“Berlin Calling” by Kelly Durham

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I would like to thank NetGalley, and Lake Union Publishing for the ARC of “Berlin Calling” by Kelly Durham. The genre of this book is historical fiction. The author writes about a different aspect of World War Two in Germany. One of his main characters Maggie O’Dea, is an Irish descent American citizen studying abroad in Germany. Maggie is extremely naive, and falls in love with a handsome German soldier. Her soldier convinces her to follow him to Berlin, and gets a job for Maggie in the Propaganda Ministry. There, Maggie works in writing and broadcasting as “Betty”. As nationalism picks up in Germany, Maggie goes with the flow, and feels justified in supporting Germany in broadcasts to England.
Maggie’s boyfriend is away at the front, and she meets many intriguing characters. She meets journalists in Germany also from America, that warn her of the dangers ahead. As Germany starts invading other countries,Maggie makes excuses and becomes extremely conflicted. Maggie has met Joseph Goebbel and others in his circle.
Some of the journalists provide horrific details that are occurring throughout the world. Maggie is approached to give any information that she hears, which can put her life in danger. Now she is broadcasting to America convincing the Americans that German has weapons of mass destruction. Maggie has many doubts of the propaganda that she has been told to report.
It is difficult to believe that an American living in Germany could play such a part in the war. The author writes that this novel was based on an American student who did actually work for the German Propaganda Ministry, and this was his motivation for his story.
The author discusses the horrific, appalling and deplorable conditions of war and its effects on people, families and countries. I find that Kelly Durham describes a cast of characters, each with major conflicts, and shows the effects of war on their personalities. I also reflected how journalists faced dangers reporting the news during this time. In addition journalism and propaganda had a major influence on the war. I would recommend this book for people who like to read historical fiction during the World War Two timeline.

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