All That I Am

All That I Am
Jason Bull
Reviewed by Jason Bull
Viking
Thu, 15/09/2011
9780670920396
£18.99

Anna Funder’s debut novel is based on a true story; set in 1933, two narrators, Ernst Toller and Ruth Wesemann, tell the story of Dora, a woman they both loved. Adolf Hitler has just become chancellor; Ruth and others – all socialists – are forced to leave Germany. London appears to offer safety to these displaced people, but Hitler’s men are surprisingly well established there, some six years before the outbreak of the Second World War. The novel weaves fact and fiction seamlessly and, although a little slow to get going, patience is more than adequately rewarded with a powerful story, made the more poignant and personal by the fact that Funder became, years later, a friend of the real-life Ruth.

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