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
Author
Release DateOct 1st, 2018
PublisherLake Union Publishing
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II
Rating

Reviews The Ragged Edge of Night

  • The Just-About-Cocky Ms M
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Alicia
    1970-01-01
    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.
  • Deborah
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    RaggedI loved this book and recommend it to readers who currently want to resist the ominous events presently occurring in our country.
  • Heidi
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Emily
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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.
  • Judy
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Hillary
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Mrs
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Mary Clare
    1970-01-01
    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
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Gail Haring
    1970-01-01
    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 ...
  • Tina
    1970-01-01
    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...
  • Marilyn Chilcote
    1970-01-01
    Mirrors to our headlinesThe author says she altered reality very little to write this story of genuine human courage and genuine love. She wishes to speak to us today, and her fiction, her skills as storytelling on her way of doing that in the hopes that the seemingly improbable power of nonviolent resistance wilber's forth again among us. I'm putting this on my husband's reading list, because he like I, we'll see what the author is doing so clea...
  • Valerie
    1970-01-01
    I enjoyed reading this book, a pretty quick read and the first of many WWII books that featured the resistance in Germany, vs the rest of Europe. I was prepared to give it three stars because I felt like it had a happy ending, which seemed a bit unrealistic. Then I read the afterward and found out that it is a true story - wow! It immediately earned an extra star. A story about simple people who resist in their own way, refusing to succumb fully ...
  • Kathy
    1970-01-01
    Just when I think I can't take another WWII book, a story comes along that reminds me that there are so many facets to this cataclysmic event. For a first novel it's very well-written. A neutral observation: while the story is told in the 3rd person, every once in a while thoughts would be expressed in the 1st person. After reading the author's notes (how fascinating are they!) there is no doubt that they are her opinions. I do agree with them. T...
  • Debbie Shoulders
    1970-01-01
    Inspired by a true events, Hawker shares the story of Anton, a former friar, whose career is left in shatters by the Nazi government. He answers an advertisement and marries a young widow with three children in a small village west of Stuttgart. There Anton and Elizabeth find ways to resist the government and its cruel machinations. The narrative would have been stronger told in a single time frame. As it was Hawker chose to use snapshots of key ...
  • Fiona Macdougall
    1970-01-01
    A warning for the worldI loved this book but didn’t realise it was based on a true story until the end. It was a story full of twists and turns telling the story of a small village in Nazi Germany. No one is immune to war and when you have Right in your heart, you will fight no matter how small. It is also a beautiful love story between a widow and the man who saves her family but also between a step father and his children. It is also a warnin...
  • Nicki Buesgens
    1970-01-01
    Lest history repeats itselfI love reading historical novels, be it fiction or not. This story was made better by being based on actual events, but we've if it wasn't, it would still be a 5 star book. The story speaks to us louder than it would have 4 years ago. It reminds us that resistance, no matter how small, is necessary. Complacency with attacking someone because they are disabled, black, Muslim, Hispanic, Catholic, or encouraging violence a...
  • Suzette
    1970-01-01
    This is a book of hope. The story line is very heavy in church teachings, but it also a book of a friar’s life. What can you expect? I found the characters wonderfully true. I felt they were part of my life. I loved them. Their story of love, survival and determination was carefully crafted and believable. I was there sharing their emotions. Love is real, commitment is real, heartache is real. This story is REAL. Walk a mile with Anton and Eliz...