For this blog tour, we’re looking at an excellent book where I found some of the secondary characters even more intriguing than our leads. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer.
Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:
Evil Isn’t Born. It Is Created. Of all the WWII historical fiction books I’ve read over the years – and at this point, it is a decent number – this is the first to highlight one particular scenario that I’m almost positive has impacted my own life. Specifically, Rimmer does a phenomenal job with one of her characters fighting in WWII and having a particular experience that I’m nearly positive (as much as I can be, given the dearth of records) my own grandfather had a very similar one. She shows how, particularly if the soldier perhaps had already endured some level of trauma, this particular experience (and I’m being intentionally vague to avoid spoilers) could truly push them off the deep end and take them from troubled-yet-manageable to outright evil. But even there, Rimmer takes care to show that there is still hope that the person can be redeemed. Similarly, she also uses another character in a similar mold, but at a much different age and on the opposite side of the war. Rimmer does a great job with making the story hit notes not always seen in this genre, and in the process manages to humanize many types of people that are all too often dehumanized by various groups today. Truly an astounding work, and very much recommended.
After the jump, an excerpt from the book followed by the “publisher details” – book description, author bio, and social media and buy links.
Continue reading “#BlogTour: The German Wife by Kelly Rimmer”
This week we’re looking at a dense, dark, and disturbing Southern Gothic tale from a debut writer who clearly has a strong career ahead of him. This week we’re looking at The Cicada Tree by Robert Gwaltney.
Dense, Dark, And Disturbing Southern Gothic. Gwaltney here manages to craft a Southern Gothic tale that will give fans of the genre chills. The world as seen through the eyes of 3rd grader Analiese… well, who knew that the third grade schoolyard could be so reminiscent of the corporate boardroom and its constant behind the scenes power plays? The back third is where the book gets particularly disturbing, as a massive brood of cicadas emerges to devastating effect right as the events of the last several weeks in Analiese’s life begin to come to a head. The finale will disturb many for its revelations, and for those that like perfectly tied up endings… be prepared, you don’t get that here. Which actually speaks to just how well Gwaltney commands his genre here. Indeed, the one knock I have on this book is just how very *dense* it is. It is supposedly around 300 pages, but reads as though it were twice as long. Still, the tale is intriguing enough that you’re going to want to stay in and see just what happens next, and Gwaltney here truly does show great prowess as a storyteller. Very much recommended.
Detailed Examination Of Forgotten Elements Of A Legend. I grew up listening to Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and others of that generation via Country Gold Saturday Night on the radio in the late 80s and early 90s. My family would pile in the pickup truck, parents in the cab, myself and my two younger brothers in the back, and we would ride the backroads in the boonies of northwest Georgia between Atlanta and Chatanooga, listening to the radio and feeling the wind buffet our bodies. Honestly some of my most fond memories of the carefree era of my childhood, and Johnny Cash played a role there – a role he never knew about. And while I’ve known of him since then as a country music legend, I had never considered his politics or messages.
This book changes that.
This book, with its chapters focusing on specific elements of Cash’s political beliefs and how they developed, is less biography and more analysis of how the given message came to be espoused by this particular man and why. It shows that at his heart, Johnny Cash was a man who empathized with the low and down trodden. How his own childhood on a Depression era sharecropper farm came to shape much of how he saw the world, and how even his service in the US Air Force in Germany during the Korean War era would come to shape his views of the Vietnam War a decade later. The text does not shy away from Cash’s well known (and well documented) struggles with drugs and alcohol, even showing where Cash himself was hypocritical on the issues at times – ordering his wife never to touch alcohol, even in some letters where it is quite clear he himself is drunk while writing them. At the same time, it doesn’t spend much time on these particular facets or even his wives, the controversy surrounding how he eventually got together with June Carter, his various kids, or any other aspect an actual biography would. Instead, this text uses biography more as background and scaffolding to show how Cash came to the political positions he did and how he came to espouse them.
Truly an interesting take on a genuine legend, and very much recommended.
This review of Citizen Cash by Michael Stewart Foley was originally written on October 28, 2021.