My rating: 5 Stars
In 1943, Magda Ritter's parents sent her to live with her aunt and uncle in Bavaria, with the attempt to keep her safe during the Allied bombing of Berlin. But now, in a job she is rather forced to take, her life is even more at risk than ever before. She is assigned to the Berghof, which is Hitler's mountain retreat, as one of several young women tasting his food. This puts Magda in a position to sacrifice her life for the Führer if it should come to that.
During this difficult time in history and in her occupation, she developed a love for someone at the time, an SS Captain. More importantly, she is faced with many challenges and gains incredible strength of character. I often read with my heart in my throat as Magda was being trained to taste food, knowing that at any time a single bite could be her last.
Reading about the Holocaust is nowhere in my area of interest, but this book came so highly recommended by several friends, and sat in my TBR for months. I am really glad that I finally took the time to listen to this book via Audible. It was very well-written and excellently narrated. The Taster is a sharp combination of history and fiction. It was not graphic when it came to the horrors of that time. Instead the author's portrayal of Magda is more of an emotional story of her experiences.
Meanwhile, there was such an intensity in the story when reading of the bombing attacks. I admit to ordinarily treating my Audible listens in a rather casual manner, listening to them between review books. Therefore, I can take much time to complete a read. However, The Taster grabbed me from the very beginning, in effect forcing me to listen to it all the way through in a matter of hours. This is V.S. Alexander's second book, and it was quite a good job. I will most certainly be reading more of his works in the future.