Top positive review
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A breathtaking story, gloriously descriptive, addictive from start to finish!
on 14 April 2013
"War's Last Dance" is the captivating debut novel by the highly talented Julia Underwood. Her beautifully descriptive prose cleverly combines the simplicity of a charming love story with the complexity of War, corruption, politics, kidnap, relationships, poverty and despair. The author manages to engage the reader from start to finish, such that one is transported both in time and space to watch events unfold first-hand. The book is tremendously well-researched, Underwood's vivid descriptions and exquisite detail make this novel both captivating and fascinating.
The story is set in the 1940s, in post-war Berlin. Underwood evolves her characters superbly, causing the reader to immediately empathise with Isabel, the protagonist, who is forced to leave her East-end life behind her. She travels with her young daughter from London to Berlin, to join her military husband who has been posted there as part of the Allied Control Commission to govern the defeated Germans. Underwood's moving narrative takes the reader on a journey through the abject poverty and suffering of the German people, whose city has been destroyed by war, intertwined with the lives of the Allied forces who work there, struggling on war rations in a faraway place. Crime and corruption are inevitable, and Underwood cleverly entangles this within the story. Isabel's world is changed irrevocably by war, and when catastrophe strikes, she is forced to make some brave decisions and take charge of the situation, something that is very difficult for a woman to do in what is very much a Man's World.
I will definitely purchase a Hardback copy of this book when a print version becomes available - it's definitely a keeper!