My Name is Eva: An absolutely gripping and emotional historical novel

My Name is Eva: An absolutely gripping and emotional historical novel

by Suzanne Goldring


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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…

A gripping, haunting and compelling read about love, courage and betrayal set in the war-battered landscape of Germany. Fans of The Letter, The Alice Network and The Nightingale will be hooked.

Readers are hooked on My Name is Eva:

‘Could not put this book down, and heaven help anyone that tried to disturb my reading !!…I absolutely loved this book !…I laughed, I cried, I cheered , I sympathized all because of Evelyn…I could so picture the setting and as Evelyn sets out to fool everyone, I thought you go girl !!...I don't want to say anything else but what a fantastic read…My first, not my last book by Suzanne Goldring. I can't recommend this book enough !!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘A phenomenal story of courage, love, murder and all the atrocities that go with war.Eva is an extraordinary character, strong, loyal, smart, funny, loving, and brave.A phenomenal read!!’Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘This may be my new favorite book!!!! I absolutely love the premise of the heroine faking dementia in her retirement home to cover up her knowledge of questionable activities centering around WWII events. The tempo of this novel was perfect--kept me wondering until the very last page!’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘Absolutely loved this book and its riveting plot!... The author has successfully penned a debut novel that I would highly recommend without any hesitation. An excellent debut novel from Suzanne Goldring and I look forward to reading more of her work. Historical fiction is my favourite genre to read and this book was every bit as good as some of the well-known WW2-themed titles published in recent years.’ Goodreads Reviewer, 5 stars

‘A poignant and evocative story of love, betrayal and bravery that kept me page turning and completely engrossed from start to finish. Loved it and would definitely recommend.’ NetGalley Reviewer, 5 stars

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781786819697
Publisher: Storyfire Ltd
Publication date: 09/11/2019
Pages: 324
Sales rank: 31,577
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.70(d)

