What readers think of City of Women, plus links to write your own review.

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City of Women

A Novel

by David R. Gillham

City of Women by David R. Gillham X
City of Women by David R. Gillham
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2012, 400 pages

    May 2013, 448 pages


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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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There are currently 6 reader reviews for City of Women
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City of Women
Gillham's City of Women is a beautifully written and structured book, one I have read at least three times. I loved the theme of situational ethics driving the book forward and also the interaction between so many of the characters. Gillham's writing is impeccable and believable. I cannot think of any other book that has held my attention to the degree that City of Women has.
Power Reviewer
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews

City of Women
The book's title indicates what Berlin was like during WWII....women waiting for their soldiers to return home, women enduring the air raids, women keeping an eye out for traitors and those not following the German edicts at that time, and women going to work.

Sigrid lived with her mother-in-law and hated every moment. She worked in the day and kept people on their toes at all times, but always made friends. Her favorite place to meet people for clandestine reasons or even legitimate reasons was in the movie theater. You will follow Sigrid through her daily routines as well as her covert actions of smuggling and other secret activities. You will also be fearing what her decisions would be in different situations.....situations involving fellow citizens, situations where she would be meeting a lover, or situations where she was helping hide Jewish people.

I liked Sigrid and could see why she despised living with her mother-in-law. She was a very strong woman and knew who she could trust and who was actually trying to trick her to see if she was being loyal to Hitler. Her decisions were the basis of the book and what made the book quite gripping.

The book was beautifully written with wonderful detail and great descriptions of what life was like in Berlin at that time in history. The German names were a bit difficult to keep track of, and it took a few pages to get into the storyline, but you could figure out what was going on and will become completely absorbed in the book because of the author's magnificent writing.

This is a compelling novel that will have you putting yourself into the story and also one that will be making you nervous for the characters as they endured the life they lived and definitely will be making you fear the outcomes of their unethical or illegal deeds. You will become immersed in the story and the characters simply because of the eloquent writing style of the author and its riveting content.

Even though it takes a few pages to get involved with the characters and the story, it is a book you won't want to miss. The cover itself is enough to draw you in. The genuine feel of the era is magnificently relayed to the reader and takes you along page by page into Berlin and into the lives and terrors of Berlin's citizens. 5/5

I received this book free of charge from the publisher at the BEA in New York City in June of 2012 in exchange for an honest review.

What would you do?
I read this book based on BookBrowse review and was glad that I did. This is a story of a German housewife in Berlin during WWII whose soldier husband is away fighting. Life in Germany during this period of time, is something that is rarely told. It describes how she copes and endures all the hardships and bombings from Allied warplanes and daily criticisms from from a soured, old mother-in-law. She becomes sexually involved with a mysterious stranger and this love affair entangles her in something she never would have done at any other time. I found this book to be very revealing about motives, desires, selfishness and bravery. I felt the story was about ordinary people and the decisions they make about what they see happening before their eyes. It made me ask myself 'What would I do' under these circumstances, and my answer is 'I don't know'. This book gave me a different understanding of the German people. I only wish there had been more of them like the heroine of this book.
Linda Miller

City of Women
An amazing book with little known facts about an underground movement during WWII to move the Jewish people out of German by the German women, some of whom their husbands, sons and brothers or lovers were serving in the German army. They risked their lives under the darkness of the air raid sirens and the blackouts, secret meetings with sympathetic German Government officials for traveling documents, and roaming troops of German soldiers to move the Jewish people from house to house, room to room and train to free country without thought of being found out and facing the firing squad and certain death. Amazing read.
Power Reviewer
Becky H

The City Of Women
I started this book with great hope for a fascinating read. Kirkus and the New York Times promised a tale of love and intrigue. By the 100th page I was bored and didn’t like any of the characters. Sigrid seemed especially shallow. The plot hadn’t appeared yet and I quit reading. Sorry.
Power Reviewer

a disappointment
CITY OF WOMEN was a disappointment. The dialog and many of the situations are just plain corny. The story is loaded with convenient coincidences. The woman who helps hide Jews in World War II Berlin is, at the same time, a tramp who can't get enough sex, then pretends to be shocked about others' sexual experiences.

The author said he wanted to put ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances. But that's not what this book is. These people are not ordinary; they're unrealistic and ridiculous.
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Beyond the Book:
  The Bombing of Berlin

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