The Hotel on Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully Legend Press February 1st 2018
Munich, the Third Reich is on the rise and Hitler is bringing Germany closer to war. Martha Wiesberg is a young teenager living with her mother and twin brother, Wolfgang. As Wolfgang embraces Hitler and his indoctrination, Martha is horrified but too frightened to voice her true feelings. When she leaves home to work for a young family her encounters with her brothers friends and the vents that unfold will form the basis of a secret that will stay hidden.
Fast forward to 2017 and her Grandaughter Maya lives a quiet existence running her bookshop. Always close to her Grandmother, they shared a love of books and fairy tales when in 1990 her body was found in the debris of an old landslide on the Montgomery Preserve, a popular weekend destination for the citizens of New York, Maya knows that she must fly to America and find out exactly what happened.
What Maya doesn’t expect is an unraveling of secrets, not only those of her Grandmother, but also the powerful Montgomery family who own the hotel on the Montgomery Preserve.
This novel will take you on a journey from pre first world war America to a Germany in the thralls of the Nazi’s. It was, at times, quite difficult to follow, particularly in the first part but becomes clearer as the story unfolds and the novel progresses.
The intricacies of the Montgomery family are complex but make compelling reading and it took me some time before i finally began to work out the connection between Martha and the Montgomery family.
What I enjoyed most was the author’s descriptions of the rise of the Third Reich and what it meant for the citizens of Munich. Wolfgang’s radicalisation and total belief in Hitlers ideology was terrifying to read. The role and status of women was eye opening and not something I really that much about. Tully was especially skilled at portraying the terror and fear many felt particularly those who disagreed with Hitler and his vision for Germany.
Tully has created some lovely characters. I liked Martha’s bravery and her ability to see the real truth of the Third Reich, as well as her capacity for love and forgiveness.
Maya is in some respects very similar to Martha, but Maya is lost, with no real obvious direction in her life. The process of uncovering her Grandmother’s secrets is cathartic for Maya, it shows her what true love can feel like, and how she can decide what direction and what she wants to do with her life.
The secrets unfold thick and fast, taking the reader on a veritable rollercoaster ride, I certainly found myself turning the pages faster as Tully unveiled yet another revelation. It definitely added more tension and drama to the novel.
The imagery and description of Nazi Germany are very well done and I could certainly feel the fear, and mania that swept through the city. At the other end of the spectrum were the wonderful descriptions of the forests both in America and Germany, giving a little respite from the tensions in other parts of the story.
Tully has written a beautiful story of love and war, of family and forgiveness that will have broad appeal and be enjoyed by many.
Thank you to Imogen Harris of Legend Press for organising and inviting mybookishblogspot to be part of the blog tour.
About the author
Daniela Tully has been working in the field of storytelling for decades, mainly in film and televison. She has been involved in projects such as the critically-acclaimed Fair Game, box-office hits Contagion and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, as the Oscar-winning The Help.
She currently lives in Dubai