This Terrible Beauty

A Novel
Narrated by: Kathleen Gati, Robert Fass
Length: 12 hrs and 41 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (36 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the bestselling author of The Forgotten Hours comes an unforgettable story of one woman’s journey to reclaim what she lost in a country torn apart by the devastating legacy of WWII.

On the windswept shores of an East German island, Bettina Heilstrom struggles to build a life from the ashes. World War II has ended, and her country is torn apart. Longing for a family, she marries Werner, an older bureaucrat who adores her. But after joining the fledgling secret police, he is drawn deep into its dark mission and becomes a dangerous man.

When Bettina falls in love with an idealistic young renegade, Werner discovers her infidelity and forces her to make a terrible choice: spend her life in prison or leave her home forever. Either way she loses both her lover and child.

Ten years later, Bettina has reinvented herself as a celebrated photographer in Chicago, but she’s never stopped yearning for the baby she left behind. Surprised by an unexpected visitor from her past, she resolves to return to her ravaged homeland to reclaim her daughter and uncover her beloved’s fate, whatever the cost.

©2020 Katrin Schumann (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Way to long

Some details are good, but there were so many unnecessary details that added nothing to the story, and made it boring and hard to keep up with the actual story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

This Terrible Beauty provides excellent insight into East Germany

Goo love story told over a 20-year timeframe. Gives one a good idea as to the lives of ordinary Germans filling WW2.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A relatable and gutsy story

I like the attractiveness of the story, the historical fiction, the honesty and vulnerability of the characters. The author is courageous in her story telling.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Riveting

The story itself was riveting. However the sing-song voice of the female narrator made me want to pull my hair out. She was just awful and I almost quit listening many times. If I could still see well enough to read it for myself, I would have. The only way I was able to withstand it was to speed it up almost so fast as to not be able to understand the words. The story of what a mother will endure for her child’s happiness is overpowering. Bettina had two great loves in her life. Her lover and her daughter. This story is a reminder of just how terrible living can be under the oppressive regime of a Communist/Fascist/Socialist country. We can only pray that because of stories like this help to remind us why our capitalistic society is so important to maintain, that future generations are free to read and express their opinions on matters just as I am doing here. It may be only a novel of fiction but the the history is truth. I’d recommend the kindle version.