We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
City of Women Audiobook

City of Women

It is 1943 - the height of the Second World War. With the men taken by the army, Berlin has become a city of women. And while her husband fights on the Eastern Front, Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model soldier's wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime. But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former Jewish lover.
Regular Price:$31.50
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

It is 1943 - the height of the Second World War. With the men taken by the army, Berlin has become a city of women. And while her husband fights on the Eastern Front, Sigrid Schröder is, for all intents and purposes, the model soldier's wife: She goes to work every day, does as much with her rations as she can, and dutifully cares for her meddling mother-in-law, all the while ignoring the horrific immoralities of the regime.

But behind this façade is an entirely different Sigrid, a woman who dreams of her former Jewish lover, who is now lost in the chaos of the war.

Sigrid's tedious existence is turned upside down when she finds herself hiding a mother and her two young daughters - whom she believes might be her lover's family - and she must make terrifying choices that could cost her everything.

©2012 David R. Gillham (P)2012 Penguin Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (351 )
5 star
 (124)
4 star
 (138)
3 star
 (61)
2 star
 (13)
1 star
 (15)
Overall
4.0 (310 )
5 star
 (114)
4 star
 (117)
3 star
 (59)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (8)
Story
4.2 (308 )
5 star
 (147)
4 star
 (107)
3 star
 (36)
2 star
 (10)
1 star
 (8)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Kate Andover, MA, United States 10-02-12
    Kate Andover, MA, United States 10-02-12 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Must Listen"

    Narration AND plot are outstanding in this well written novel that provides a German woman's journey through WWII as she struggles with an unpopular and illegal (at the time) decision to support the underground movement of protecting Jews from the Nazis. A must listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin Auckland, New Zealand 09-26-12
    Robin Auckland, New Zealand 09-26-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "City of Women"
    Would you listen to City of Women again? Why?

    Yes Yes Yes. This is amazing. The author controls the tension and suspense. It is almost unbearable to listen to.


    What about Suzanne Bertish’s performance did you like?

    Suzanne was amazing. Her skills stunning. Her expression and storytelling superb.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes but it is difficult to get the time. You need to listen to it in large chunks.


    Any additional comments?

    Wonderful, superb, gripping, terrifying and all so real.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maureen 09-25-12
    Maureen 09-25-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Survival of the Shrewd!"
    What made the experience of listening to City of Women the most enjoyable?

    How the clever plot unfolded itself to the listener.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Sigrid Schroeder.This women experienced every emotion with courage and tenacity.She is totally credible - a simple honest housewife thrown into a maelstrom of treachery against her will.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Egon finally gives Sigrid an explanation for his abominable and ruthless treatment of his fellow Jewish compatriots. Up until this time I did not warm to this character but the vivid account of his experiences made me ask myself 'what would you have done if confronted with the choices and decisions he had to make to survive.


    If you could take any character from City of Women out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would invite Caspar. I would like to have found out more about his character and how he felt as the story unfolded. For me, he was the sad victim of the current time. He lost everything that was dear to him in such a short space of time.


    Any additional comments?

    I was enthralled with this book. Having lived in Germany as a 'Schwiegertochter' I was able to empathize with Sigrid. However, I was slightly irritated when the storyteller was unable to pronounce some of the German place names. This might not be of importance to a listener who did not understand German well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Teresa 09-15-12
    Teresa 09-15-12 Member Since 2010

    I enjoy listening to great detective mysterie & also great thrillers. I enjoy books also by Vince Flynn, David Baldaci including assasins.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    194
    76
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not a disappointment. Great Story!"
    What made the experience of listening to City of Women the most enjoyable?

    The twist and turns and the narrator did an excellent job.


    What other book might you compare City of Women to and why?

    None


    What does Suzanne Bertish bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She made that time seem so more real that you would not have received from reading. She did an excellent job with Sigrid's character.


    Who was the most memorable character of City of Women and why?

    Sigrid. The way she matured throughout the book in ways I did not expect.


    Any additional comments?

    Once started I could not stop until finished. This is a great listen. It didn't end as expected but ended great all the same.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pauline New Zealand 09-11-12
    Pauline New Zealand 09-11-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "excellent and griping story"
    Would you listen to City of Women again? Why?

