Thursday, February 26, 2015

Hitler's Niece by Ron Hansen

By now you know that I love Historical Fiction novels.  This novel was such a surprise read.  I knew nothing about this piece of history.  Historical Backstory:  Hitler had a niece named Geli Raubal.  There was a 'relationship' of sorts between Hitler and his niece.  His niece, Geli, eventually committed suicide (arguers of history, suggest she was actually murdered by Hitler's SS), the light of their relationship threatened Hitler's rise to power.

In this novel, "Hitler's Niece", Hansen focuses on a fictionalized account of what the relationship between the two might have been.  This of course is fiction based on factual events.

In the novel, Geli is portrayed as a young girl who is intrigued by Hitler.  She watched him in the early years of his quest for leadership.  She was not at all interested in power, but only about being a young girl, trips into the countryside, swimming, and family.  On the other hand Hitler..It is almost impossible to understand why Geli was interested in Hitler.  He guided her life and shielded her from the world, and other men (especially other men).  He was childish in both actions and speech.  Hitler let temper tantrums and pouting rule his life. 

It is not altogether an unbelievable plot line, because historically there was a relationship between the two, I did remind myself of this many times while reading the novel.  This is not necessarily a judgement on the author's writing, Hansen wrote an excellent novel.  It may just be a quirk of mine, as a female saying to myself as I read the book, "Why?  Why do you like him?"  humorous, i can say this as I am an older lady, but i have to remember what it was like as a young girl, and an older man there wooing you.  Overall, bravo to Ron Hansen on a great historical fiction writing,    *** 1/2

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