Talented musician, Lili von Rittersburg du Mertz Tarnekow’s life in 1925 Berlin is developing nicely. Born of an aristocratic family the young Lili seTalented musician, Lili von Rittersburg du Mertz Tarnekow’s life in 1925 Berlin is developing nicely. Born of an aristocratic family the young Lili sees her future in the warmth of a loving family, an elegant home and the attention and praise of notable people. Her music has garnered the attention of the rising star on the German landscape, Hitler, who Lili finds charismatic and charming.
Lili’s father doesn’t see Hitler the same way. Fearing for the future of his country he whisks the family from Lili’s beloved home to New York City. In New York, 13-year-old Lili is teased and demeaned as a foreigner. She hates this new country and yearns to return home to where the new leader, Hitler, has promised to make Germany great again (sound familiar?). Lili finds solace in the German youth group in the U.S. but she thinks only of all that she was missing. The relationship between Lili and her father grows caustic and when Lili finishes high school she manages to talk her father letting her return to Germany. He concedes wanting to give Lili a chance to quell her longing for home. In Heidelberg Lili lives with her aunt and creates a new life for herself, oblivious to the negative changes she sees all around her. Until one day she experiences the pain of the Third Reich and realizes her father was right. By then, it is too late.
Fatherland is a well-researched, beautifully descriptive novel of this period of history. More importantly the book’s perspective of a young girl who believes in the cause of the Third Reich is unique and timely. Lili’s journey provides important lessons for our modern times....more
“In some ways, you could say, this book is as much an apology as it is a battle cry,” says Kelly Valen in her new book The Twisted Sisterhood. Thus, “In some ways, you could say, this book is as much an apology as it is a battle cry,” says Kelly Valen in her new book The Twisted Sisterhood. Thus, the tone is set for this brave and smart book about the pain and joy of female relationships.
I’ve always been one of those overly sensitive types that can relive every criticism uttered to me since middle school. Apparently I’m not alone. Valen’s study of over 3000 women discusses the long-term suffering from “social wounding,” an insidious form of control wrought by females to express power over other females. On the surface, we should be able to forgive, forget, and move on, yet we don’t. The criticisms we hear are stored in the part of our brain that has a very long memory.
If you are a woman with conflicts with female coworkers, bosses, a sister, a daughter-in-law, friends, or you are or a mother of girls, this book is for you. We women and girls are often the victims and sometimes the perpetrators of female abuse. The sting of our criticisms, and the harm they may have caused, is as biting as the denigration we’ve endured. We women must take responsibility for our own behaviors. Being kind, tolerant and inclusive can improve our own dignity and self-respect as well as that of the sisterhood. Valen’s book steers us through the emotional twists and turns of girl world toward the warmth, intimacy and kindness our gender is so capable of. M.K. Gerritz ...more