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

Reviews The Ragged Edge of Night

  • Ronnie Hamblin
    The Ragged Edge of Night : The first 90% of the book was excellent and told of heroic people and families. I would definitely give it a 4. The "Historical Notes and authors remarks" at the end of the book was very interesting and brought out a lot of history of the family and town. Until she says "When the 2016 election changed things I knew I had to write this book. She compared the Republican Party to the Nazis! I had voted Democrat for 35 year...
  • Michael Charles Yett
    This was one of the greatest stories I have ever read and truly deserves five stars for the content of the story. The one star comes from the highly disappointing historical notes left by the author. She claims the event of the election of 2016 in America caused her to be moved to write this book. I can tell you as I read this book I saw similarities not to the victor of 2016 but to the loser. The author claims to be an historian and writes histo...
  • Renee
    Beautiful language. Vibrant characters. Evocative sense of time and place. Highly recommend. Loved this story of a friar, whothough the Nazis stripped him of his officecontinued 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 everyones cup of tea, but I felt this made this novel read like a lovely, almost poetic homily about life. Much of the s...
  • Lisa Rodgers
    Nice Story, Horrible Politics.The author manages to ruin a very nice story with a horrible political screed in post-story commentary. Thus, I cannot recommend this book.
  • Chrissy
    I'm really disappointed by the reviewers on this website. So many people gave this book a 1 star rating, not because of the content of the book, but because the author stated that her inspiration for the novel came from the 2016 election and the following Charlottesville white supremacist march where a young girl died. That was the author's right. And it may be your right to be angry about that, but to say "This book was amazing but I gave it a 1...
  • Marquise
    A wonderful, wonderful novel about the struggles of an ex-friar in Nazi Germany, when he has to balance the needs of his family with the demands of his conscience to resist the regime amidst the ever-present fear of being seized by the secret police for his subversive activities. It's based on the life story of the author's grandfather-in-law, believable and historically correct, and told in a lovely prose though I bet not everyone will like the ...
  • 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.
  • Debra
    If the author hadn't gotten on her political anti-Trump soap box at the end, I would have given this a 4.5 star review.
  • R.
    I enjoyed this story of a mans' bravery against the Nazi's. However, when I read the authors commentary of why she thinks this applies to what is happening currently in the USA, I was extremely disappointed by her biased political tone. If she wants to speak publicly fine, but please leave it out of your book. We live in a democracy with checks and balances. Won't read another book from this author.
  • 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...
  • 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...
  • Joy D
    Historical fiction about a former friar, a widow, and her family living in a small rural German town during WWII. Protagonist Anton Starzmann had been a teacher in a Franciscan order before it was disbanded by Hitlers regime. He suffers enormous guilt for not having done more to protect his students from being taken by the Nazis. After a brief stint in the Wehrmacht Anton decides to answer a widows advertisement seeking a husband to help her prov...
  • Gloria
    She had me up until the end, when she politicized the story. I don't need to be reminded of Trump while I try to lose myself in a good story. I get politics daily in the news/internet/papers - in other words, in real life. I don't need it in books. Disappointed and disillusioned - ergo, one star.
    The author's notes killed this book for meThis book would have been a 5 if I had not read the author's notes. Loved the story but disagree with her politics in her notes and am confused by why she was compelled to limit her book with them. To me a historical novel should be relevant for more than a 4 year political cycle. I cannot recommend this book.
  • Joann
    "The Ragged Edge of Night" is based on the real life experience of one of the author's family members. Set in Nazi Germany, the plot centers around friar Anton Starzmann, who is stripped of his position during the fascist governments purge of religious clerics. He seeks solace in a woman who wants help raising her three children, but their ensuing marriage is more partnership than romance. Still, as the world war edges ever closer to home, the he...
  • Glenda Pogorelsky
    This is one of those few occasions on which I need reminding to take no notice of glowing reviews. Everyone has their taste and mine precludes - with utter loathing - present tense writing, a pretentious modern phenomenon that fails to produce the sense of atmosphere it seeks to create. A strong and exciting story might have helped, but to get to anything resembling an actual plot required wading through paragraphs of high prose descriptive fluff...
  • 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 its not. As a book set in Germany it can compare only weakly with The Tin Drum by ...
  • RoseMary Achey
    This is a tough book to rate. I thought the constant references to religion a bit too much. The story dragged on for the first 75% percent of the book...but then picked up the pace in the last 25%. The author notes at the end of the book where surprising to say the least. How did her editor allow this diatribe to be included in the novel? There are millions of books written about Nazi Germany, however this is one that I would not recommend.
  • Mobeme53 Branson
    I really wavered between giving this book five starts and the four I settled on. The story is more than compelling; that it is based on a true story was not revealed to me until I read the afterword. My only problem was that there were times when she strayed into hyperbole, making observations that were outside or diverged from the story. This is a minor complaint and one the probably will not occur to most readers and the asides are very well wr...
  • 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.
  • Ann-Marie
    This is a story of a plain man, a German living in the time of WWII Nazi Germany. He is a good man, a former friar, music teacher and soldier, who contracts to marry a widow whom he has never met, with three young children. They live in a very small town, off in the middle of nowhere, and the war doesn't touch them much. Until it does. Anton feels compelled to help the resistance by carrying messages, the family takes in refugees, and Anton sta...
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Sue Holmes
    Great storyline and but I found the lyrical writing style disruptive to the flow and there was an unwelcome preachy element that kept poking through.
  • Roland Clarke
    Review 5 starsAlthough the pace was slower than many of my usual reads, the setting of a rural village in World War II Germany made for an underlying threat that drove the story forward. The pace matched the reality portrayed.The influence of Hitler and his Nazis seeped into the story, although the main protagonist Anton Starzmann was building a new life with Elisabeth Herter, a widow with three children in rural surroundings. His past as a Franc...
  • Margo
    A lovely novel based on a real family story. A cross between a prayer and a good sermon about helping others. Very thoughtful with recognition of why people would cooperate with the Nazis. Warning - some terrible brutality but still a statement of goodness, faith and determination of doing right in the face of evil. Plot - I will try not to spoil the book. Nazi Germany: An ex-friar marries a widow with 3 children. There are in a very small German...
  • Kylie H
    This is a perspective on the plight of Germans who did not support Hitler during WW2 and the hardship and fear that they had to live with. Anton is a former priest whose order has been disbanded and untethered finds himself responding to a newspaper advertisement to marry a widow with three young children. What happens next changes the life of Anton and those around him significantly. He discovers a resistance movement that supports everything he...
  • Sharon
    I allowed myself to stop reading this book. I love World War II fiction. I thought the premise of this story worth checking out. I just could not get into it. I understand the main character is a former friar but every one of Anton's thoughts go into some religious dissertation that really started to grate on me. In my opinion this book cannot be compared to The Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See or Beneath a Scarlet Sky all of which I read...
  • 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.
  • Vannetta Chapman
    This was a lovely story in many ways...the writing was top-notch, the characters were realistic, and the plot had plenty of twists and turns. There have been many books written about WWII, and it's easy for a good book to be lost in the stacks. This book shouldn't be lost. It's beautifully rendered, and shows us yet another viewpoint of the atrocities suffered during that war. The spirituality is delicately woven into the story and drives the plo...