The Taster

The Taster

Amid the turbulence of World War II, a young German woman finds a precarious haven closer to the source of danger than she ever imagined--one that will propel her through the extremes of privilege and terror under Hitler's dictatorship . . . In early 1943, Magda Ritter's parents send her to relatives in Bavaria, hoping to keep her safe from the Allied bombs strafing Berli...

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Title:The Taster
Author:V.S. Alexander
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Edition Language:English

The Taster Reviews

  • Sue

    This is a different look at World War II than readers are used to reading. The Taster is from the perspective of a young German girl and is about life inside Germany during the war. It's a coming of age story for a young girl with little to no interest in politics and war to a young woman who begins to see the moral dilemmas of the war and the inhumanity of the Nazi party.

    Magda's parents send her out of Berlin because the allies have started bombing and they fear for her safety. She goes to live

    This is a different look at World War II than readers are used to reading. The Taster is from the perspective of a young German girl and is about life inside Germany during the war. It's a coming of age story for a young girl with little to no interest in politics and war to a young woman who begins to see the moral dilemmas of the war and the inhumanity of the Nazi party.

    Magda's parents send her out of Berlin because the allies have started bombing and they fear for her safety. She goes to live with relatives and they feel that it is a German woman's role to have a job that will help the country. After several interviews, she gets a job at Hitler's mountain retreat as a taster - she tastes every food that he will be served at his meal to make sure the food hasn't been poisoned. She is willing to sacrifice her life to save the life of the ruler of Germany. The longer Magda is at the German headquarters, the more she sees about the inhumanity of the war and once she falls in love with a conspirator, she really begins to have questions.

    This is fantastic war story about a subject that we don't usually read about. It's a story about love and courage in the face of war.

    Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.

  • Deanne Patterson

    An absolutely amazing novel loosely based on an interview a 95 year old woman gave several years ago that was a taster for Hitler. It was fascinating to read about the many books the author has read on the Third Reich and all the research he has done on this. German woman Magda Ritter is at the end of her life and feels she must release her lifelong secrets from their inner prison. She feels she has been punished enough by them so it goes to the beginning of her life and tells her story. . Young

    An absolutely amazing novel loosely based on an interview a 95 year old woman gave several years ago that was a taster for Hitler. It was fascinating to read about the many books the author has read on the Third Reich and all the research he has done on this. German woman Magda Ritter is at the end of her life and feels she must release her lifelong secrets from their inner prison. She feels she has been punished enough by them so it goes to the beginning of her life and tells her story. . Young German women are expected to do their duty—working for the Reich or marrying to produce strong, healthy children. When she is interviewed she is assigned to Berghof, Hitler’s mountain retreat. She is there for weeks clueless before she learns of her duty as one of fifteen tasters of Hitler's foods. She offers herself in sacrifice to keep him from being poisoned. Upon arriving for her assignment she was meek,mild, timid but as the books moves on we see Magda come into her own as she adjusts to where she is and becomes a stronger woman and self assured. She then goes on to reassure other new women coming in to work. As time goes on she becomes disillusioned and hatches a plan to "get rid of Hitler". Tough,gritty,heartbreaking,breathtaking and not knowing what to expect will keep you on your toes wanting to read more and more of this book.Hitler was pure evil but yet he was grandfatherly towards some of the children and his dog Blondi went everywhere with him. I enjoyed it so much it was hard to see this Historical fiction book come to an end. I will definitely be reading more books by this author.

    Pub Date 30 Jan 2018 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington Books through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

  • Lindsay - Traveling Sister

    5 stars! This was a captivating, suspenseful, addictive and fascinating read!

    This story revolves around Magda Ritter, a young woman employed by Hitler during WWII. Magda blindly applied for work with the Third Reich, not knowing what the job would be – she was simply looking for employment. She was hired as one of Hitler’s “tasters” – a group of young German women who lived on Hitler’s properties whose job it was to taste his food prior to him eating meals to ensure it wasn’t poisoned. What a j

    5 stars! This was a captivating, suspenseful, addictive and fascinating read!

    This story revolves around Magda Ritter, a young woman employed by Hitler during WWII. Magda blindly applied for work with the Third Reich, not knowing what the job would be – she was simply looking for employment. She was hired as one of Hitler’s “tasters” – a group of young German women who lived on Hitler’s properties whose job it was to taste his food prior to him eating meals to ensure it wasn’t poisoned. What a job! I had no idea about this piece of history prior to reading this enthralling story.

