The Girl From Berlin

The Girl From Berlin

by Ronald H. Balson

Overview: An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam’s only clue is a bound handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, and hidden in its pages is a story long-forgotten…

Ada Baumgarten was born in Berlin in 1918, at the end of the war. The daughter of an accomplished first-chair violinist in the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic, and herself a violin prodigy, Ada’s life was full of the rich culture of Berlin’s interwar society. She formed a deep attachment to her childhood friend Kurt, but they were torn apart by the growing unrest as her Jewish family came under suspicion. As the tides of history turned, it was her extraordinary talent that would carry her through an unraveling society turned to war, and make her a target even as it saved her, allowing her to move to Bologna—though Italy was not the haven her family had hoped, and further heartache awaited.

What became of Ada? How is she connected to the conflicting land deeds of a small Italian villa? As they dig through the layers of lies, corruption, and human evil, Catherine and Liam uncover an unfinished story of heart, redemption, and hope—the ending of which is yet to be written.

Deanna Boe (06/18/19) There have been many stories woven and told about the Nazis and World War II. Naturally, the majority of them center on the unspeakable ways the Jews were terrorized and incarcerated and why. To think one man could decide to rid the world of a religious group simply because he didn’t like them is almost unthinkable and yet it occurred. No one really knows the reason why Hitler felt this way, which only adds to the horror of what happened to all of those people.

This novel provides us with not only the historical aspect of the war, but also suspense, romance, and mystery to keep you reading to see just how it will all be resolved. It begins with the mysterious reason as to why a company claims to own this beautiful vineyard in Italy where an elderly lady has been living almost all of her life and claims it as her own. Why now? A relative of hers has contacted an outstanding lady lawyer in the United States and her husband to try and come and resolve this issue before the time runs out and she must turn her land over to that company. Obviously, from the beginning, you know she somehow wins this lawsuit, but how? Interestingly enough she has a handwritten document that had been given to her by her adopted mother when she was a young child. This document provides the storyline and how it connects to Germany and the Jewish Holocaust.

This gives a different slant to the Jewish crisis and how it affected a distinctive group in Germany, namely musicians. How some were able to escape their situation and others were not. Talent was everything and respected in the highest ranks of the Nazis and thus enabled some to survive longer then others. One in particular was a very young lady who was an outstanding violinist. How does this tie into the story of a vineyard in Italy? I hesitate to say more to spoil the outcome.

I have since learned that this author has written several other novels before this one that uses the American lawyer and her husband in solving other mysteries. Perhaps you might want to check into this before you would read this novel, although this is a “stand alone” novel.
Rating: ****

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