The Ragged Edge of Night by Olivia Hawker

The Ragged Edge of Night

For fans of All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and The Nightingale comes an emotionally gripping, beautifully written historical novel about extraordinary hope, redemption, and one man’s search for light during the darkest times of World War II.Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herte...

Details The Ragged Edge of Night

TitleThe Ragged Edge of Night
Release DateOct 1st, 2018
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II, Cultural, Germany, Business, Amazon, Holocaust, Literature, 20th Century, Romance, Historical Romance

Reviews The Ragged Edge of Night

  • The Just-About-Cocky Ms M
    I rarely read book blurbs, even more rarely do I believe them, and never make a decision to read a book based upon its fulsome—and usually wildly ineffective and misleading—blurb.Case in point here: this novel is for “fans of All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and The Nightingale.” I thought All the Light We Cannot See was adequate, but certainly not worth a Pulitzer or the gushing reviews that followed like lemmings. As ...
  • Renee
    Beautiful language. Vibrant characters. Evocative sense of time and place. Highly recommend. Loved this story of a friar, who—though the Nazis stripped him of his office—continued to live out his calling to love and make a difference in humble ways. This is a literary novel, told in one point of view with present tense verbs. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I felt this made this novel read like a lovely, almost poetic homily about life. Much...
  • Deborah
    Character-driven Excellence This is one of the best books I've read. Hawker's characters are believable, alive. The real people and their struggles, both physical and spiritual, transcend the setting in WWII Germany. When I read this story, I resonated with the humanity of all the people trying to survive during war.
  • Janet E. Rash
    RaggedI loved this book and recommend it to readers who currently want to resist the ominous events presently occurring in our country.
  • Heidi
    The plot of this book is basically Love Comes Softly meets The Sound of Music. An ex-friar marries a widow, and because I guess it's a romantic story or whatever, they take several years getting around to consummating the marriage, yadda yadda yadda, resist nazis via the majestic power of song.It's not terrible. Really. Let's be honest. Nazi resistance tales are pretty much de facto awesome. Plus, the author writes prettily and built her world we...
  • Sandybfl
    Great book!This was a great story. It was very well written and very engaging. I literally cried tears of joy at the end. And then to be reminded it is based on a true story made it that much better. Highly recommend this one, would give it more than 5 stars if I could.
  • Alicia
    I have mixed feelings about this book. It's moving and interesting subject matter, slightly bumpy start but finds a good rhythm. The afterword was interesting but left the impression that the author regretted some of her fiction vs non-fiction choices.
  • Emily
    Put this on your special book shelf beside The Diary of Anne Frank and A Gentleman in Moscow. Add Timothy Snyder's On Tyranny. Don't forget the author's notes at the end. And don't look at a single blurb till you've read the book. How I envy you if you have yet to read a page of this golden gift of literature.
  • Lavenderrose
    I chose this book as my First Read on September 1st, and was surprised to see that there were already several five star reviews on Amazon that morning – I can only conclude that these readers had advance copies and were thus in some way connected to the author or publisher. One of them declared that this book should be the Gold Standard for WW2 literature.Sorry, but it’s not. As a book set in Germany it can compare only weakly with The Tin Dr...
  • Cindy Woods
    Eh...metaphorically speaking!This is a book I could not get into. Try as I might, the overuse of metaphors made the story stagnate. The adjectives are overflowing! Too much ruins a story....and this is a good example of 'too much.'The plot surrounding an ex-friar who responds to an advertisement in a Catholic newspaper in Germany during WWII is far-fetched and over-religious. I felt I was being sermonized to! That feeling never let up as I read o...
  • Emily
    Put this on your special book shelf beside The Diary of Anne Frank and A Gentleman in Moscow. Add Timothy Snyder's On Tyranny. Don't forget the author's notes at the end. And don't look at a single blurb till you've read the book. How I envy you if you have yet to read a page of this golden gift of literature.
  • Yvonne Doyle-Flatley
    Great storyThe book's beginning didn't capture my interest at first. But keep going! Historical fiction is at its best with this story. These characters will stay with you. The author's notes at the end about the real Anton interesting.
  • Kay A. Duncan
    Excellent bookI have read many novels set in Nazi Germany, but this was totally different. It intimated the horrors of the Nazis but focused on the struggle to remain compassionate and to act in ways to sustain hope in basic human goodness.
  • Mary Sue Wilson
    ExcellentThis is a well written novel taking place in a small German village. It is about ordinary people who do their part in fighting the enemy. It is a love story between two very different people. Most fascinating, it is based on a true story. I highly recommend reading it.
  • Gail Haring
    Complete GarbageNegative stars if allowed.Please, please, please, if you decide to read this book, start at page 331, the last 4% of The Ragged Edge of Night. It tells of how the Hawker comes to write this story, and how she compares OUR President Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler. If that's who you are and how you think, read on, keep your head buried and keep listening to all the fake news, created to instill these horrible, ridiculous, fabricated ...
  • Judy
