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Ignore the cover – I don’t know what the bubbles are about. This is one of the most sexy, intelligent, engrossing novels I’ve read in years. Berlin: emptied and starving at the height of WWII. The able-bodied men gone: a city of women--full of despair, pettiness, intrigue, and strange and random kindnesses. Sigrid is caught in a web of mystery and memory, loyalty, passion.
City of Women is a novel about the women left behind in Berlin during World War II while their husbands were away. These women weren’t sitting around knitting; they endured air raids, the secret police, and hostility on every corner. A simple trip to the movies could be life altering, as Sigrid Schroeder finds out when she is thrust into a double life of espionage and clandestine meetings with devastating consequences. I simply couldn’t put this one down.
August 2012 Indie Next List
“In this powerful debut, Gillham gives voice to the remarkable women left to defend the home front in war-torn Berlin. He masterfully juxtaposes their courage and determination in the face of opposition with fear, loneliness, and despair. Impeccably told, City of Women is a sensual, suspenseful read filled with extraordinary characters and exceptional moments of resilience, humanity, and grace.”
— Anderson McKean, Page & Palette, Fairhope, AL
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
Whom do you trust, whom do you love, and who can be saved? A gripping tale of Berlin in the Second World War, from the author of Annelies.
It is 1943—the height of the Second World War. With the men away at the front, Berlin has become a city of women.
On the surface, Sigrid Schröder is the model German soldier’s wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime.
But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman of passion who dreams of her former Jewish lover, now lost in the chaos of the war. But Sigrid is not the only one with secrets—she soon finds herself caught between what is right and what is wrong, and what falls somewhere in the shadows between the two . . .
About the Author
David R. Gillham is the New York Times-bestselling author of City of Women. He spent more than a decade in the book business, and now lives with his family in western Massachusetts and is currently working on his second novel.
“I can’t wait for Gillham’s next novel—play it again, Sam.” —Stephen King
“The writing is a great mix of the literary and commercial, page-turning and suspenseful, with a morally complex, intelligent heroine at its center. If you’re a fan of well-written historical novels in the vein of Ann Patchett’s Bel Canto, this one is for you.” —Slate
“Philip Kerr and Alan Furst have outdone their literary counterparts. Now, with his first novel, City of Women, David R. Gillham joins their rank.” —Charles Finch, USA Today
“Gillham’s writing is often stunning . . . The characters are complex . . . Deeply felt and mercilessly real.” —The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
“A meticulously researched and beautifully told love story—and a remarkable look at life in Germany during World War II.” —Minneapolis Star-Tribune
“As impossible to put down as it is to forget.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“An exemplary model of historical fiction generously laced with romance, suspense, and exciting plot twists.” —Library Journal (starred review)
“A thriller of searing intensity that asks the most urgent of questions—how to love, who to trust, what can be saved in the very darkest of times. . . . Utterly compelling.” —Margaret Leroy, New York Times bestselling author of The Soldier’s Wife
“A moving and masterful debut . . . Powerful and piercingly real. You won’t soon forget these characters.” —Paula McLain, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife