Book Spotlight | “Metropolis” by Ellie Midwood

Posted Monday, 10 February, 2020 by jorielov , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Book By: I am a regular tour hostess for blog tours via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours whereupon I am thankful to have been able to host such a diverse breadth of stories, authors and wonderful guest features since I became a hostess! HFVBTs is one of the very first touring companies I started working with as a 1st Year Book Blogger – uniting my love and passion with Historical Fiction and the lovely sub-genres inside which I love devouring. Whether I am reading selections from Indie Authors & publishers to Major Trade and either from mainstream or INSPY markets – I am finding myself happily residing in the Historical past each year I am a blogger.

What I have been thankful for all these years since 2013 is the beautiful blessing of discovering new areas of Historical History to explore through realistically compelling Historical narratives which put me on the front-lines of where History and human interest stories interconnect. It has also allowed me to dive deeper into the historic past and root out new decades, centuries and millenniums to explore. For this and the stories themselves which are part of the memories I cherish most as a book blogger I am grateful to be a part of the #HFVBTBlogTours blogger team.

I received a complimentary of “Metropolis” direct from the author Ellie Midwood in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Why I wanted to read “Metropolis”:

I recognised the film title this novel is based on immediately after receiving the blog tour invite and I must admit, that is what inspired my interest in reading the novel! I have a propensity for seeking out Biographical Historical Fiction inasmuch as I love stories set round important time periods of History or are based on actual living persons or events; including the production of this infamous Classic film! Now, when it comes to Classic Hollywood – I have been an appreciator of early 20th Century film-making for most of my life!

As you might have gathered when I read the first Renee Patrick Cosy Historical Mystery wherein Edith Head plays a strong role in sleuthing out the details of this crafty & clever series! I had such a wonderful pleasure of being caught up inside Old Hollywood and the culture of motion pictures as only Renee Patrick can tell the story as their a husband & wife team of writers who have such a wicked passion for Classic Films!

Thus, I thought ‘Metropolis’ might be a fitting #nextread as I thought it might be an interesting chapter on not just film history but about a part of the past I don’t oft get to read as this dances round the impact of war and how people were striving to restart their lives after such great losses.

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Book Spotlight | “Metropolis” by Ellie MidwoodMetropolis
by Ellie Midwood
Source: Author via Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

Weimar Berlin, 1924

Unemployed actors, profiteers, cabaret girls, and impoverished aristocracy – out of this wild set of characters populating Weimar Berlin, Margarete Gräfin von Steinhoff belongs to the latter category. Having lost everything due to hyper-inflation, she considers jumping into the freezing waters of the Spree rather than facing the humiliating existence shared by millions of her fellow Germans. However, a chance meeting makes her change her mind at the last moment and offers her a chance to rely on the help of the metropolis itself, where anything can be sold and bought for money and where connections are everything. The bustling nightlife of cosmopolitan Berlin, with its casinos and dance halls, brings good income for the ones who don’t burden themselves too heavily with morals.

After a New Year’s Eve party, Margot finally meets her ever-absent and mysterious neighbor, Paul Schneider, who makes a living by producing a certain type of film for his rich clientele. Under his guidance, Margot discovers a new passion of hers – photography and soon, her talents are noticed by the prominent newspaper, Berliner Tageblatt itself. But being an official photographer of the most celebrated events of the La Scala and most famous Berlin theaters no longer satisfies Margot’s ambitions. As soon as the chance presents itself for her to get involved with the cinematography on the set of “Metropolis” – the film with the highest budget ever produced by the UFA – Margot jumps at it, without thinking twice. At the same time, Paul becomes involved with a rival project, “The Holy Mountain,” which stars an as yet unknown actress and an emerging director in, Leni Riefenstahl. As the two women meet, professional rivalry soon turns into a true friendship, fueled by their passion for cinematography. However, due to the economic woes facing Germany, both projects soon run out of money and now, both film crews must go to extreme lengths to save their respective productions.

Set against the backdrop of a decadent, vibrant, and fascinatingly liberal Weimar Berlin, “Metropolis” is a novel of survival, self-discovery, and self-sacrifice, in the name of art, love, and friendship.