    A Kindle freebie well worth reading! WWII provides a seemingly endless wealth of quiet, ordinary heroes. This is historical fiction, based on real events and real people who lived in Germany under the Nazis, people who lived extraordinary lives in fear, but also in love and courage. Really enjoyed it. Don't forget to read the author's comments at the end about the why and when of her efforts.
  • MaryF
    I'm glad that Lake Union (perhaps) learned from a few of its crap(tastic) choices related to "Beneath [ASS]" (not my fault they chose a title that creates an apt partial acronym, but you may choose to use BASS). At least LUP went with an appropriate, standard disclaimer in the Front Matter section this time, whereas it wanted to keep and eat its cake and cover its ass all at once with the BASS disclaimer, yet knew most readers would not see it bu...
  • Ladory
    This is a very important historical novel given the state of our democracy right now! There are things going on that parallel the rise and reign of Hitler during WWII. This is a true story with some fictional elements added to keep it VERY interesting. It's about a friar in Germany who lost his handicapped schoolchildren when the Nazis came to bus them away. He was then conscripted into the military and made to jump from an airplane. After allege...
  • Hillary
    Actually, I'd give it a 3.5.I enjoyed this book, yet another World War II story. This one is different, the characters and setting are unusual, the descriptions of both nature in the German village and countryside and the deprivations of war are vivid, sensual and striking. There is an element of suspense at points. The book has got history, religion, music, love, nature. In short, there's something for everyoneWhat brought the rating down for me...
  • Janet
    Goodreads: A true story ......Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage—in name only—to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too—atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth...
  • Mrs
    This book is incredibly heavy on the Catholic parts of these people's lives. It is definitely informative to why and how they think and what shaped the pattern of their days. But for me, it was too much. I would have preferred that the religion be a large part of the story but not the up front part of it like the book was written. That said, I love books based on true family stories. And this book opens a window into a life that mattered and woul...
  • Carla Suto
    THE RAGGED EDGE OF NIGHT by Olivia Hawker is a beautifully-written and evocative work of historical fiction set in Germany during World War II. I have read many novels set in Europe during World War II, but I found this one to be particularly compelling, especially when I found out at the end, from the author’s notes, that the story was largely factual and based on real members of the author’s husband’s family. The author brings the charact...
  • Britta
    It was a bit schmaltzy at times, and, especially early in the book, Anton waxed a bit too poetic on God, but overall I enjoyed the reading. (This was a Kindle freebie for Sept.) The characters were all well developed. There were some snippets thrown in that then didn't go anywhere (view spoiler)[ (like the soldiers coming up through the tunnels, but that was all we heard about them. What happened to them after that? Did they stay in town? (hide s...
  • Georgianne
    I chose this as my Amazon first read and was pleasantly surprised for a change. I thought it was well written and gave a new/different insight into the lives of ordinary German people trying to survive the war with a bit of integrity and no love for Hitler. As I read, I remarked to my daughter that so much of what Anton was saying within himself -- the compassion and love for all life, the hope that things will get better, how all people are equa...
  • Mary Clare
    I don't know what to say about this book without sounding sappy and cliché. I wish this review could do justice to this book.Anton is a former friar. His order is disbanded by the Nazis, who close the school he teaches at and send the disabled children they deem unworthy of life to a death camp. Anton struggles with guilt because he did not die in what would have been a futile attempt to protect and save the children.The story deals with Anton's...
  • Joan Buell
    Hope carries the soul through darkneszThis is historical fiction, based on an ancestor of the author. A Franciscan friar, now defrocked by the Nazi regime, finds himself in a small town, answering an ad written by a widow and mother of three children. She seeks a husband, willing to consent to a marriage in name only, to provide for her family and help raise her children. He commits to this as a way to further serve God by doing good. World War I...
  • Rose-Billie Canter
    A Truly Inspiring ReadThis book was an Amazon First Read and, therefore, for me, a free read. I was so very moved by this book that I will recommend it to all of my book reading friends, at whatever price.While it is a book about Nazi Germany, it is unlike most books about that topic and should not be avoided by readers who say they don’t want to read anything else on this topic. This is a story of survival, of resistance, of compassion, and of...
  • Emily Antonen
    This is a fictionalized account of the real life, Josef Anton Starzmann, who was a Franciscan monk in Germany, teaching music to little children when in 1940-41 the SS rounded up the little ones and bused them away to their deaths, while also disbanding his order. Just another horror story about Nazi Germany, right? But the incredible story of this book begins after Anton finds himself conscripted into the army and escapes on a technicality to go...
  • Tina
    Hope in a time of hopelessness One often wonders how the people of Germany were able to live with themselves during the atrocities perpetrated by their infamous leader. How did they live with themselves? But as most things in life, there is no clear and easy explanation; it's very complicated and came from many directions. Once the train started, there was no stopping it. To understand Anton and his anguish is to have a clearer insight into the u...