The story of a German family’s struggles during Hitler’s reign.
McIntosh attempts to explore–and perhaps atone for–the sins of Hitler’s Germany via this carefully related story of one family. Intimate tales of domestic drama mix with historical accounts of Hitler’s youth in Vienna, his entrance into German politics, rise to power and, ultimately, his demise. The author’s implication is clear–Hitler is a self-serving outsider who weasels his way, with more charm than integrity, into an essentially good nation, only to ruin it. McIntosh, a German born during Hitler’s rise, writes with a sense of contrition only truly available to those who directly experienced the dictator’s rule. However, she tends to insinuate her own perspective into her protagonists’ speech and thought. Her characters often speak as if they were reading from a 21st-century analysis of the crimes committed in Nazi Germany, possessing strong insight into the unfolding events. In the preface, McIntosh thanks a friend for ridding her manuscript of â€œGermanisms.” Though her writing remains free of such errors, it is clear that English is not her first language–the prose is clean but indicates that the composition cost her much time and effort. An able craftswoman, McIntosh has yet to elevate her writing to the level of art.
A competent memoir about World War II Germany.