The Girl Called Princess Charlotte

The Girl Called Princess Charlotte

by Gerard Shirar


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478761679
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 10/30/2015
Pages: 382
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.85(d)

About the Author

Gerard Shirar graduated from Purdue University and is a twenty-year veteran of the United States Army, serving in Korea and Vietnam. He practiced law in Massachusetts for fifteen years, and is the former Director of Security for the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.

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The Girl Called Princess Charlotte 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
TopBookReviewers More than 1 year ago
"An emotional historical mystery thriller, The Girl Called Princess Charlotte by Gerard Shirar, is essentially two stories. Both stories center around a valuable stolen painting with the same name as the novel title. Boston lawyer Teddy Murphy is handed a unique civil case to reclaim the painting for a foundation started by the original owner, Dr. Markus Steiner. Teddy must argue that the painting was stolen from Steiner’s art gallery by the Nazis during the start of WWII and, regardless of how the current owner obtained it, it should be returned. In preparation for the trial, Teddy is given several of Steiner’s diaries to read and then the other story begins. Shirar, the author, now takes us on a unique journey of historical importance that I was truly entranced with. Starting in 1907, Steiner’s diaries follow his life from a young man who enters the First World War as a German Jew fighting in the trenches against the French and British, to living in a completely different Germany at the start of WWII where he is persecuted. His business is ruined and he is forced to flee. Shirar’s renditions of the First World War are shockingly honest. His writing shows how life in the trenches was brutal and lonely. He also dwells on the sexual frustration of young men trapped with no release for weeks at a time. Be warned that is not a novel for adolescents as he continues on with the sexual exploration for the rest of the diaries. That being said, it shows how the human psyche needs release during difficult times to survive. The continuing diaries follow Steiner throughout the tumultuous 20’s; Berlin at the height of its sexual awakening and Germany falling apart after WWI. The memoires of living through the 30’s offer a history lesson that all should read on how the Nazis came to power. What I found interesting was not only were Steiner’s diaries written in the first person but Teddy, the narrator, was also written in the first person which made for a fascinating perspective. Although Teddy’s personal life was a bit dry sometimes, through his experience of Steiner’s life, he began evaluating his own. As the intriguing investigations and revelations of the upcoming trial continued, Shirar showed through the diary entries how the German people of the time, even some Jews, deceived themselves into believing that Hitler’s rise to power through the early 30’s was nothing at all - thinking that life would stay the same and eventually return to normal. The Girl Called Princess Charlotte, is a powerful novel that shows us the fragility of our world even in these modern times." TBR-TopBookReviewers
cvasquez More than 1 year ago
"The Girl Called Princess Charlotte” by Gerard Shirar is one of the most moving and best-written novels I’ve read in a while! I was completely drawn in from the get-go with the atmospheric opening that grounds us in the ‘artistic’ world right away…and absolutely loved the author’s use of description of the different settings, and his attention to detailing in the characterizations and the world-building. Detailing (and accuracy) is crucial in selling a historical story, and it is done wonderfully here. I’ve never read any “art mystery’ books before but am familiar with the concept and I enjoyed how complex and totally addicting it was!!Murphy was a great lead (as is the rest of the supporting cast… including Markus ) and it really caught me by surprise how much I enjoyed all of it, and it was much deeper and more philosophically ‘complex’ than I’d expected it to be, bringing up some great points re: treatment of Jewish people. Excellent editing and formatting – very professionally presented all around. Recommend to fans of literary historical suspense.
NicolaF More than 1 year ago
I admit that “The Girl Called Princess Charlotte” wouldn’t be my normal type of read (I’m more of a fantasy and romance gal) but I’ve been wanting to read more out of my comfort zone lately and expand my tastes… the premise and sample looked intriguing so I thought I’d give it a chance. I’d so glad I did! It was far more exciting than I would’ve guessed, and I found myself flipping the pages as fast as I could to see what would happen. I liked how everything came full circle at the end, and how the story was set amongst a backdrop that is unfamiliar to me and I feel like it opened my eyes a lot. I like art as much as the next person, but I’m no expert and I will never look at it the same way again! Also, I don’t have that much experience with Jewish history other than what I’ve learned in school, so it broadened my perspectives on different aspects of their historical struggle- That was cool. This was a long book with layers of subplots and a great mix of the present day with the past. I was almost sad when it was over but loved the ending!
