Tuesday 21 March 2017

A Discovering Diamonds Review of UNRELENTING by Marion Kummerow

... Love and Resistance in Pre-War Germany

Amazon UK £3.05 £8.27
Amazon US $3.80 $10.95
Amazon CA $14.33

Love and Resistance in WW2 Germany series

Biograpical Fictional / Romance / Family Saga-Drama

Marion Kummerow has written an intriguing trilogy of novels based on the real lives of her grandparents during the Nazi regime in Germany. Unrelenting: Love and Resistance in Pre-War Germany is the first of the series, and it's remarkable as a family story, but not quite as remarkable as a novel. She weaves the chapters together nicely as Hilde and Q live their separate lives and then meet and become a couple in Berlin, the novel culminating the night before their marriage.

Kummerow conveys the suspense of living in Berlin at this important time, showing us real people's lives in the midst of historic events. Her German perspective gives a new view for British and American readers, showing what the developing storm was like for those who lived in it. The couple work, develop their romance, and deal with everyday family troubles as well as frightening denunciation and espionage. Of particular interest is Q’s scientific enterprise—he altruistically wants to serve all mankind, but he perhaps naively believes that communists and therefore “Russia” (the Soviet Union) best embodies that universal ideal. One character patronizingly scoffs at Q’s idealism, so perhaps that line will develop over the trilogy . . .

The weakness comes mainly in Kummerow's language. The German native writes quite competently in English but with numerous quirks that show she is not completely immersed in the nuances of English idioms. For example, Q jokes with a friend, "Welcome in my modest exile," and something gives a character "some pause for concern." In the same way some modern phrasings like "That sucks" and "bigger and badder" appear, as does "biodiversity" (possible origin in 1968?) and television cameras at the 1936 Olympics. The overall style is more told than shown, though Kummerow convincingly conveys the tentative interplay of feelings and actions in young people falling in love.

Another pass by a proofreader and/or a technical editor would help polish this strong story. However, I left Unrelenting wondering what will happen next, and that's just what a first-in-trilogy should do for a reader!
© Cindy Rinaman Marsch
Author and Editor
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  1. There were television cameras at the 1936 Olympics. They didn't transmit their signals very widely, but they were there. The Nazi Olympics initiated several innovations which became features of the modern games (such as the transport of the flame from Greece)

    1. I don't think there were many TV sets either, did't most people buy their sets here in the UK in order to view the Coronation in 1953? I remember our big box with its tiny screen and it taking ages to warm up. I think I was about four, so that would have been 1957. (Goodness!)


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