Thursday, September 10, 2020

Review of Across the Winding River

a winding river bordered by trees
Across the Winding River was another one of those books I couldn't put down once I started reading it.  The author did a wonderful job of intertwining a story from World War II Germany and present day San Diego.  When Beth is helping her father go through his WWII mementos she discovers a photo of him and a mysterious women in Germany who is obviously pregnant. Who is this woman and what if any part did she play in her father's life. 

Link to Book through Amazon


Main Characters

  • Max-  Max is a dentist, who served as a medic in World War II.  He met several German resistance members whom he helped whenever he could.
  • Beth-  Max's daughter.  We meet her in the present day after her mother has died and she is taking care of her invalid father.  She wants to spend as much time as she can with him and engages him in talking about his time in the war.
  • Johanna- We first meet Johanna just before the war when Hitler is just starting to rise to power.  Johanna and her family have been able to hide the fact that she is one quarter Jewish through a grandfather who has since passed away.
  • Harald- Harald is a professor who marries Johanna.  During the war he is  pressed into service for a cause he does not believe in.
  • Margarethe (Metta) - Metta is a younger sister who marries a strict Nazi, before she realizes his true character.  She sneaks away whenever she can to work for the resistance.
  • Ansel- Ansel is Metta's husband and a very cruel person who is loyal to the Nazi cause.
  • Jonas and Heide- They belong to the German resistance.  When Jonas is wounded, Metta meets an American medic in the forest and brings him to help Jonas.

My Thought on the Book

I really loved the book.  It was easy to read and clearly marked whether you were in the present day or the World War II era.  Each chapter completed a section on one of the times.  There were several side stories on Beth, that endeared her to me.  She was a very likable character as was her father Max.  I found myself really routing for them and hoping they could solve the mystery that had lasted for over 50 years.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. I have always been fascinated with World War II history and stories placed during that time. To have a book bounce back and forth from then to modern time sounds really interesting. Like a walk down memory lane through the memories of the father. Thanks for this interesting book review, Mary Beth.

  2. Okay Mary Beth, you got me from the first words of your review. When someone can't put it down, it gets right to my soft spot. I love to open the pages and be drawn right in. This sounds like that kind of book to me too. I love the WW11 historical novels that I've read so far, so this will be another one to add to my growing list. Thanks for the Review and I will have to look for this book!

  3. This sounds like a wonderful book! I definitely enjoy historical fictions, especially those that have a unique plot or observation about the past. Earlier this week, my husband & I were discussing how photos seem to tell a story and prompt questions one might not have even known to ask. With you love of photography, I can see why this book held such an appeal from the very beginning.

  4. Mary Beth, historical fiction and a novel you "couldn't put down" with endearing characters add up to a winning combination in my "book." Being Jewish and having a father who fought in WWII makes the war an especially emotional topic for me, but I really like the premise and can see adding this to my reading list. Thanks for the recommendation!

  5. I think I need to read this! You have me very very curious about the pregnancy! You know I might order this one for my mother. She has read volumes of books, but I'm sure she hasn't read this one. Sounds good!

  6. Across the Winding River sounds like another great historical novel. Thanks for the recommendation!

  7. After reading your review earlier, I read the book. I know I can always trust your reviews, and the book did not disappoint me. Thank you for telling me about it and encouraging me to read it.


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