The Taster by V.S. Alexander
Genre: Historical Fiction
Setting: World War II Germany
‘I shuddered. My life might end here. Not even the bombings in Berlin had forced me to face my mortality in such a brutal way. The thought that I might die for Hitler stunned me.’
Magda Ritter is a young German woman who falls into the job of ‘Taster’ for Adolf Hitler in which she is trained to detect poisons by sight, smell, and taste. The novel explores several years of her life up until just after the end of the war with a contemporary prologue and epilogue. There is a romance with sufficient tension.
I received this book from the subscription book club, Once Upon a Book Club. This company sends gifts relevant to events in the book, instructing you to open them on a particular page. It’s good fun!
If you’re a fan of WWII hist fic, then you will enjoy this book. It’s well-researched and the writing is clean. It also gives the reader a glimpse into the daily life of Hitler et al. and the war-torn German people.
The area that fell short for me was that Magda lacked emotional depth, even in her hatred of Hitler, and I never truly developed much sympathy for her. That said, the novel was an interesting read for the subject matter alone and the story kept me turning pages.
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