    Yes - bought this audio book by accident and thought OMG an audio !-but loved it and had it playing whilst driving long rides home from work and cooking meals - may have missed some small bits
    Actually looked forward to long drive home at the end of a working day.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    no favourites


    What does Suzanne Bertish bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Just the different charactors and voices, emotions


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    don't know but would make a great movie


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kate ARCHDALE, NC, United States 09-06-12
    Kate ARCHDALE, NC, United States 09-06-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing book - don't miss it!"
    Where does City of Women rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This book ranks #1 of all the audiobooks I have listened to so far. I couldn't wait to hear each chapter.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the way the writer created multi-dimensional characters with an orginal story. A vivid account of WWII Berlin through the eyes of a fascinating woman. The novel's plot provides a terrific read while also displaying many aspects of life in Nazi Germany. Truly, no character is predictable.


    Which character – as performed by Suzanne Bertish – was your favorite?

    Sigrid is a non-forgettable character who seems so real. Fantastic writing. I thought the author was a woman because Sigrid's feelings and emotions are so authentic. What a surprise to discover that the author was male.


    Who was the most memorable character of City of Women and why?

    All the characters were memorable.


    Any additional comments?

    Ms. Bertish's performance enhanced the book for me. If I had read the book, the German street names would have been distracting but Ms. Bertish's reading made them a integrated part of the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Phillips Kansas City 08-31-12
    Bruce Phillips Kansas City 08-31-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Kept Me Listening - Very Enjoyable"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would recommend this audibook. The story was very intriguing and I found myself looking for reasons to prolong the times I was listening.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of City of Women?

    The ending was very moving.


    Have you listened to any of Suzanne Bertish’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    The development of the main character was superb. Nothing felt jarring or unreal. I really identified with Frau Schroeder.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leonard Honolulu, HI 01-05-13
    Leonard Honolulu, HI 01-05-13 Member Since 2016

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    100
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    39
    38
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    3
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Sleeper Novel"

    When I saw the listing of Gilham's novel, I was unsure if I wanted to download it. However, the WWII buff in me was curious to hear a description of wartime Berlin from the perspective of ordinary people. I was not disappointed with the story and Suzanne Bertish's narration was absolutely superb. The depiction of the characters living under the stress of food shortages and Allied bombing is fantastic. For the history lover this is a great listen.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert 04-19-13
    Robert 04-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Benchmark"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. This is a gripping piece of work consisting of an intelligent dialogue between a set of strong, complex characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Its historic reference that paints a real life image of what life might have been like in a time and place that we as Americans are not typically exposed to in our traditional schooling.


    What about Suzanne Bertish’s performance did you like?

    Everything. A reader's range of volume is critical to me. Suzanne stays clear of the pitfall of one moment speaking so softly it is difficult to clearly hear what is being said, to another moment where the shouting makes you flinch. She also crosses gender roles very well. All this says nothing of an appropriate German accent.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There are too many to mention.


    Any additional comments?

    This was my first Audible experience. I am writing this review after listening to nearly a dozen other recordings. I was afraid to review this immediately after listening to the recording for not having any other reference point. This is also my first Audible review. I have come back to pen these comments with a sense of gratitude to David Gillham, who I still cannot believe has not been published prior to this novel, and to Suzanne Bertish for combining on a wonderfully creative experience. An experience that did exactly as it should: transport me temporarily from one place to the next with grace, style, and a means that opens my senses and invites my mind expand its knowledge. Thank you, both.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 10-19-12
    Laurie Florence, KY, United States 10-19-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    601
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    306
    203
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    48
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ten stars"

    wow! what a great listen. I've read a number of books (both fiction and nonfiction) set during the WWII era, but this was far more "grittier" than most. Really peels back the layers and describes what ordinary Germans were confronted with during the Nazi regime. Great narration by someone who could do a German accent, too (or perhaps Ms Bertish is German). This is one of those books that is better listened to than read, due to the pronunciations of all of the German locations, etc. Highly recommend!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Fibri
    Belgium
    12/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "My favourite listen of 2013"

    I bought this on impulse without much research (I'm wary of debut novels usually)... and what a find it turned out to be. This had me glued to my seat throughout.

