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The Ragged Edge of Night  By  cover art

The Ragged Edge of Night

By: Olivia Hawker
Narrated by: Nick Sandys,Olivia Hawker
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Publisher's Summary

For fans of All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and The Nightingale comes an emotionally gripping, beautifully written historical novel about extraordinary hope, redemption, and one man’s search for light during the darkest times of World War II.

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage - in name only - to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too - atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth expects their lives to be shaken once again by the inescapable rumble of war.

As Anton struggles to adapt to the roles of husband and father, he learns of the Red Orchestra, an underground network of resisters plotting to assassinate Hitler. Despite Elisabeth’s reservations, Anton joins this army of shadows. But when the SS discovers his schemes, Anton will embark on a final act of defiance that may cost him his life - even if it means saying goodbye to the family he has come to love more than he ever believed possible.

©2018 Libbie Hawker (P)2018 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Ragged Edge of Night

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Ragged Edge of Night must be made into a movie

This book based on true story, is by turns, tense, uplifting, heart wrenching, inspiring and cautionary. I will leave it to others to give a "synopsis" of the story. I think this book should be on the reading list of every high school English class, anyone who desires to be a good parent under trying circumstances, and anyone who thinks that love can only come in a great burst of passion. This story challenges us to think how we, who have never been through a war, would cope with fear and deprivation day after day with no end in view. Would we be able to find joy and a measure of contentment in the unexpected ways the people in this story do? I won't reveal how they cope and show their courage because I want you to read the book. If you choose to listen to this book you will be drawn into the story. The excellent narrator makes each person so real want to reach out, embrace them, and say "well done" at the end of the story.

151 people found this helpful

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  • JJ
  • 03-29-19

Oh my

I so wanted to like this book, as the descriptions about music were so lovely, and Hawker can spin a lovely phrase . . . but, oh my, it is terrible. Incredibly the narrator uses English (Cockney?) accents for the German children. The story drags and drags without any reward at the end. Skip eleven hours of torture and simply listen to the author retell the true story at the end of the audio. Yes, the people truly were heroic, The story is quite "pure" with high moral standards in abundance, but this book certainly reaches too high and does not do capture the intrigue of the times. I can't understand the high ratings this novel received.

96 people found this helpful

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Weeping may endure for the night but Joy comes

Great book made even better when finding out that book is based on author's in-laws. Appreciate how the author wrote from Anton's head and heart. Narrator did a great job as well. Beyond the ragged edge of night, Light bleeds into this world. Didn't appreciate the closing author's note on the Trump-Hitler comparison, HOWEVER this is still a free country and still free speech even when I don't agree with it. The book/story is still amazing and well worth the 5-star review.

66 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Truths

So many truths and so poetically told. I really liked the soulful, heartfelt and beautiful way the Author brings us to such a historical dark peroid. Even her authors note is deep truth of a sad history & reminds us of what still exists to this day.

60 people found this helpful

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Great story, writing just ok

The book was ok, but over-written, over-wrought, self-absorbed, tedious at times. Very little action as compared to a lot of thoughts, emotions and feelings. Characters were just not real. I've read a lot of historical fictions and particularly WWII novels. This does not compare to the Book Thief, the Nightingale, All the Light We Cannot See, and others. Just too boring. And as for the performance, when did Germans start speaking with Irish and Cockney accents?

43 people found this helpful

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Outstanding writing & important story

I was drawn in by the beautiful words and the outstanding performance but as the story revealed itself I was overwhelmed with its importance.The novel is based on the real-life experiences of the author's husband's family in Germany during the 1930s and 40s; the details completely won me over. A man who was a friar in the 1920s-30s Germany leaves that role when something terrible happens to his students. He seeks to atone for not being able to help them by saving others, and answers a personal ad placed by a widow who needs help making a home for her three children. The tender story of their relationship grows as the horrors of the Nazi regime reach their tiny town. It's hard not to notice similarities to what is happening in our world today; I was reinspired to make my own life count. The author's epilogue was an added gift. A+ - simply outstanding.

41 people found this helpful

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Beautiful story beautifully written.

