Official Review: The Trunk by Dale Rollings

Please use this forum to discuss historical fiction books. Common definitions define historical fiction as novels written at least 25-50 years after the book's setting.
Forum rules
Authors and publishers are not able to post replies in the review topics.
Post Reply
User avatar
melissy370
Posts: 791
Joined: 15 Nov 2017, 09:49
2018 Reading Goal: 50
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 94
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 121
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-melissy370.html
Latest Review: The Trunk by Dale Rollings
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Official Review: The Trunk by Dale Rollings

Post by melissy370 » 13 Jan 2020, 12:53

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Trunk" by Dale Rollings.]
Book Cover
3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review


At his father’s funeral, Don Jurgens‘s Aunt Mildred pressures him into giving a speech and reciting from notes she gave him to say. In the notes, there was a mention of his father being in a Black Forest Society that raises Don’s curiosity. He never knew that his father was in such a club. After talking to Mildred about this and seeing her odd reaction, Don is more intrigued in finding out more about this society. He remembers his mother showing him a trunk full of memorabilia and pictures before she died, and he goes on the hunt looking for it. Once found, it drastically changes his understanding of his parents. Inside the trunk was not only photos but his mother’s diaries. Frieda and Hugo Jurgens kept a dark secret. One that ties them to the Nazi party and that could still harm Don and his family.

The Trunk by Dale Rollings is a historical fiction with suspense elements. Rollings brings to the forefront how German Americans viewed the World War in the 1940s. St. Louis, MO, where the Jurgens lived, had a large German immigrant population during that time. Wanting to support the country they were in collided with being loyal to the country of their ancestors. Today we have the hindsight to know what cruelty the Nazis unleashed. During the early days of the Third Riech, though, many were swayed by the ideas they presented. In Frieda’s diary, she talks about how it started with a subtle change in the music to more nationalistic songs at the places she and her husband hung out at. It was very intriguing to see how Hitler and his party attempted to manipulate those a thousand miles away. 

The characters weren’t easy to warm up to. Frieda and Hugo make some poor choices that most could view morally wrong. Their decisions reflect how living through the Great Depression could affect your judgment. I even questioned if I liked Don and his wife because of the way they dealt with a problem. The author painted the world more in grays than in black and white, and I liked how closer to reality it was. Rollings himself asserts, “I was ambivalent about how I felt about the characters.” No matter if you love them or hate them, the author’s well-developed characters will incite some kind of emotion in you. 

I had two issues with this book, though. My biggest problem was with the erotic scenes in Frieda’s diary. Frieda goes into explicit detail about her love life and discusses how she loses her virginity. These parts cheapened the storyline, and it would have been better if the author had omitted them or told them in less detail. There were also tons of grammar and punctuation mistakes in the PDF I received, which was odd since Rollings thanks someone at the end for proofreading the story. 

Despite my distaste for the sexual content in this book, Rollings delivered a fast pace and entertaining story. Because of that, I give The Trunk 3 out of 4 stars. Anyone who loves historical and suspense fiction would want to read this book. Besides the erotic content, readers also need to know about the profanity and violence in the book as well.

******
The Trunk
View: on Bookshelves

User avatar
Letora
Posts: 790
Joined: 06 Oct 2016, 09:58
2019 Reading Goal: 90
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 92
Favorite Book: Broken Things
Currently Reading: The Happy Place
Bookshelf Size: 228
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-letora.html
Latest Review: E-M-P Honeymoon by Dorothy May Mercer

Post by Letora » 14 Jan 2020, 04:35

I was intrigued by the story until you mentioned the explicit sex scenes. I always feel scenes like this are added for shock value, though in this case, I would think the content of the main story would be enough for that. 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

User avatar
Deprise Evans
Posts: 10
Joined: 20 Jun 2018, 14:16
Favorite Author: Francine Rivers
Currently Reading: Crazy Love
Bookshelf Size: 11
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-deprise-evans.html
Latest Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU
fav_author_id: 6456

Post by Deprise Evans » 14 Jan 2020, 15:56

This looks like an intriguing and amazing read! The erotic sex scenes were a shock though, but I still think that they were important for you to mention. But despite that, the book sounds very interesting.

Thank you for your great review!

User avatar
ZeePresswood
Posts: 1
Joined: 14 Jan 2020, 20:46
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by ZeePresswood » 14 Jan 2020, 20:49

The title of the book does not make someone want to read it. Contrary to the saying, people will judge a book by its cover and on this case, they will it by its title. There are sex scenes in this book which could have been added as a way to keep the audience intrigued, but judging from the rest of the content in the book, the sex scenes are really not needed.

User avatar
Julius_
Posts: 373
Joined: 17 May 2019, 01:15
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 40
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 78
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-julius.html
Latest Review: The Legacy of Job's Wife by Cynthia Koelker

Post by Julius_ » 19 Jan 2020, 01:05

This book sounds great. But since I'm not so much into explicit erotic scenes, I'll pass it. Thanks for the review
We're all philosophers. When there's a tough choice to be made, when faced with the facts of birth,love or death or simply when thinking about what we want to do with our lives.

User avatar
Jaime Lync
Posts: 1423
Joined: 15 Mar 2017, 19:33
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 150
2018 Reading Goal: 20
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 115
2017 Reading Goal: 12
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 500
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 119
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-jaime-lync.html
Latest Review: Last Another Day by Baileigh Higgins

Post by Jaime Lync » 19 Jan 2020, 19:01

I am not sure that this book is for me because of two reasons:1. I like to cheer on characters and they not being easy to warm up to seems like it would hamper that and 2. sexual content in my reading is something I try to avoid as much as possible.
You did a great job with this review; it was really informative. Thanks for sharing.

Post Reply

Return to “Historical Fiction”