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The Dutch Wife

Written by: Ellen Keith
Length: 10 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 35.73
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Publisher's Summary

A sweeping story of love and survival during World War II

AMSTERDAM, MAY 1943. As the tulips bloom and the Nazis tighten their grip across the city, the last signs of Dutch resistance are being swept away. Marijke de Graaf and her husband are arrested and deported to different concentration camps in Germany. Marijke is given a terrible choice: to suffer a slow death in the labor camp or - for a chance at survival - to join the camp brothel.

On the other side of the barbed wire, SS officer Karl Müller arrives at the camp hoping to live up to his father’s expectations of wartime glory. When he encounters the newly arrived Marijke, this meeting changes their lives forever.

Woven into the narrative across space and time is Luciano Wagner’s ordeal in 1977 Buenos Aires, during the heat of the Argentine Dirty War. In his struggle to endure military captivity, he searches for ways to resist from a prison cell he may never leave. 

From the Netherlands to Germany to Argentina, The Dutch Wife braids together the stories of three individuals who share a dark secret and are entangled in two of the most oppressive reigns of terror in modern history. This is a novel about the blurred lines between love and lust, abuse and resistance, and right and wrong, as well as the capacity for ordinary people to persevere and do the unthinkable in extraordinary circumstances.

©2018 Ellen Keith (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Almost Excellent

Only in my opinion, I give this 4 out of 5 stars. The story is told from three points of view. I did not quite understand the need for Luciano other than to tell the rest of Karl’s story, of how he was never quite the same. I’m going to have to reference a history book or page to find out what was going on in Luciano’s time, what he was victim of. Otherwise, this book is captivating, an emotional roller coaster that gives you a view of German occupation and camp life as a prisoner rather than an outsider. I didn’t personally search out this book, Audible recommended it, but I am so happy it did and I have no regrets! Performances were spot on, except I wish parts of women were read by women and parts of men by men. But that’s on my personal preference, not the performance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Well written, interesting, intriguing

It was good, I can't say, I wasn't able to stop because it captured me. Mareka's story captured me more... Only because I know more about ww2. I am nit sure what was going on in Argentina in 70's. Good read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Good book but lacking something

This was an enjoyable, easy read. Good for the beach or vacation. However, I did feel like the story fell sort of flat at the end and the characters lacked depth. One for the 3 characters in the story, Luciano, is seriously underdeveloped and should have either been left out of the story or been given more depth. Also, if you are looking for a true historical representation, this isn't the book for you. They really glossed over the atrocities of the Nazi war camps. #Audible1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Captivating but...

Overall I quite enjoyed this book. I thought the readers did a good job at capturing the emotion of the story. However, I feel like Luciano’s story could have been left out. His character is way underdeveloped and did nothing to enhance the story. Only at the very end is there a brief mention of his connection to one of the main characters, but can be easily missed if you’re not paying close enough attention. I am curious to know what was going on in Argentina in the 1970s and how that relates to the Nazis on the run.

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great performance but

love the performance and I think the story has a lot of potential but the luciano's part of the story sound like easy and predictable...

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    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful, intertwined story

I really enjoyed this story as it progressed. I felt very wrapped up in the lives of the characters and had trouble putting the book down. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the reading. I didn’t like the force accents that the readers used and the mispronounced words when reading Luciano. I feel like accents should be done well or not at all. That said though, I was able to get over that because I found the story carried me away.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • KAT M K
  • 2019-01-11

I had goosebumps at the end

Just finished listening to this for the Book Club I am in. A look at the forgotten casualties of war and the far reaching repercussions. What would you choose to do in order to survive in untenable circumstances. Prisons within and without and freedom. I had goosebumps at the ending.