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The Crack Magazine


My Life Is Like A Fairy Tale

Robert Irwin, Daedalus

1944. Germany. Despite the promise of “Hitler’s secret weapon” most Germans have come round to the notion that the war is not going their way. Sonja Heda, meanwhile, still has belief and, indeed, is contemplating writing her autobiography, tentatively titled ‘My Life Is Like A Fairy Tale’. We learn of her humble beginnings in Holland but, determined to leave the world of waitressing behind her, she up sticks and heads for the glamour of 1920s Berlin. She gets noticed in a café by a film producer and is soon in his bed and getting walk-on parts in films such as ‘The Blue Angel’. Despite remaining on the fringes of the industry (she only stars in one film, the – fictional – Nazi-era screwball comedy ‘Baghdad Capers’) she comes into contact with everyone from Eva Braun to Joseph and Magda Goebbels to Hitler himself. Throughout she gives us a naïf’s-eye-view of evil in a novel which is one of the most curious I have read all year. 3 out 5.