Sunday, March 26, 2017

Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear ****

Journey to Munich by Jacqueline Winspear is a historical novel leading up to September 30, 1938, when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain infamously appeased Adolf Hitler and gave his "peace for our time" speech. The protagonist is Maisie Dobbs who is temporarily convinced to become a British secret agent and go to Munich under an assumed identity to rescue a boffin (technical expert/inventor) imprisoned by the SS and Gestapo.

Maisie is a wonderful female protagonist, especially in 1938. She accepts the conditions of her time, but also has great inner strength and confidence. This is her thought about being trained to shoot a gun.
"She always considered reason to be the most powerful weapon in any arsenal, ..."
When the embassy demands she "submit daily timetable," her response is "Well, we'll see about that."

An excellent historical novel of the rise of Hilter which somehow seems especially relevant in the current political climate.

The book gives a good presentation of the Munich in 1938 through setting, culture, and language. Every so often, the dialogue seems suspiciously modern, as in this case:
"Because after everything you've been told in this little meeting, if you say no, I'll have to kill you."