    Beautifully narrated, it is a moving and compelling story of - mostly - women in Berlin during WWII. The story revolves mainly around women helping Jews escape capture by the Gestapo. The range of characters includes nazis, resistance heros and heroines, soldiers and ordinary women - and various mixtures thereof. It puts you face to face with moral complexity and ethical dilemmas. It's a moving love story and an even more moving story of an unlikely friendship. It is all shades of grey; no black and white, no right and wrong. Good guys behaving badly and bad guys behaving heroically. Fallible individuals facing extreme situations in different ways.

    It's well written, psychologically insightful and atmospheric. I can't wait to see if David Gillham has further novels in the pipeline.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Louis R. Martin
    Ireland
    5/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Truly Brilliant Historical Thriller"

    David Gillham has burst forth into the ranks of Furst and Le Carre with this perfectly shaped gem of a novel. The story, the characters, the historical detail, and the energy of the story telling, propel you through this amazing book. I've never encountered a novel with such telling and powerful use of detail and such a stunning presentation of a moment in history. I loved it, and it's stayed with me for a long time after. Also the narrator was absolutely perfect! Incredible performance, amazing voices, beautifully read! Sigrid is a wonderful protagonist, and her story is very gripping and ultimately moving. A great sense of women and women's lives as well. Highest Recommendation!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Helen
    YORK, United Kingdom
    11/24/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Powerful and thought provoking"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already recommended this as an engaging listen. I really disliked most of the characters to begin with but over time they emerged as well rounded characters dealing with appalling situations as people do- some well, most not so well. Over time the enormous bravery of flawed people made for a fascinating listen.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of City of Women?

    There is a lot of well written sex!
    The twists and turns of the plot were great- I don't want to give anything away...


    Which character – as performed by Suzanne Bertish – was your favourite?

    The protagonist of course


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Lots of moments especially the friendships of women and the humanity and selflessness they showed


    Any additional comments?

    Persevere beyond the first couple of chapters as this is necessary scene setting- the mundane life of citizens at war

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • TawnyOwl14
    4/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow but good in the end"

    I found the start of the book a bit slow going, but after chapter 4 got into all the characters and enjoyed it from then on. The narrator was very good, and portrayed the different character very well.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • R. Howlett
    Cambridge UK
    2/10/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Little heard story of the German resistance"

    Very powerful story of the German resistance in Berlin during WW2. Well narrated. Left me thinking of it for days and how I would have acted in their shoes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • David
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sadly disconnected"
    Would you listen to City of Women again? Why?

    I would certainly read it, whether I would listen again is another matter. What should be a really engaging story is sullied by a somewhat cold delivery. I'm not sure whether that's because the lead character is cold and aloof, or whether it's the delivery that has he words delivered exceedingly forcefully, which makes you feel she's almost shouting at the others in the story.
    That said, the gradual immersion in the lot works well, and the slow realisation of the propaganda the citizens are being fed works well, and the characters surrounding her are well rounded and believable. Just a shame about that steam-rollering disconnection.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The slight and yet exceedingly strong willed young lady who leads with bravery, courage and not a little recklessness our heroine to act rather than wallow.


    What three words best describe Suzanne Bertish’s performance?

    Cold, disconnected, confident


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    No, it wasn't that engaging, although as you get into the story of Auntie and the undercover world, it certainly becomes much more engaging.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sandra
    Enniscorthy, Ireland
    7/3/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent book."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would certainly recommend this book to a friend with confidence they would enjoy it.


    What other book might you compare City of Women to, and why?

    Black Roses. The intrigue of the inside workings of the ordinary good german during WW2.


    What does Suzanne Bertish bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    Suzanne Bertish is a stunning narrator. She portrayed the v. nasty mother in law in genius fashion. I loathed the old cow as she intended me to. I would look out for books narrated by her in the future.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes


    Any additional comments?

    I will leave it a month or two and definitely listen to this again as it is many layered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.