Official Review: My Parents' Darkroom by Reinhard Tenberg

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Cecilia_L
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Official Review: My Parents' Darkroom by Reinhard Tenberg

Post by Cecilia_L » 08 Jul 2019, 21:10

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "My Parents' Darkroom" by Reinhard Tenberg.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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"I don't know what you did in the war, Dad. I was always afraid to ask--all of us were--and now it's too late. However, I'm certain the war left deep scars on you--not just physically, but it changed who you once were. And, since you are a part of my history, I need to find out more about you."

After his mother is placed into a care home, Jonas inherits a wooden cigar box containing relics from his parents' past. The box includes some trinkets that trigger memories from his childhood, but when he discovers a 1945 page from his mother's war diary, an undeveloped film canister, and 1939 ciné film, Jonas realizes how little he knows about his parents' history. In the suspenseful historical fiction, My Parents' Darkroom: Developing the Past, by Reinhard Tenberg, Jonas tries to unravel the family secrets surrounding his parents' involvement under the Nazis during the war. In his search for answers and the rest of his mother's missing diary, he falls in love with Bettina, who seems to have her own secrets. Can their love survive the shocking truth?

Not only is the 189-page book well written and flawlessly edited, the author skillfully pairs strong characterization and a suspenseful plot. The page-turner is written in the first-person narrative from the perspective of Jonas, a professor at a London university, who teaches post-war German history. As is often the case with brothers, Jonas and Helmut are polar opposites. Jonas is compelled to find out the truth about the degree of his parents' involvement with the Nazi Party, while Helmut prefers to let sleeping dogs lie. However, both brothers are relatably flawed and believable. When Bettina enters the story, the author reveals layers of her character over the course of the story.

I most liked the suspenseful aspect; Jonas was so driven to find out the truth about his parents that it elevated the plot to a mystery that was hard to put down. Each time a question was answered; another took its place. Why was the page torn from his mother's diary, and where is the rest of it? Who are the people in the photograph with his father? Does Bettina know more than she is letting on?

There honestly isn't anything I disliked about the book. Although I tend to prefer mysteries with tidy endings wrapped in a bow, I found the not-so-wrapped-up ending satisfying, as it prompted the hope of a sequel. I'm pleased to rate the book 4 out of 4 stars. I recommend it to both fans of historical fiction and suspense lovers. However, I caution sensitive readers regarding references to the Holocaust, although they are not graphic in nature. Due to the subject matter, profanity, and a few sexual scenes, the book is intended for a mature audience.

******
My Parents' Darkroom
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Ekta Kumari
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Post by Ekta Kumari » 09 Jul 2019, 12:54

Interesting storyline. It's a nice and rare combination of historical fiction with mystery. I also suspect a little bit of romance here, too. I admire the fact that it has great characterization and an engaging plot. I wonder how does the book ends with a cliffhanger. Thanks for reviewing the book. I enjoyed reading your review.
"Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare."

-Guy de Maupassant

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Post by Cecilia_L » 09 Jul 2019, 13:19

Ekta Kumari wrote:
09 Jul 2019, 12:54
Interesting storyline. It's a nice and rare combination of historical fiction with mystery. I also suspect a little bit of romance here, too. I admire the fact that it has great characterization and an engaging plot. I wonder how does the book ends with a cliffhanger. Thanks for reviewing the book. I enjoyed reading your review.
Thank you, Ekta.

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Post by Letora » 09 Jul 2019, 17:49

This sounds like an intense book. I'd love to read this! Thank you for your review!
"Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope." - Dr. Seuss

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Post by Cecilia_L » 09 Jul 2019, 19:02

Letora wrote:
09 Jul 2019, 17:49
This sounds like an intense book. I'd love to read this! Thank you for your review!
Thank you, Letora. I hope you enjoy it.

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Post by LV2R » 09 Jul 2019, 19:58

It is amazing that a suspenseful plot with mystery and the use of good character development can be crafted from one page of a war-torn diary and a few photos. The author must be a good writer, as uses a creative way to tell about the Holocaust.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 10 Jul 2019, 07:29

LV2R wrote:
09 Jul 2019, 19:58
It is amazing that a suspenseful plot with mystery and the use of good character development can be crafted from one page of a war-torn diary and a few photos. The author must be a good writer, as uses a creative way to tell about the Holocaust.
I agree, and he is. Thanks for your comment.

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Post by kdstrack » 11 Jul 2019, 15:29

I echo your feelings about tidy endings! When the story is so well done and the characters are already in your head and heart - well, you just have to buy the sequel!! This one looks interesting. The time period and the story line are equally appealing. Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 11 Jul 2019, 19:15

kdstrack wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 15:29
I echo your feelings about tidy endings! When the story is so well done and the characters are already in your head and heart - well, you just have to buy the sequel!! This one looks interesting. The time period and the story line are equally appealing. Thanks for the recommendation.
Exactly! You're welcome. I appreciate your comment.

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Post by janelwhite » 17 Jul 2019, 09:32

Thank you for that wonderful review! I was hooked with those first sentences. What an interesting story. And because you said it’s a page turner, it’s now on my want to read list! Thank you!

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