LaylaM1 More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars I found myself wavering around a bit while reading “The Girl Called Princess Charlotte” by Gerard Shirar. At first I was immediately interested in the story, and became immersed in the intense world building and complex plot development (art theft, WWII, Nazi’s, oh my!). But there were times I felt the story wasn’t as focused as I’d like, with some conversations and scenes maybe weren’t necessary and perhaps could have been eliminated to tighten the narrative some and create more tension. This is a long book, and there were times where I was just waiting for something to happen. But at the same time, the pacing was steady, and there was great character development and historical insight, and some crazy developments toward the end. It felt unique and unpredictable, always a nice experience, especially in a genre that is fraught with derivative copycats. I enjoyed the author’s narrative voice, and would be interested in reading anything else he writes. Recommend for mature readers.
essieh More than 1 year ago
I’m a huge fan of suspense/mystery/crime thrillers and read them all the time. Unfortunately, after a while many of them start to feel the same, like many authors (especially new ones) are using the same recycled plot over and over again. But I like trying out new authors and thought the premise of Gerard Shirar’s “The Girl Called Princess Charlotte” sounded interesting—and quite ambitious. But while I fully admit I had no expectations going in…well, consider me blown away! I read this book in just a few evenings (much to my own amazement) which is pretty impressive considering how long of an ebook it is. Gerard Shirar is a hugely is a talented writer, and I was hooked in by the way he weaved so many interesting characters (past and present) and high-octane storylines together to create a wholly addicting story that I couldn’t put down until the final, satisfying, bittersweet conclusion. It was beautifully narrated and with authentic dialogue and scene descriptions. It is clear that Mr. Shirar knows his history, and a fair bit of the art world (as mentioned in his bio)… and it shows. Would love to read more from him in the future.
SteffyC More than 1 year ago
Lately I’ve been in a rut of putting down books and not picking them up again because I lost interest at one point and just never continued. This was definitely not the case with this book, “The Girl Called Princess Charlotte” by Gerard Shirar. From the very beginning the intrigue and action flowed seamlessly from one page to the next as past and present came to life in a vivid and sometimes shocking way. I enjoyed experiencing this time in history thorough Markus’s eyes (through the diary) and we really feel transported to another time and place, one I’ve only read about in history books. The writing was fantastic, and the plot was unpredictable enough to make me just *have* to see what would happen next. Not formulaic or cookie-cutter at all, even though there are plenty of “familiar elements” necessary for a historical mystery/ thriller. I was impressed with Shirar’s writing style and will look for more works from him in the future.
Boundlessbookreviews More than 1 year ago
This book starts when the ownership of a certain painting comes into question. While the lawyers are working on the case behind it, a story begins to develop from the diaries of a young man named Markus. The mystery behind the painting is fascinating and it makes for a great and intriguing read. Honestly, when I first began I wasn't sure how I felt about this book. It was a bit slow to start, but it soon had me deeply sucked into the story. This book has a lot of history and so it made it a great read to me. I absolutely fell in love with the character of Markus. His writing in the diaries is so real. He was in the war. He saw the Nazi parties, he saw the discrimination against the Jews. It all had a very real feel to it. It was hard not to like him and feel for him through all his journeys. He was very colorful in his diary and you see the world and the aftermath from all sides. He painted a very clear picture of his life and what was really going on in the world during this time. If you love history like I do, this book will be right up your alley.....Stormi
SherriWarner More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars I was unfamiliar with Gerard Shirar before reading this book, but I am interested in WWII (specifically Nazi) history and am a huge art lover. So this sounded right up my alley… And I was not in the least bit disappointed! I was so impressed with the story development and Shirar’s’s level of historical detailing on almost every single aspect of the various subplots, and with the depth of the characters. Although the premise itself may not be one that is entirely original (recovering stolen art) it is presented in a fresh way against a fascinating historical backdrop. It was intelligent and complex, and not predictable or cliché which was a relief. The narrative is done well, and I was impressed with the near-flawless editing – something that is really rare in ebooks. Not only was I entertained, I actually feel like I learned more about that time period. The ending gives emotional satisfaction and is rewarding overall. “The Girl Called Princess Charlotte” is a memorable, well-written book that shines a light on the injustices done to Jewish people before and after the war, and is recommended to fans of historical and literary fiction. Really enjoyed it!