Thanks to Susan Kiernan-Lewis for providing a copy of her book!
The Heidelberg Effect takes us to the beautiful town of Heidelberg, Germany, at first in 2012 and later on via time travel in 1620. The main character, Ella Stevens, moves from USA to Germany to start a new job and a new life overseas, leaving behind her brand new boyfriend. After some research on her family roots she discovers a long hidden secret that devastates her.
In my opinion, the book is an adventurous romance novel. The relationship between Ella and her boyfriend Rowan is one of the central story lines, but there are also some action elements involved. Historic facts are not the main concern here, 1620 Germany forms only the background in front of which Ella tries to find back to herself and to make peace with what she learned about her past back in 2012.
Susan Kiernan-Lewis spent part of her childhood in Germany, so she knows this place better than most Americans, and she also addresses the issue of the different mindsets of both cultures. I really liked that the places mentioned in the book really exist in the actual Heidelberg.
What I noticed on the downside were a few passages in the book that appeared quite constructed. I should also stress the fact that this happened very rarely and is only a minor flaw. Another minor thing I did not like so much was the reaction of the German characters in the book towards Ella’s secret. I do not think that they would be as judging as described, but that is probably just a negative point for me as a German.
In my opinion, the most important thing in a novel is that I enjoy the read, and I did here. So 4 of 5 stars from me.