    The unique story, the courageous characters, the piece of history – it was all so fascinating to me! The author, V.S. Alexander, had me engrossed from the first to last page. The story flowed and unraveled perfectly with a pace that kept me hungry for more and wondering how things would conclude. I always find myself drawn to WWII historical fiction novels and this one really stands out as it explored a completely new angle for me.

    This was a Traveling Sister read with Brenda and we both loved this book! To find this review along with Brenda's Traveling Sister review, please visit Brenda and Norma's fabulous blog at:

    A big thank you to NetGalley, Kensington Books and V.S. Alexander for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review!!

  • Megan

    I thought this book was fabulous !!! And, I felt like it was a bit ironic that I finished it yesterday, on the 73rd anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s death. The plot which centered around Magda Ritter’s life working for the Reich and having the job of being one of Hitler’s tasters, due to his mounting fear of being poisoned, was heartbreaking as well as an emotional story filled with acts of extraordinary courage.

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Stars !!

    I thought this book was fabulous !!! And, I felt like it was a bit ironic that I finished it yesterday, on the 73rd anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s death. The plot which centered around Magda Ritter’s life working for the Reich and having the job of being one of Hitler’s tasters, due to his mounting fear of being poisoned, was heartbreaking as well as an emotional story filled with acts of extraordinary courage.

    ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Stars !!

  • Holly  B

    4.5

    It's 1943- Magda Ritter, young ,naive and German. She is a food taster for the Fuhrer.

    Her position would place her in the Teahouse at Hitler's Berghof, The Wolf's Lair and The Furer's Bunker in Berlin.

    -Is this a job she seeked? NO

    -Did she want to be separated from her parents/family? NO

    -Was she a supporter of Hitler or the SS Party? NO

    -Did she fear for her life and the lives of her family and loved ones? YES

    Magda lives with her parents in Berlin and Allied bombs have been falling along with r

    4.5

    It's 1943- Magda Ritter, young ,naive and German. She is a food taster for the Fuhrer.

    Her position would place her in the Teahouse at Hitler's Berghof, The Wolf's Lair and The Furer's Bunker in Berlin.

    -Is this a job she seeked? NO

    -Did she want to be separated from her parents/family? NO

    -Was she a supporter of Hitler or the SS Party? NO

    -Did she fear for her life and the lives of her family and loved ones? YES

    Magda lives with her parents in Berlin and Allied bombs have been falling along with rumors that Germany is not doing well in the war. To protect her, they send her to live with her Nazi Uncle Willy. She is expected to do her part, her duty, and winds up at The Berghof, Hitler's own remote mountain retreat. She is trained to recognize the smell and taste of poisons. Her teacher states "Your body is offered in sacrifice to the Reich in case the food is poisoned." Magda is utterly horrified!

    As the Allied forces move in and the war intensifies, so does the plight of Magda and those she loves. Magda must hide her hatred of Hitler or die.

    The author notes that several scenes are based on Margot Woelk's account of her experiences as a taster for Adolf Hitler (although not a biography, it is fiction). Ms. Woelk kept her accounts confidential until she turned 95 years old. Fascinating!

    If you enjoy WWII Historical Fiction, you may enjoy this "different take" as it is from the perspective of a German girl who despises Hitler. The story is fictional and the author does take some unsubstantiated turns, but it becomes part of her story!

    Thanks to Kensington Books/ Netgalley for my copy.

  • Dawn Michelle

    Wow.

    I requested this book because it sounded interesting. I had no idea just how in-depth it would be and just how much this book would affect me. I cannot even imagine what life must have been like during the war, especially for the Germans who didn't subscribe to Hitler's madness; I can imagine even less what it must have been like to be plucked out of nothing and made a "taster" of Hitler's food to make sure it wasn't poisoned.

    Magda is just a normal German girl; she has no great ambitions a

    Wow.

    I requested this book because it sounded interesting. I had no idea just how in-depth it would be and just how much this book would affect me. I cannot even imagine what life must have been like during the war, especially for the Germans who didn't subscribe to Hitler's madness; I can imagine even less what it must have been like to be plucked out of nothing and made a "taster" of Hitler's food to make sure it wasn't poisoned.

