The Dutch wife

by Keith, Ellen, 1989-

Format: Print Book [2018]
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Summary
A sweeping story of survival during World War II

Amsterdam, May 1943. As the tulips bloom and the Nazis tighten their grip across the city, the last signs of Dutch resistance are being swept away. Marijke de Graaf and her husband are arrested and deported to different concentration camps in Germany. Marijke is given a terrible choice: to suffer a slow death in the labor camp or--for a chance at survival--to join the camp brothel.

On the other side of the barbed wire, SS officer Karl MYller arrives at the camp hoping to live up to his father's expectations of wartime glory. When he encounters the newly arrived Marijke, this meeting changes their lives forever.

Woven into the narrative across space and time is Luciano Wagner's ordeal in 1977 Buenos Aires, during the heat of the Argentine Dirty War. In his struggle to endure military captivity, he searches for ways to resist from a prison cell he may never leave.

From the Netherlands to Germany to Argentina, The Dutch Wife braids together the stories of three individuals who share a dark secret and are entangled in two of the most oppressive reigns of terror in modern history. This is a novel about the blurred lines between love and lust, abuse and resistance, and right and wrong, as well as the capacity for ordinary people to persevere and do the unthinkable in extraordinary circumstances.
Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Keith's lackluster debut tells the stories of an SS officer in love with a married Dutch woman who's been forced into prostitution by the Nazis in 1943, and the disappearance of a student revolutionary some 30 years later in Argentina. After being arrested in Amsterdam, beautiful Marijke de Graaf is separated from her beloved husband, Theo. Upon learning that Theo has been taken to Buchenwald, she accepts an offer to work there in the prisoners' brothel. There, she catches the eye of Karl Müller, an officer on the rise who is ambivalent about Nazi ideology, and becomes romantically involved with him while still holding a torch for Theo. This story dovetails with that of Luciano Wagner, a student in Buenos Aires in 1977, who's kidnapped by government officials who are trying to quash an uprising. Luciano is only tangentially involved with the movement, drawn to it mostly by his crush on his friend Fabián, but he's nonetheless interrogated and tortured. With the help of Gabriel, a fellow prisoner, he's later assigned a job handling top-secret files, which he tries to smuggle out. On top of the uneven writing, Keith's characterization of Karl as a conflicted man trying to be two people is handled without nuance, as is Luciano's strained relationship with his disapproving father. The novel's two stories conflate in a poignant resolution, but it isn't enough to rescue an unsuccessful narrative. (Sept.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Concentration camps -- Germany -- Fiction.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Fiction.
Brothels -- Germany -- Fiction.
Argentina -- History -- Dirty War, 1976-1983 -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
War fiction.
Novels.
Publisher Toronto, Ontario :[2018]
Language English
Notes "A novel"--Cover.
Description 339 pages ; 23 cm
ISBN 9780778308607
077830860X
9780778369769
0778369765
Other Classic View