Marquise's Reviews > The Ragged Edge of Night

The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker
Rate this book
Clear rating

A wonderful, wonderful novel about the struggles of an ex-friar in Nazi Germany, when he has to balance the needs of his family with the demands of his conscience to resist the regime amidst the ever-present fear of being seized by the secret police for his subversive activities. It's based on the life story of the author's grandfather-in-law, believable and historically correct, and told in a lovely prose though I bet not everyone will like the present tense narration (I'm no fan myself, but it didn't bother me).

The start is slow, for which persistence is recommended, as it becomes quite absorbing soon enough and turns into a very satisfying read. What I appreciated the most was the "everyday citizen doing everyday yet not quite 'everyday' stuff" feel of the plot. There's no wartime swashbuckling, no shoehorned Big Names, no frontline battle, etc. It's just about a German like any other German from the time, but one that's determined to do his utmost to "get Hitler's goat" (as the author put it in her Note), showing that you didn't need big gestures, huge and daring assassination plots & rescues, Jew hiding, and so on, to oppose the Nazi party. You could still resist in the quietness of your sleepy little town, doing whatever was necessary for the right choice to prevail over whatever the Party's ideology dictated. That's not something I've found much in WWII fiction, as anything to do with resisting Hitler seems to be always either about the opposite side, French/Dutch/whatever, or about the Big Name resistors like the Stauffenberg clique and the like, when they're homegrown subversives.
31 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Ragged Edge of Night.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

Started Reading
September 22, 2018 – Finished Reading
September 23, 2018 – Shelved

No comments have been added yet.