Some reviewers have giving this book a low rating because the authors heartfelt words on why she wrote the book did not sit well with their political views. This is a shame because that lowered the rating of a very well-written book that even these people do not dispute Everyone in America is free to heed the warnings of history or ignore them. That doesn’t take away from the beauty of this book.

39 people found this helpful

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An outstanding & deeply moving Truth for the Ages

I am grateful for having listened to this magnificent true story of resistance to “evil” in controversial times. This tale of one deeply Spiritual Man and one Woman of Kindness is more than inspirational.
Mr. Sands’ performance was unbelievable in its perfection. This is the 1st time I’ve encountered his reading and I was blown away! I will look for more of his historical fiction.
I do not give 5⭐️ lightly. Olivia Hawker is due 10 x 5 ✨🌟⭐️

28 people found this helpful

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Could have done without the commentary

The story itself and the narrator were good, although Elizabeth and 7 year old Maria sounded like old ladies having a man try and narrate them. I could tell from some of the rather preachy passages that the author was trying to relate what happened in Nazi Germany to America today. I could have overlooked it and still enjoyed the story but, no, at the end she had to plainly spell it out for us. If I'd wanted politics I'd have chosen a political book. Her commentary at the end ruined a fairly decent book for me.


27 people found this helpful

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Rebel WITH a CAUSE!

I enjoyed this book all the way through, as even though it was historical fiction, it constantly had the ring of truth throughout. I was pleasantly surprised by the epilogue and author's notes at the end to find that it was indeed mostly true - just embellished a bit.
Ms. Hawker had me until the part where she said that she went ahead and brought the book to completion after the 2016 elections here in the U.S. because she saw America going down the same path as Nazi Germany! I am completely APPALLED that she would put that into the end of her book. I am greatly offended by such statements, and I daresay many other readers will be also. If she wants to write an editorial piece, then she should by all means do so; however, I question the device of using a book about WWII to posit her political leanings. She has lost a fan.

23 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • jacks247
  • 12-23-20

Great story and true but the accents!!

Why oh why are Germans northern?! Why not get a German / English narrator? Dreadful accents but a great story. Yorkshire accents for German officers makes NO sense

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  • lloyd28
  • 04-13-20

Good book but poor narration

A great story, however the narration left a lot to be desired with the characters seeming to be almost Scottish and sometimes northern, quite off putting when they were meant to be German.

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  • John Menary
  • 01-13-20

No ordinary war.

Very refreshing story of the everyday life of one family during WW2. They have their own little war to endure.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • SAgirl
  • 01-07-20

Narration sadly lacking

I am a short way into this story but can't bear the English accents given to German speaking people. It ruins the whole story. Please can it be 're narrated in order to make it an enjoyable listen.

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  • David B.
  • 09-20-19

I love stories based on true happenings

a little slow to get going but it's well worth the wait I really enjoyed this book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-21-19

Moving story, poor narration

A wonderful story of a quietly brave man, the fact that it is true makes all the more poignant.
Unfortunately I found the narration very irritating. The book is set in wartime Germany yet all the character voices , including Anton , have colloquial English accents. Why was this book not read by a German person? The voices of the children are particularly irritating. This spoils the listening of a lovely well written book.

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  • Kindle Customer 2019
  • 02-19-19

A good read based on historical facts

i enjoyed this book and learned much about the German resistance which I knew little about.

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  • Mairi Payten
  • 08-03-22

Good story but……

I’m sorry to say that this most interesting story and based on true people was almost completely ruined by the accents used. Why when it was based in Germany, did anyone think English county accents were appropriate?! Spoilt it for me.

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  • Rebekka Windle
  • 06-03-19

AMAZING

This was an amazing book! If you are considering this book definitely get it! It was amazing.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-20-19

Book review.

I was very keen to listen to this book. It being faction made it all the more interesting for me. I did enjoy it, however found it to be a bit too religious for me. The story was good, although a bit too much prayer for me. I would recommend though.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Natalie Watt
  • 11-17-18

Amazing story just strange choice of accent

Loved the story and the performance was great just a little confused by the strong regional English accent rather than a German English?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Frances
  • 10-13-18

Loved it!

Beautifully written and narrated, showing the courage and faith of those who suffered during war.