I am an idealist at the core, but I generally have a cynical outlook. I do not believe that everyone is “good at heart,” nor do I excuse people’s mistakes with ignorance. The 21st century offers limitless technology and through that, unprecedented access to acquiring knowledge and new skills. Though exceptions do prove the rule, I accept that 95% of the global population has chosen to remain uninformed and to disregard their consciences.
Selfishness is what motivates people and is the hardest vice to overcome, though it can be a tool in its own way. However, like with all tools, it is easier to use it for evil than for good. For me, the purpose of life is to prove to yourself that no matter how frustrated or angry or disgusted or bitter you can become about everything, your goodness will survive despite all obstacles. Everyone makes mistakes, but the wise person learns from those mistakes. Conquering your fears by learning how to confront them is one of life’s most important lessons. No temptations will make you succumb to being less than you are.
What is your life philosophy?
Apparently, Examiner.com, the site that was holding on to my book and movie reviews for years was bought by another company in 2014. However, links to my reviews still worked, which was how I was deceived. In mid-July 2016, without my knowledge, the Examiner shut down completely and with it, all my work and webpages were deleted. I am really disturbed by the fact that there is now no proof that I ever published anything for them. They may have gotten their comeuppance — I hope some extorted writer like myself sued their asses off and won — but my work is 100% gone. I saved my book reviews before to my book review blog, “Around the Bend of the Book,” but links to the originals don’t work. My movie reviews, on the other hand, are completely gone. Damn you, Examiner — as a former contributor, I should have been contacted about the decision to erase my publications!
In honor of “A Time of Night and Fog“, which is a re-release of the “Hannah Vogel” series by Rebecca Cantrell in one e-book, I would like to revisit these stunning books and their unique heroine. (The author generously sent me an ARC of “A City of Broken Glass” in exchange for an honest review of the entire series.)
It is a challenge to summarize what makes this series the best historical fiction series on the market today because each book has so many merits. Cantrell’s ability to fashion a female character, one who exhibits vulnerability and strength in equal measure while maintaining her femininity and humanity amid complete chaos, is unparalleled among the modern adult literature I’ve read. Hannah Vogel’s characteristics are not incredible; in fact, it is how realistic she is that contributes to the power of this series. The World War II references are well researched, and the author adds detailed layer upon layer in her settings until the reader feels like he/she is walking in pre-war Berlin alongside Hannah, breathing the same smoggy air. I was and am still floored by how intellectual and profound these books are during every single perusal. The author truly understands her characters and knows exactly how to write them out so that others can be fully submerged in the world she introduces — the revolutionary state of Nazi Germany. She has created some of the best supporting characters of all time, like good-natured Anton and complicated, conflicted Lars. There really are not enough words to describe how much I admire and recommend this series.
When the first book was published back in 2009, rumors abounded that the series would be picked up for a mini-series. While this was an excellent idea, it never came to fruition. The author suggested her preferred cast for the characters in a blog post. However, as a professional writer who would love to have the honors of scripting all four books for either miniseries or films, I would like to suggest an updated cast (please note that I’m unaware of available child actors these days, so the role of Anton is still up in the air, both as a small child and later as a teenager).
You can read all my reviews for the “Hannah Vogel” series at my book blog, Around the Bend of the Book.