by Beatrice Colin
Summary in a Sentence:
Lilly Nelly Aphrodite takes her first breath in Berlin as the 20th century dawns and keeps right on going until she is Germany's top silent film star.
Ever since I watched the German silent film Metropolis last year, I've been deeply fascinated with the early film industry. This novel follows Lilly Aphrodite from the dawn of the 20th century to the eve of World War II and gives readers an intimate glimpse into the world of Germany in the throes of World War I and the decadence of the 1920s German film industry.
An interesting facet of the novel that sets it aside from other historical fiction is the structure. At the beginning of every chapter, the author opens with short unconnected stories about the German film industry and an accompanying photo from turn of the century Germany. The photos above and below were among those included in the book. I love historical fiction because it is an imagined story based on real events. These vignettes and photos help connect the reader with the era and the characters.
Silent film star Pola Negri
Besides All Quiet on the Western Front, this is the first book I've read set in World War I. Reading about the complete devastation of the citizens of Germany in a textbook is one thing, but reading about it from the standpoint of Lilly personalizes the loss and poverty that was so widespread and gives the reader a glimpse as to how these circumstances led to the rise of Hitler in the '30s.
This book counts towards the Random Reading Challenge.
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- The Sister by Poppy Adams
- Thrumpton Hall: A Memoir of Life in my Father's House by Miranda Seymour
- A Trace of Smoke by Rebecca Cantrell
- The Innocents by Caroline Seebohm
Read reviews from The Tome Traveller's Blog, Bookgirl's Nightstand, and A Writer's Pen.