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The Girl from Berlin

A Novel
Narrated by: Fred Berman
Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
4.8 out of 5 stars (4 ratings)

Non-member price: $43.87

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Publisher's Summary

In the newest audiobook from internationally best-selling author Ronald H. Balson, Liam and Catherine come to the aid of an old friend and are drawn into a property dispute in Tuscany that unearths long-buried secrets.

An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam’s only clue is a bound, handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, and hidden in its pages is a story long-forgotten....

Ada Baumgarten was born in Berlin in 1918, at the end of the war. The daughter of an accomplished first-chair violinist in the prestigious Berlin Philharmonic and herself a violin prodigy, Ada’s life was full of the rich culture of Berlin’s interwar society. She formed a deep attachment to her childhood friend Kurt, but they were torn apart by the growing unrest as her Jewish family came under suspicion. As the tides of history turned, it was her extraordinary talent that would carry her through an unraveling society turned to war and make her a target even as it saved her, allowing her to move to Bologna - though Italy was not the haven her family had hoped, and further heartache awaited.

What became of Ada? How is she connected to the conflicting land deeds of a small Italian villa? As they dig through the layers of lies, corruption, and human evil, Catherine and Liam uncover an unfinished story of heart, redemption, and hope - the ending of which is yet to be written.

©2018 Ronald H. Balson (P)2018 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about The Girl from Berlin

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  • Mona-Alisa
  • 23-10-2018

WWII in Berlin and Italy

Historical fiction is my genre. The human spirit as portrayed in this book is inspiring. The book only touches on the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps compared to other WWII books. If you are knowledgeable about the evil of the camps then this book says enough for you to imagine what happens to those who perish there. I find the story strikes a great balance between the harshness of the regime and the way the central characters fall in love with their new country. The ending is both beautiful and sad with redemption.

12 people found this helpful

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  • S. Randall
  • 03-11-2018

FANTASTIC!!

I love Ronald Balson's writing. I had pre-ordered this months ago and waited patiently. Then just about the time I forgot about it, a notification came in that it was in my library. And once I started, as always couldn't stop. I love the characters he creates, I love how the story weaves through time from 2017 to the 30's and 40's. I love how I can picture it all in my mind as I listen to the words. Now, I'm sad because it's done and will have to wait for his next one.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Kate Yonder
  • 31-01-2019

Floored! Page-Turning Novel, Smashing Performance!

Rarely do I find a novel that draws my attention and holds it from the first page. I could not stop listening to this novel. So excellently performed by Fred Berman and quite extraordinarily written by Balson. Though his Carolina’s Twins is not one of my favorites, this novel surely is. In line with Carolina’s Twins, this novel threw me for a loop with plot twists that I didn’t fully anticipate. This novel is great—in line with some of my absolute favorites like Lilac Girls, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and Hidden Among the Stars. Highly recommend!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-01-2019

Outstanding

Gripping and thought-provoking. Excellent on every level. The book offers a different perspective on the cowardly and mindless brutality of the Nazis and the strength and self-sacrifice of not only many Jewish victims but also non-Jews who saw the Nazis for the despicable cowards they were.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-08-2019

Another wonderful story!

I read many books about the holocaust and recently discovered Ronald Balson's book on the subject. I have now read 3 books by Balson including Once We Were Brothers. The Girl From Berlin is my favorite. The mystery of Gabby's past unfolds slowly through the words of Ada. As with other holocaust stories, this one was heartbreaking at times, heartwarming at others. Ada left a memoir of her family, the Baumgartners, Jacob, Frieda, and Ada. I loved this family. Ada's boyfriend, Kurt, was a wonderful man whom I also loved. Although I know these characters are fictional, I would love to have known them. The holocaust was possibly the most complicated, evil time in world history. However, it was also a time before the war, that life was simple and straightforward. For me, that's makes the holocaust doubly sad. This is a wonderful book thatvI hope you'll choose to read!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Greg Friedman
  • 07-07-2019

A story which rewards

Although uneven at times, the story eventually rewards the listener. A good overall plot, and nicely interwoven, past and present. the present-day story is the weaker of the two. Two criticisms: the dialogue in the story from the past often has contemporary expressions which do not seem to fit the time period. the contemporary lawyer and detective, are not that engaging and I found their characters flat, and in the case of Liam, somewhat of a caricature. The narrator was excellent, except for the fact that the director should have told him how to correctly pronounce name of the composer "Haydn"--certainly not "Hey-den." Sad, when he did so well with all the others!

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  • Patrick
  • 09-05-2019

Avoid

This book has a rather promising story line and a few sections that are rather good, particularly the musical descriptions. Additionally, the narrator is excellent. Unfortunately, the book ends up being a distinctly frustrating experience. The author seems to have a strong aversion to having his characters utilize anything remotely resembling common sense. The primary storytelling devise involves the main characters investigating a case while reading a manuscript provided by their client who assures them it provides the answers they seek. Rather than devouring the document immediately to find these answers, they spend days reading the manuscript a chapter at a time for no reason other than to allow the author to dole out the information piece by piece. The manuscript is supposed to be written during WWII yet contains numerous contemporary expressions – (“Wow’, “Good Vibrations”). It also depicts a rescue scene at Aushwitz so ludicrous as to be more than cringeworthy. All in all, I strongly advise avoiding this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dave Johns
  • 01-03-2019

Excellent reader!

We loved the book but Fred Berman’s performance also deserves a comment. How he used all the Italian, German, male, female and American voices is unbelievable!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Barb Kohl
  • 09-02-2019

Balson doesn't disappoint!

The story didn't lag, always kept me interest. Believeable. Discriptive. Very enjoyable. I await his nextbook!

1 person found this helpful

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  • M. A. Meierhoff
  • 01-01-2019

Best book I’ve read in 2018

This amazing story holds your attention throughout. It’s woven to a story from the past that is a taken into Italy and the vineyards of 2017. You will not be able to quit listening

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  • Phillip
  • 12-08-2019

Loved every minute

I loved every minute, beautifully written by the amazing Ronald H. Balson wonderfully narrated by the super talented Fred Berman :)

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  • Marion
  • 03-01-2019

Brilliant !

Another brilliant Balson book. I was riveted and couldn't stop listening. The research is so in depth which makes the story so gripping, a combination of WW 2 history and a legal saga. I would definitely recommend this book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mintychristine
  • 25-10-2018

A good audiobook

I enjoyed the narrative but it took me a while to adjust to the female lead being read by a male having said that I enjoyed the narrative and appreciated the accents. The story was quite good Liam and Catherine are a bit bland