Holly Weiss's Reviews > All That I Am

All That I Am by Anna Funder
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's review
Apr 22, 2012

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bookshelves: 2011-release, historical-fictionistas
Read from April 13 to 22, 2012

3 1/2 stars.

This book displays great respect for people acting in heroic ways during wartime. Set in the 1920s and 1930s, we follow Ruth, Dora, Hans and Toller living in Germany. They work as part of the underground against the Third Reich. They are expelled outside of the Reich’s borders and wind up in London as refugees.

Ms. Funder helps us understand the premise of her book through the voice of two minor characters. “All that we are not stares back at all that we are.” P. 96“ We must believe in God…because if we don’t we will have to believe in man, and then we will only be disappointed.” P. 237 We learn, however that some of the main characters exceed expectations and act courageously and with little fear for their own fates in order to inform England of Hitler’s threat.

The premise is extraordinary, and is based on true events. I found the book disjointed. The point of view and time periods switch often. This complicates the reading, despite the fact that chapter headings reveal the character speaking. The outcome grabs you by the collar, but the “getting there” is a bit of a maze.

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