Genres: Biographical Fiction, Feminist Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction

Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9781660165759

Published by Self Published

on 13th January, 2020

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 238

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Converse via: #HistFic or #HistNov
+ #Metropolis and #HFVBTBlogTours

Available Formats: Trade paperback and Ebook

About Ellie Midwood

Ellie Midwood

Ellie Midwood is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning historical fiction author. She owes her interest in the history of the Second World War to her grandfather, Junior Sergeant in the 2nd Guards Tank Army of the First Belorussian Front, who began telling her about his experiences on the frontline when she was a young girl. Growing up, her interest in history only deepened and transformed from reading about the war to writing about it. After obtaining her BA in Linguistics, Ellie decided to make writing her full-time career and began working on her first full-length historical novel, “The Girl from Berlin.” Ellie is continuously enriching her library with new research material and feeds her passion for WWII and Holocaust history by collecting rare memorabilia and documents.

In her free time, Ellie is a health-obsessed yoga enthusiast, neat freak, adventurer, Nazi Germany history expert, polyglot, philosopher, a proud Jew, and a doggie mama. Ellie lives in New York with her fiancé and their Chihuahua named Shark Bait.

For more information on Ellie and her novels, please visit her online.

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why i am spotlighting metropolis:

The only time a story I’ve seen which started off on such a dire set of circumstances was It’s A Wonderful Life wherein George Bailey was considering doing exactly what Margot herself was contemplating as we first arrive inside Metropolis. The interesting bit there is that she is as self-critical of herself as George had been and in a way, they both offered enough of a pause in the height of doing what they felt compelled to do which allowed an intermission of sorts to occur. For Margot, this meant the chance to interact with a bloke who was timing his own demise at the time of hers but they settled on going for coffee and a chat instead.

The quirkiness of their first meeting notwithstanding there is something about how Midwood wrote this introduction section which compels you to learn more about Margot; to dig deeper into how she arose to this realisation about her life and why seeing someone standing just off to the side of where she was herself is what pulled her back from taking the final steps which could have ended her life. Not exactly the traditional way in which to meet a character in a novel but one which foretells a bit about the frame of mind of them nonetheless.

I thought for sure I’d start to feel a connection to Ernst and Margot – as he was a soldier who didn’t see much of a future for himself as he was burdened by the fact his health was slowly being pulled away from him due to the after effects of the war in which he served. He couldn’t see a way forward from his current circumstances and that is what united him in a cause of action which aligned with Margot’s. For her part, she felt like there wasn’t a point left in trying to succeed at living a life she could no longer afford – both in spirit and in industry. Margot felt like she didn’t have any skills to provide herself with a viable income and that is what radically starts to change their lives when they first band together.

It was at the dive they sought to drink coffee and have a spot of food where the second thread of serendipity alights in their lives; the first of course is what pulled them both back from ending their lives prematurely. I thought from that point onward, I would start resonate more with the story – to feel anchoured to their partnership and to find myself curious to turn the pages in order to see what would become of them. Despite the clever ways in which Midwood is giving them forward motion – how random meetings with others is allowing their circumstances to change for the better and how despite their unrelated and unknown connections to each other, they each had a skill that worked brilliantly with the other! I was quite impressed how Midwood put those skills to use and how it mitigated a rise in their circumstances for the better.

Yet, despite these positives of how they could lead redirected lives – towards a purpose and a reason to find a will to stay alive, I found myself feeling removed from the context of their lives at the same time. The pacing was good and the overall flow of how you move from that dramatic first entry point was also well timed but there was something which just pulled me out of the story itself. I couldn’t find my anchour and that felt sombering because I thought for sure I would feel more rooted into Margot’s winsome attitude as she took chances on the unexpected mercies which started to grace her life.

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This blog tour is courtesy of:

Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours - HFVBTFollow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

As this particular one has a bookaway along the route:

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 I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Especially if you read the book or were thinking you might be inclined to read it. I appreciate hearing different points of view especially amongst readers who gravitate towards the same stories to read. Bookish conversations are always welcome!

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Reading this story contributed to my 2020 reading challenges:

2020 HistFic Reading Challenge banner created by Jorie in Canva.

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{SOURCES: Book covers for “Metropolis”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Ellie Midwood, the tour host badge and HFVBTs badge were all provided by Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Book Spotlight banner, 2020 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2020.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 10 February, 2020 by jorielov in 20th Century, Biographical Fiction & Non-Fiction, Blog Tour Host, Historical Fiction, Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours

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