heard a couple of book clubs were doing this book, so i thought i would be worth pickng up. it's basically about life in WWII from the viewpoint of Eva Braun's cousin. i went ahead and read the whole book, hoping that it would start hooking me partway through... that didn't happen. i could not get into the writing style nor the characters nor the story. bummer.
Bernie Tomasso
The historical accuracy was fascinating but the book is a difficult read because it was translated from the German text and describes in great detail some very minor events.
Susan
I have been fascinated by the thought process of would you recognize evil if you saw it and what would you do. This book is based on conversations with Eva Braun's cousin and details the last fall and winter before the end of the war.
Bernadette
Took a long time to read. Not sure if it was the translation or my interest. Interesting, if scary, look at WWII from the other side. The survivors from both sides must have really had a lot to deal with. Would recommend.
Marguerite
The first 100 pages were OK, but the rest of the book wandered. I lost interest. The book pales next to the movie "Downfall," which covers the same events in history and some of the same characters.
Susanne
Our 10th pick. Susanne suggested it. Darcie, Kirsten, Marti, Susanne and Mary met at Mary's house with J, Isaac and Maddox in August of '07.
Crystal Marie
This book was a little hard to stay focused on yet it was very interesting to hear someones story who was so close to Hitlers lover.
Isolabella
A fascinating observation from Eva's cousin Gertrude Weisker as told to the author. So mesmerizing that I could not put the book down.
Mary
Our tenth pick. Darcie, Kirsten, Marti, Susanne and I met at my house with all three babies in August of '07.
Ruth
Based on the real life cousin of Eva Braun. Amazing.
Vickie
interesting view of the end of nazi germany
Jennifer
Feb 06, 2008 Jennifer added it
Shelves: book-i-read
Totally different side of the story. I liked it.
Christine
Christine marked it as to-read
Jul 02, 2015
Amanda
Amanda marked it as to-read
Jun 25, 2015
Deeon
Deeon marked it as to-read
Jun 20, 2015
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Sibylle Knauss is the author of eight novels. She is professor of dramaturgy and scriptwriting at the Baden-Württemberg Academy of Film. Eva's Cousin is her first book to be translated into English. She lives near Stuttgart in Germany.
More about Sibylle Knauss...
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