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Review of Orpheus Builds A Girl by Heather Parry

Dr Wilhelm von Tore is a depraved Nazi doctor forced to leave Germany after WW2 ends. Luciana is a young Cuban immigrant to America where, with their family, she and her sister Gabriela try to assimilate. But then Luci gets sick, and they don't have health insurance. Told from the alternating perspectives of Wilhelm and Gabi, this book details the doctor's obsession with his unofficial patient. Believing she is his 'promised bride', he will do anything to have her - even in death. Society will stand with him, but Gabi is determined to tell the truth about what happened to her sister. 

This is a harrowing true story (the doctor was a real man named Carl Tanzler), and Parry is brilliant at writing von Tore's chilling arrogance as he manipulates Luci's family and commits atrocities on her body. It's well written and says a lot about how society forgives white men while treating the lives of immigrants of colour as dispensible.

Review by Abi.

Orpheus Builds a Girl was published on 06/10/22 by Gallic Books.

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