A Book Title to Irritate: A Review of Girls in the Attic

The Girls in the Attic by Marius Gabriel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First of all, and I need to get this issue out of the way from the outset, I wish that publishers would not persist in coming up with titles that effectively infantilise women. This is not a story about girls in an attic – they are young women at the start of the novel, and the youngest of the two is 21 years old when we meet her.

Secondly, the title is actually quite misleading, because while the story does dwell on the fate of two Jewish sisters forced into hiding in Germany during the war, the story is really that of the main protagonist, Max, a German funnelled through Hitler Youth into fighting for Hitler and the Third Reich.

Leaving those two issues to one side, this is an easy to read, if a trifle overlong, novel, with engaging characters, and a pacy plot. I do not know enough about the German experience during the war to comment on the accuracy of the portrayal of it, but there was enough there to give the impression that it was well researched. It was a good story, if somewhat marred by a slightly unsatisfying epilogue (which I will not dwell on in the interest of avoiding spoilers). I am not sure it is a book I would have bought had I been left to my own devices in a book store, but it was certainly enjoyable enough to keep you engaged during a long train journey.

View all my reviews

Published by Deborah Siddoway

Dickens enthusiast, book lover, wine drinker, writer, lover of all things Victorian, and happily divorced mother of two lovely (and very tall) boys.

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