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Bertha - Shine Like the Dawn - Book Review

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Bertha - Shine Like the Dawn

Author: Lisa M. Hutchison
Genre: Non Fiction - Historical/Cultural
Publisher: Word Alive Press
Date Published: May 24, 2019
ISBN-10: 1486618030
ISBN-13: 978-1486618033

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GoodReads Rating:
5.00

Book Review of :  Bertha - Shine Like the Dawn



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A historical biography, Bertha, Shine like the Dawn by Lisa M. Hutchison, reads like a well-constructed novel. The author’s research into her German great-grandmother’s history in the mid-1800s produced a story of gritty survival and eternal love.
Bertha Hoffmann was born into a wealthy family but was orphaned and raised by both sets of grandparents. Raped at age 17 by her uncle and pregnant, she was hastily married off to Karl, a commoner, who was paid to raise the child as his own. Social status and rank were very important during this period of history as shown in a restaurant scene. Karl has no idea how to use the different cutleries, keeps his elbows on the table, slurps his soup and becomes drunk, embarrassing Bertha. He later reminds Bertha that he is not only her husband but her legal guardian until she is 21. Bertha states, “I live with a crude and hostile husband, in a tiny house… have to lug buckets of water each day, trot through hot and cold weather to an outhouse and am now expecting another child.” At age 21 with three children and pregnant with her fourth, she leaves her abusive husband to live with her grandmother Anna in Berlin.
She is at her grandmother’s mercy since she is a single woman with no skills, no wealth and four children. Oma Anna tells her that women are not on this earth for their own enjoyment but to work hard, raise children and make the most of the situation. Oma Anna is a loving woman who tries to help Bertha and her four children survive.
Bertha becomes involved in an unexpected and unusual love affair that directs the rest of her life through the turn of the century. Life seems to be circular as birth order, social class and deaths of loved ones entangle with her love story.
She endures repeated hardships during the sinking of the Titanic, World War I, the Spanish flu, the Great Depression and World War II. With passion and courage, she accepts life’s trials as her family dies around her.
The author’s understanding of history is expressed as Leo rants concerning society in 1924: loss of law and order, the government powerless and the population insecure. “It is no wonder people are seeking comfort in frenzied, unbridled, indecent behavior. One day it will all come crashing down.” Life then improved for most people for many years. The working class found new prosperity. Later he stated, “Satisfied and contented people do not pose a challenge for dictatorial governments, and by the time everyone realized the depth of deceit, it was already too late.” And it was: WWII.
The reader will discover Bertha’s biography is an entangled love story set during an exciting yet traumatic time in history.


Latest Author Interview

Exclusive Interview with Lisa Hutchison

AuthorsReading is proud to announce its exclusive interview with Lisa Hutchison the author of "Iron Annie and a Long Journey." An incredible story of a German family before, during and after WWII. A book of joys, heartaches, and unbelievable twists in fate.

About Lisa M. Hutchison


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Lisa Hutchison was born in Berlin, Germany during WWII. When she was one year old her family was displaced during a bombing raid and thus began a very long journey for many years for all of them. Eventually, her parents decided to immigrate to Canada to give their children a better life. She was 12 years old when the family settled in Toronto. Having earned her B.Comm she worked in different areas in finance, insurance, and banking as well as in several hospitals. In 1971 she married her first husband, a Hungarian trumpet player, whose sudden death in 1980 prompted her to write her first published book, "Pieces of Us". As time passed by Lisa met her future husband Robert, a clergy, and they were married in 1985. They have three children, six grandchildren and live a wonderful life in Stratford, Ontario. Both enjoy traveling and spend many weeks each year in Portugal.

It was on one of those vacations that the story of the extraordinary lives of her parents took root and "Iron Anny and a long journey" was born. 





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