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Stream Title 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
LlamaJen 3 months ago
I was looking forward to reading this because the description sounded interesting. Unfortunately, I didn't connect with the story. I blame this on Eva/Evelyn/Evie/Hilda. The woman with a dozen names and a very convoluted history. The book was confusing with all the flashbacks. I usually love flashbacks, but this jumped from the present(2016) to 1980s, 1940s, 1950s and was never in chronological order. Eva's life just didn't seem believable. She had every imaginable thing happen to her. I hated the dementia game she was playing. I didn't find it funny, but rather annoying. I was waiting for them to put her in some time of special place due to all her "acting." So much happened to Eva over the years, but would have liked to read more about it. Everything felt glossed over. What exactly happened to her husband? She doesn't really know the missions that he was sent on but takes revenge for his death. There was just too much going on and never loved any of the characters. Does Pat even love her aunt? She seems bothered that she inherits a house full of valuables and loads of land. I found parts of the story interesting. I enjoyed reading about Eva in the past rather than when she was in the nursing home. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bookouture through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Anonymous 3 months ago
World War II is an era that fascinates me. This is mostly why I picked up "My name is Eva". It did not feature as much of the war as I thought it would, but I wasn't too disappointed. We follow Evelyn, who also calls herself Eva or Evie depending on the contexts, whose husband has been killed during the war. We meet her as an old woman in a retirement home, with many secrets threatened to be revealed when her niece digs a little in her property, now empty. Throughout the book, we discover who Evelyn is, the things she's done and the secrets she hides. I felt a sense of peace reading this book. It just flows nicely, mixing letters with regular narration, so we get a glimpse of Evelyn's relationship with Hugh, her husband. I liked getting to know this little lady, who doesn't seem like much, but has done a great amount of things in her life, and uncovering her secrets, one page at a time. It made me want to see my grand parents more often and ask them about their life before kids (and I did go there afterwards !) The reason I'm not giving it a better rating is that it was a little too uneventful for me. Don't get me wrong, there is some action, but I didn't feel too captivated by it, and it didn't make me feel anything in particular. Things happened and I just read them to get to the next part. Another 'issue' for me was how deconstructed in time the narration was. You can go from a tale set in 2016, then 1945, then 1980, then 2016 again, then 1950, etc... I have no problems with the flashbacks, they're the entire point of the book, but I would have liked the flashbacks to follow the previous one. Like 1945, 2016, 1950,2016, 1980, and so on, instead of jumping back and forth decades. Besides Evelyn, who was a good enough character, I couldn't feel much for the rest of the cast. They're here, but they don't convey much emotion, especially Pat, Evelyn's niece, who's a little cliché of the kid that doesn't want to be around old people too long. I would have loved to read more about Hugh, getting to know who he was before being sent to war, how he met Evelyn, how they fell in love, and so on ! Maybe this can be another book ? I think I'd really like that ! Thank you Netgalley and Bookouture for providing me with an e-arc !
The Eclectic Review 5 months ago
‘You can’t pretend you don’t know anything about the guns,’ hisses Pat. ‘I’ve looked all through those cases. They’re full of your stuff. There’s clothes, documents, and passports. You’ve got to tell the police where the guns came from.’ ‘Well, dear, I would if I could remember.’ Evelyn Taylor-Clarke, is a surprising woman. On the surface, she seems like an even-tempered and respectable ninety-something-year-old woman who does crossword puzzles in the Forest Lawns Care Home, but her past holds unsettling secrets. Evelyn, or Eva, as she called herself when working in Germany after the war, lost her husband under unimaginable circumstances and sets out to avenge his death. The events told in present and past unfold into a heartbreaking and remarkable story about courage, heartbreak and what a woman will do for the love of her life. This startling read will transport you into the harsh reality of post-war Europe and throw you back to the present with secrets kept for 70+ years. Recommend highly. Thank you to Ms. Goldring for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
dlvandruff 5 months ago
During the war with Germany all Eva ever did was file or type. She was known as Eva during the war, Evie, by her beloved husband, Hugh. They were married only a very short time before he was killed, She was called Hilda in registration at the nursing home where she is now. The staff at the nursing home call her Mrs. T-C, short for Evelyn Taylor-Clark. To know her history she is more than a typist, file clerk. She has killed two people. One with a sharp pencil through the eye, another with a bullet through the heart. Neither were ever found. Yes, she had special training during the war. She saw many atrocities. She was a linguist and took notes during the brutal interrogations done by Colonel Stephen Robinson. He who thought her husband and others should be sacrificed so he could look good. She made a promise that he would pay for the cruelty he inflicted on people. He sure was surprised when she shot him. Now she is in her nineties. She has lived a full life. She has destroyed everything that may destroy her image. She's still smart, articulate, has full mental capacity and is ready to be with her Hugh. Too bad the investigator keeps coming around asking questions. She will have to take care of that. A phenomenal story of courage, love, murder and all the atrocities that go with war. Eva is an extraordinary character, strong, loyal, smart, funny, loving, and brave. A phenomenal read!!
RobinLovesReading 5 months ago
My Rating: 4.5 Stars She had many names. Evelyn Taylor-Clarke. Mrs. T-C to the caring home staff. Aunt Evelyn to her niece Pat, and Eva during her years of service during World War II. All of these names represent various sides to Evelyn that she manages to hide from many, during various stages of her life. Presently, her niece Pat is helping her clear her home, as Evelyn is now in her nineties and, after breaking a hip, is unlikely to ever live there again. Pat is continually bringing different items to her aunt because she has many questions. Some the things include a photo of a little girl from 1951, a cache of weapons and odd clothing. It is the weapons found that drastically change things for Evelyn. Pat is soon often accompanied by a detective at the Care Home. He has many questions about the things that were found, and even about a man who when missing years previously. However, as far as Pat, the staff and now the detective are concerned, Evelyn is all but senile, and her memory is unreliable. Evelyn has a secret. Actually she has many, many secrets. For starters, her mind is as sharp as a tack, and she is simply play-acting. Furthermore, the story is told in varying timelines and readers are clued in to Evelyn's duplicitous nature and some of the activities she was engaged in during and after the war. What a tangled web she wove! Young or old, Evelyn set out a path. During the war she had an objective. She never, ever lost sight of it and carried out her plans with exact precision. This book was equally startling and compelling. Kudos to Suzanne Goldring for writing such an impressive debut novel. Many thanks to Bookouture and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.
Rhonda-Runner1 5 months ago
I absolutely loved this book! This is really different from the usual WWII Historical Fiction books that I love to read. The story starts out with Evelyn Taylor-Clark who is in her 90s and in an assisted living facility being visited by her Power of Attorney niece, Pat. Pat is in the process of disposing Evelyn's possessions and comes across some pictures in a biscuit container that she does not recognize. Evelyn seems to have dementia, or does she??? The book proceeds in a then and now format where it takes us back to Evelyn's early life when she is married to Hugh who is in the service in 1939. There are lots of twists and turns in this truly fascinating book and it definitely is a page turner. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the ARC of this great book that I highly recommend to anyone who loves Historical Fiction.
Tama_Fortner 5 months ago
Amidst the heartache and devastation of World War II, Evelyn Taylor-Clarke makes a promise to her husband and to herself. Decades later, she keeps it. By all appearances, Evelyn is just another nonagenarian, slowly fading into the shadows of dementia. No one knows or even suspects that her mind is as sharp as the pencils she keeps ever by her side . . . pencils she was trained to use for much more than crossword puzzles. When her niece uncovers a passport in another name, mysterious photographs, and a collection of guns, Evelyn must call upon her wartime training to keep hidden the secrets she has kept for so long. Unfolding in split time, Evelyn’s—Eva’s—story alternates between the war years and present day. I love the interspersing of letters to her husband, giving readers a unique glimpse into her motives and motivations. Suzanne Goldring introduces readers to the lesser-known aftermath of World War II in Germany, a time when perhaps everything wasn’t quite so black-and-white as we would like to believe. My Name Is Eva will challenge you to look past the gray hair and the wrinkles and wonder at the lives of those we too often so easily dismiss. A fabulous read! *I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
MKF 5 months ago
Evelyn might be 90 and in a care home but she knows exactly what's going on around her, despite appearing to have dementia. Her niece Pat, with whom she's never been close, cleans out her home and discovers a gun, blood stained clothes, photos and other things that are so alarming that she contacts the police. Good luck interviewing Evelyn! This moves back and forth and back in time over multiple years (it can be a tad distracting) to tell the story of a woman whose husband Hugh died and that death led her join the WWII war effort. This touches on some lesser known things from WWII and there are spots that are uncomfortable but that's the reality of the war. Thanks to net galley for the ARC. Evelyn aka Eva aka multiple other names is an interesting character.