Monday 2 September 2019

Review - My Name is Eva by Suzanne Goldring

My Name is Eva by Suzanne Goldring
Publisher: Bookouture
Release date: 11 September 2019
Back cover blurb: You can pay a terrible price for keeping a promise … Evelyn Taylor-Clarke sits in her chair at Forest Lawns Care Home in the heart of the English countryside, surrounded by residents with minds not as sharp as hers. It would be easy to dismiss Evelyn as a muddled old woman, but her lipstick is applied perfectly, and her buttons done up correctly. Because Evelyn is a woman with secrets and Evelyn remembers everything. She can never forget the promise she made to the love of her life, to discover the truth about the mission that led to his death, no matter what it cost her… When Evelyn’s niece Pat opens an old biscuit tin to find a photo of a small girl with a red ball entitled ‘Liese, 1951’ and a passport in another name, she has some questions for her aunt. And Evelyn is transported back to a place in Germany known as ‘The Forbidden Village,’ where a woman who called herself Eva went where no one else dared, amongst shivering prisoners, to find the man who gambled with her husband’s life …

My Name is Eva is a wonderful novel, detailing some of the lesser known female occupations during and following WW2.

Evelyn Taylor-Clarke is in her nineties, living out her last days deliberately getting crossword answers wrong at Forest Lawns Care Home, and observing those around her for her own entertainment and picking up tips on how to appear to others that she is losing the plot...

She is doing a marvellous job in convincing her fellow care home residents that she fits in perfectly with them and is starting to lose her memory. The care home staff and her close family members must believe the same if Eva is to keep her promise.

When Evelyn's niece Pat finds an old biscuit tin with some photographs in, Evelyn is forced to confront her past and some of the more difficult decisions that she was forced into making, due to the aftermath of the War.

Eva, as she was known back then, is grieving the loss of the husband when she is enlisted with the ATS, and later with their intelligence service. She is sent to Bad Nenndorf in post-war Germany to do important work.

But her motive for taking the role is purely personal - to avenge the death of her husband at the hands of Colonel Robinson. Eva has no specific plan, but she knows that she must act carefully and discreetly - as this is what she is employed to do, she sees no issue with this.

What she hasn't bargained for, is that the aftermath of a World War can be just as unpredictable as the actual War, and her life is changed forever after an unfortunate set of circumstances. Told from alternate time points of our main protagonist, My Name is Eva, does require an element of concentration - but it is worth it!

I must confess to looking up the forbidden village, Bad Nenndorf interrogation centre and Colonel Robinson (presumably based on Robin Stephens) as I wasn’t familiar with them, and I feel that this novel may have benefited from a brief description of this either at the beginning or the end, as it is truly fascinating stuff.

My Name is Eva is available from 11 September 2019.

You can pre-order it now via Amazon online and all good book shops.

Thank You to the publishers who approved my request in exchange for an honest review.