📚 For as long as I can remember, I’ve read before bedtime. It quiets my mind. I read and research nonstop these days, but there’s a difference between reading for business and reading for pleasure (I love both!). Business reading puts my brain in high gear while pleasure reading slows it down 😴.
📖I thought I’d start sharing some of what I’ve been reading. I am a history buff so historical fiction is the genre I tend to gravitate towards. Historical fiction brings important moments to life for me in a way that I can easily remember them later. A good historical fiction writer will have done thorough research on their topic or time period and will have accurate facts and prominent figures…. Filling in the blanks of the story with characters. (I am a very picky reader and often fact check my historical fiction authors! 😉 )
📖 At The Wolf’s Table (by Rosella Postorino) was originally written in Italian and has since been translated into English. Its protagonist is a young German bride (Rosa) whose husband goes off to fight during WWII for the Germans. She returns to live with her parents in Berlin until they are killed in air raid bombings, at which time she moves out to the country to live with her in-laws (whom she had not previously met).
📖 She’s not there long before she is conscripted by the German govt to go to work as one of Hitler’s food tasters. She, along with several other German women go to Hitler’s headquarters twice a day to eat his meals before he does to ensure that what he eats has not been tainted or poisoned. Over time, friendships and alliances form between some of the women and the German guards that they spend hours each day with.
📖 At the Wolf’s Table is such an interesting story as it is one told from the perspective of a German woman who has not entirely bought in to Hitler’s teachings largely because of what her father taught her when she was younger. She seems to be neither for nor against Hitler’s agenda as she is more mentally attuned towards grieving the loss of her parents and the absence of her new husband. Her life has been turned upside down by her own country’s actions, and for a great part of the book, it seems as tho she is drifting thru all she is experiencing. No doubt……. she has been subjected to great loss and upheaval…. and she risks her life daily performing a job she did not want. PTSD and emotional overload? Umm yes.
📖 An incident finally shakes her awake when a friend turns out to be a Jew in hiding. Instead of turning her in, she awakens and starts fighting the system as best she can while still struggling to survive intact herself. It is so tragic to watch (or read in this case) how asleep the German people were. They were not bad people, but many years of subversive leadership and indoctrinating propaganda had led them to believe what they were doing was right. I wonder how long it took German citizens to wake up once they realized the truth of what had been happening under their noses on their own soil, and I wonder how many of them suffered mentally afterwards from the part they unwittingly played in the destruction of so many lives (including their own)?
📚 This book is based on the life of Margot Wolk, Hitler’s last living food taster who died in 2014. It was a compelling read, and one I recommend. History can so easily repeat itself, and its best that we know it well lest we find ourselves repeating it.
Info on Margot Wolk: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margot_W%C3%B6lk
A short video on Ms. Wolk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNcZyBqJCzk
Tell me….. What are you reading these days?