Gateway Gazette

From My Bookshelf: My Name is Eva

By Lynn Willoughby

My Name is Eva ~ Suzanne Goldring

Her parents call her Evelyn, her husband called her Evie, when she was working in Germany just at the end of WWII she was called Eva, and when she is in her nineties, living in a seniors home, the night staff call her Hildegard.

The story begins when she is elderly.  Her niece and the staff at Forrest Lawns all believe she has dementia – a charade she has purposely worked to create.  But Eva’s mind is sharp and she has not forgotten anything – not her training in Scotland to become a secret agent, not her time documenting the questioning of German prisoners, not the brutality, starvation and lack of medical aid she observed during the questioning by the British.  She has not forgotten her time working in the camp of twenty thousand displaced persons.  She has not forgotten her horticultural knowledge, her skill with a firearm, nor her love of crossword puzzles.This novel is a story within a story within a story.  It is multifaceted and spans the years from 1943 to 2016. It is very much Eva’s story – and what a story she has to tell!

If someone were to observe her closely at Forrest Lawns Care Home, they would see that her buttons are always done up correctly, that her lipstick is perfectly applied, that her daily crossword has been correctly finished in pencil, then written over in a mess of mistakes, anagrams, German words and Cyrillic letters – making absolutely no sense.  They could observe how she reads the newspaper and has an in depth knowledge of horticulture.  But they all see her as a confused, elderly woman who can’t stick to the topic or carry on a meaningful conversation.  And that is exactly how Eva wants them to see her!  She has many secrets.

This is a debut novel, but Goldring had me hooked from the first page until the very end – which I was reading at 2 am!

  • Burning Island – not yet released

Who Knew?

The use of forced labour and slavery in Nazi Germany during WWII took place on an unprecedented scale.  The Nazis abducted about 12 million people from almost twenty European countries.  Many workers died as a result of their living conditions, extreme mistreatment, severe malnutrition and torture.

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