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Searching For Gertrude’s Back-of-Book Description
I’ll come for you. No matter what. I’ll find you, and we’ll be reunited.
When Gertrude is forced to flee Nazi Germany with her family, Rudolf is left behind. Despite the distance, he remains devoted to her. Even after her letters stop.
Eight years pass before Rudolf is finally able to follow Gertrude to Istanbul. Their reunion should be inevitable, but Rudolf can’t find Gertrude. He stumbles upon Rosalyn who immediately agrees to help him search for his lost love.
Willing to do anything in their search, they find themselves entangled with a British intelligence officer. As the danger increases and the search for Gertrude stretches on, Rudolf and Rosalyn grow close, but Rudolf gave his heart away long ago.
How far would you go to find the woman you love?
I was given a free copy of Searching for Gertrude in exchange for my honest review. And – being honest – the author reached out to me over a year ago (I’m terrible, I know). I told her I would add it to my list…Better late than never I guess!
Now, knowing that this novel might not be my usual cup of tea (romance), I agreed to read it because I’m very attracted to historical fictions, especially those of the WWII era. And that’s just what this is! Searching for Gertrude is a historical romance set in Istanbul in 1941. Fun fact, the author told me it was her twelfth book and that she had recently lived in Istanbul for a couple of years.
I found both of those things incredibly impressive and intriguing enough to want to read this. Fast forward 18 months and I finally did! It did take me a little while to get through it, with life happening and all. I was interested from start but found it a little hard to stay pulled in through a lot of the middle. But then again about three quarters of the way through, I was pretty invested and kept wondering how it would end.
Searching for Gertrude is indeed a romance novel, which means it hits a few stereotypical tropes that I don’t always fully appreciate – like people falling in love a little faster than you would think possible. The novel also stays pretty light and doesn’t include a whole lot of the heaviness that’s in some other war novels.
The author dives right into the story without us getting to know much about the characters which bothered me at first, but then I decided she does a pretty decent job of developing them as the story unfolds. Rosalyn, one of the main characters, was pretty likable and relatable but I feel like we could have gotten to know a little more about Rudolf – his motivations and feelings on what was happening. Perhaps that’s typical of romance novels, though.
Besides those two, there are several interesting supporting characters, complete with little quirks of their own. I liked the plotline and the structure of the story. The setting felt simple for the most part, and I was able to picture the city streets, houses, and hotels where it was all taking place.
There were a few instances where I think she should have spent more time – most notably some action scenes near the beginning. I mean it is taking place near a war! (Yes near, Turkey was supposedly neutral during this time.) I think more time in the action would have helped to draw me in and keep me hooked a little longer. There were also a few pieces of the dialogue that didn’t quite seem to fit in with the period, but nothing major.
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Favorite Quotes From Searching for Gertrude
“In her experience, all men were capable of altering engagements in a way which lead to chaos. They seemed incapable of considering the consequences of their actions before plowing forth.”
“Nothing can be worse than the not knowing.”
“There was nothing romantic about not being able to communicate directly with someone.”
“He wouldn’t be the man to squash her innocence. That would happen soon enough as the war progressed.”
In my opinion, Searching for Gertrude gets 3 stars. Overall I found it to be a mostly light, easy read that definitely falls under the romance category. Perhaps I would have liked it more if she spent more time on the adventure, espionage aspect of it, but perhaps not.
Aside from the few bits of dialogue that felt a little off for the period, it was obvious the author had done plenty of research on the time and place. Having read a fair amount of historical fictions from WWII, I appreciate that and think others will as well.
I know there are folks out there that love a good romance so they would surely enjoy this even more than I did. If that’s you (or someone you know) be sure to give this book a shot – especially if you’re looking for a new author with a large library of romance novels!
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