“[Lambert's] behind-the-scenes tale of an extraordinary man in love with a most ordinary woman is a revelation.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A fascinating read.” Booklist
“This book offers new insight into the cold heart of Nazi leadership and presents a remarkable, fully developed portrait of a woman who happened to share her life with one of the most hated men in history.” Tucson Citizen
Lambert (whose novel, A Rather English Marriage was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize) cites the remarkable fact that while Hitler has over 700 biographies, his long-time mistress and wife (for 36 hours), Eva Braun, enjoys just two in English-the first long out of print and now this one. Since her death at age 33 in the bunker alongside her beloved Adolf, Braun has been dismissed as a vivacious but flighty and not overly intelligent companion with a perverse adoration of the fuehrer. In her magnificent, sensitive and finely written bio, Lambert does not wholly undermine this perception, but for the first time Braun emerges as a fully rounded, complex individual both liberated and imprisoned by her relationship with Hitler, a relationship assiduously dissected here and that exemplifies the meaning of "opposites attract." She was, for instance, the only person allowed to smoke in the abstemious fuehrer's presence, and she was as Catholic as Hitler was militantly self-worshiping. No one in Hitler's retinue ever understood their mutual attraction, though perhaps Albert Speer was closest when he said that for Hitler Braun was "incredibly undemanding"; as for Braun's infatuation, Lambert herself remains bemused, but her behind-the-scenes tale of an extraordinary man in love with a most ordinary woman is a revelation. 32 pages of b&w photos. (Jan.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
While hundreds of books have explored Hitler's life, only one in the English language-Nerin E. Gun's Eva Braun: Hitler's Mistress-has heretofore studied Eva Braun. Lambert (Unquiet Souls: The Indian Summer of the British Aristocracy, 1880-1918) attempts to delve into Braun's world, feeling that her own gender and background (her mother was German and a contemporary of Eva's) give her a unique perspective. Unfortunately, she relies heavily on Gun's work and doesn't give enough of her own mother's point of view to make a very meaningful comparative study. Eva is sympathetically portrayed as a typical German woman: loyal and kind, unconcerned with politics, and often suicidal because of her "secret life" with Hitler. While some parts attempt to dispel the myth of Eva's shallowness, other parts reinforce her vanity and lack of compassion for her countrypeople (e.g., excessive luxuries at the Berghof, Hitler's Bavarian home, during the lean years of the war). Lambert does utilize personal interviews with Braun's cousin, Gertraud Weisker, who spent time with Braun at the Berghof toward the end of the war. For this reason alone, libraries with Gun's work should purchase Lambert's as well. Recommended for academic libraries.-Maria C. Bagshaw, Lake Erie Coll. Lib., Painesville, OH Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.