Monday, July 04, 2011

Book Review: "Springtime of the Spirit" by Maureen Lang

Summary from By the fall of 1918, the Great War has ended and the world is at peace, but there is little to celebrate in Germany. After four years of fighting for his homeland, Christophe Brecht returns to find there is little left of what he once called home. So when family friends ask him to travel to Munich to bring back their runaway daughter, Christophe agrees.

When he finally locates Annaliese Duray, he discovers she is far different from the girl he once knew. Headstrong, idealistic, and beautiful, she is on the front lines of the city’s political scene, fighting to give women and working-class citizens a voice in Germany’s new government.

As the political upheaval ignites in Munich, so does the attraction between Annaliese and Christophe. With an army from Berlin threatening to squash everything Annaliese has worked for, both she and Christophe are forced to choose between love and loyalty.

Even though I'm a historian and have my degrees in history, I don't really know that much about European history. I specialized in US history in both my bachelor's and master's degrees and in high school, other than briefly mentioning Europe during the major wars, we never talked about the continent. I'm not really a big fan about older European history but I really like studying events from the 20th century. Therefore I really love reading books that deal with any type of European history without much focus on the Americans. This series by Maureen Lang has given me the perfect opportunity to enjoy this.

In the third book of the Great War series, we're taken to Germany after World War I has ended. Most people (including myself) aren't quite up to speed with the events that took place after WWI to when Hitler took over. I'm glad then to learn about the revolutions and grassroots movement that took place during this time period. Even if I do not necessarily agree with everything that this movement was fighting for, it was fascinating to see how passionate some were about their beliefs. Equally as interesting were those who seemed to just be swept up in the movement but when actually faced with standing up for what they believed in, they caved. Lang takes the reader into a Germany that is still uncertain with what it wants and what direction it is heading towards. While Hitler does not make appearances yet, there are slight hints towards his time approaching with the treatment of Jews in the story.

This book is more historical than the other two, there is still a romance that takes place. Annaliese is young and idealistic. She's swept up in the chromaticism of the political movement and sees it and Jurgen to be her ticket to freedom and happiness. Meanwhile Christophe has been burned before and just wants to bring Annaliese back to her parents. He has to fight to make Annaliese truly see him. I was hoping a bit more for a triangle relationship but was still overall pleased with how everything ended.

If you haven't read the other books in the series, you don't need to worry before starting this one. It is a complete standalone. While one of the leads has appeared in a previous novel, it's not necessary to read it before starting this one. Overall it's a fascinating historical fiction read with enough romance to not bore those who aren't history fans. Out of the three books in the series, this is probably my favorite.

Springtime of the Spirit by Maureen Lang is published by Tyndale (2011)

This review copy was provided by the publisher

Other books in The Great War series that I have reviewed:

Look to the East (Book 1)
Whisper on the Wind (Book 2)


  1. This sounds like a really interesting historical setting. I'm not up to speed on WWI history, and this sounds like a fun book to read if I want just a little background on that period in Germany.

  2. Thanks for a great review, Deborah! So glad you liked the story. :-)


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