Meikoyim's Reviews > Hitler's Niece

Hitler's Niece by Ron Hansen
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's review
Jul 11, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: historical-fiction
Read from July 04 to 11, 2011

At the start of the book, I couldn't quite get into it. Then I found out this is the same author that wrote The assassination if Jesse James by the coward wotshisname, and I thought, shoot, another book I'd probably never finish...(i never did finish that movie, really not my cup of tea...didn't even touch that book).

The writing is fluent, the words he chose to use in German was not. Maybe it's to contribute exotic feelings, but (and I was born in Germany and lived there for 8 years, so technically it's my mother tongue and homeland) c'mon, what was ever exotic about Germany?

I spoke that language daily for the first 8 years of my life yet I found the ones inserted showy, most of them were unnecessary, and it made an already very history text book like novel even harder to swallow.

It does get better, like 30-40% in. I was constantly distracted by other novels and have finished two in the meantime, so was forcing myself to read on. After I broke that 35% barrier it did get a lot easier, maybe because it started focusing on Geli more.

Geli is, and will remain a mystery. Hitler has always been a subject that the Germans and Austrian allike would never try to mention willingly, that bit of history erased from their memory unless you actually go to historical sites. I heard things have changed in recent years, but you could never expect a person to lift his own scabs and reveal his wounds, that's just too cruel. Hitler mentioned by every other country seems to be less of a human being and more of a monster. As in this book.

Half way through reading, I looked up these people online. I found a photo of Geli, the one mentioned in the book. I also found photos of Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress and wife for less than 24 hrs. They seemed strikingly similar.

I'm a soppy person, so I have to admit that towards the end of Geli I shed some tears. Not because she seemed unhappy, that happens way too often. But because she seemed trapped. Whether it was as the book says or trapped by love though, I have no idea.

It's not a bad read, just not as enthralling as I expected the topic to be.

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Reading Progress

1.0% "hitler, an interesting choice of topic, considering the hints, the book itself seems to just further the 'sicko' image branded on him...we shall see..."
5.0% "heavy...that's my impression so far.."
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