Top positive review
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Descriptive Writing Propels this Historical Novel/Thriller
on February 1, 2018
“White Rose, Black Forest” is billed as a historical fiction, but it has all the makings of a thriller. Author Eoin Dempsey presents Franka Gerber with a dilemma right from the beginning, then continues to turn up the heat as the story progresses. Although Franka understands the danger that could come from her actions, she continues to do what she feels is right.
The story is told through the eyes of several characters, although Franka is the main focus. While we do learn of some of the motivations of the American John Lynch, it is through Franka’s eyes that readers are swept into a country consumed by conflicting emotions. The author allows her to speak the thoughts that must have been hidden by many German citizens in 1944. Even though her life has led her to her current predicament, everything is still not black and white, and Franka wrestles at times with what she should do.
Mr. Dempsey offers descriptive passages at the same time, presenting interesting pictures with his use of words. For instance, we are told a used parachute blowing in the wind is “…licking at the snow like a thirsty animal.” The life-threatening description of the bombing of a German city thrusts readers into the action, and it is hard not to be fearful of what may happen to the people exposed to the possibility of instantaneous death. While I wasn’t always happy with the dialogue (at times, it felt a bit stilted), the characters stayed true to their basic motivations.
As stated above, this historical fiction book turns into a thriller. Her choices place Franka in danger as the Gestapo quickly become a larger threat, which pushes the book to a breakneck pace as it heads toward the conclusion. Four stars.