Swan Song: A Novel
Ursula Becker is in one of the most precarious positions a woman can be in: she has attracted the attention, bordering on obsession, of Adolf Hitler. A skilled opera singer, she comes to his notice during a performance because she bears an uncanny resemblance to his half-niece Geli, who died by her own hand in 1931. As the war progresses, Hitler’s attention draws Ursula deeper and deeper into danger, until her very life is at risk.
This book has an intriguing premise that should set it apart from the rest of the mass of World War II fiction. Unfortunately, beyond the premise, I found myself unimpressed. I could never tell whether Ursula was meant to be read as a naïve young woman slowly losing her innocence or a woman aware of the state of the world but with spontaneous spots of blindness, which dampened my enjoyment of the book.
Swan Song feels, at its best, operatic. It is grand and dramatic, full of deep emotion and sudden turns in action. At times it lacks subtlety, but those who enjoy powerful drama may well enjoy it despite that flaw. It was not to my taste, but I cannot deny it was exciting.
|Page Count||364 pages|
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