    Magda is just a normal German girl; she has no great ambitions and she isn't interested in being part of the "party" that was spreading across Germany with the rise of Hitler and his Army. She is sent to her Aunt and Uncle's house where she earns the favor of the SS and is sent to Hitler's private Alpine residence to become one of his 15 official tasters. While there, she meets and falls in love with a young SS captain and also learns just how much she truly dislikes Hitler and all he was doing, while his people were suffering. Magda has to hide her displeasure and pretend, all while wishing the very man she was "tasting to save" dead.

    This was an amazing story and I am so glad that I was able to read it. Thanks to Kensington and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC; I guarantee if you read this, you will never be the same.

  • Brenda - Traveling Sister

    I was lost in a coulee reading The Taster with Lindsay and this one really surprised us and not what we were expecting. The Taster gave us a different perspective on WWII than we are used to reading and we learned some things we were not aware of. The story really had us thinking, wanting to know more and we really enjoyed our discussion.

    V.S Alexander takes us to the places Hitler lived, giving us some insight into his life and relationships and as to why Germans followed him. The story is tol

    I was lost in a coulee reading The Taster with Lindsay and this one really surprised us and not what we were expecting. The Taster gave us a different perspective on WWII than we are used to reading and we learned some things we were not aware of. The story really had us thinking, wanting to know more and we really enjoyed our discussion.

    V.S Alexander takes us to the places Hitler lived, giving us some insight into his life and relationships and as to why Germans followed him. The story is told from the perspective of one of Hitler’s servants Magda Ritter who becomes a taster. Her job is to taste his food for poison. We were intrigued and became fascinated by a part of history we never really put much thought into before.

    V.S Alexander does a good job balancing history here and storytelling and we loved the unique angle the story was written from. A little high on drama sometimes with a little spin at the end that left us fascinated and completely satisfied in a coulee after reading this one. We highly recommend.

    Review written and posted on our themed book blog Two Sisters Lost In A Coulee Reading.

    Coulee: a term applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley.

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader & Traveling Sister

    (Please excuse the really bad pun! I can’t believe I’m using it! 😬 )

    ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

    The Taster was highly recommended by my friend, Holly. Who knew there were food tasters for Hitler during WWII? This dangerous job was viewed as their service to The Reich. Magda’s story was loosely based on a real taster who only told her story late in life when she was in her 90s. Magda is not a member of “The Party,” and her sentiments do not lie with Hitler. So, as you can imagine, so

    (Please excuse the really bad pun! I can’t believe I’m using it! 😬 )

    ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

    The Taster was highly recommended by my friend, Holly. Who knew there were food tasters for Hitler during WWII? This dangerous job was viewed as their service to The Reich. Magda’s story was loosely based on a real taster who only told her story late in life when she was in her 90s. Magda is not a member of “The Party,” and her sentiments do not lie with Hitler. So, as you can imagine, some unrest and drama ensues. I cannot remember a WWII story I’ve read from this perspective.

    The Author’s Note provided valuable insight into V.S. Alexander’s research, as well as what really happened and where he took liberties. There were places where the history was not documented, or even questioned, and he explored some of those things with Magda’s character. As I read those happenings, they seemed a little bit of a stretch, but then when I read the author’s explanation, it made me realize they were just one possible take on the truth, which we may never know.

    Magda is a strong character and made the read worthy for me. The story was well-written and interesting. Overall, I enjoyed this entertaining book, especially because of the fresh perspective on WWII. Thanks again to Holly!

    Thank you to V.S. Alexander, Kensington Publishing, and Netgalley, for the complimentary ARC.

  • Marialyce

    4 stars

    It is ironic that I never considered that there would have been women whose job it was to taste the food that was prepared for Hitler. Also, it was ironic that all of these tasters were women, not a man among them. Yet, these women were selected to offer up their lives for a man that many idolized.

    Magda Ritter, a young German girl was chosen for the position of taster. She is brought into the very core of Hitler's various residences, Berghof, Wolf's Lair, The Fuehrer's bunker all to have

    4 stars

    It is ironic that I never considered that there would have been women whose job it was to taste the food that was prepared for Hitler. Also, it was ironic that all of these tasters were women, not a man among them. Yet, these women were selected to offer up their lives for a man that many idolized.

    Magda Ritter, a young German girl was chosen for the position of taster. She is brought into the very core of Hitler's various residences, Berghof, Wolf's Lair, The Fuehrer's bunker all to have the job she really does not want. However, Magda fears for her life, the life of her family and eventually the life of the man she loves. She is not a Party member, in fact she comes to hate Hitler and plots and dreams of a way to eliminate him. As the war continues and the end is at hand, Magda makes a decision that she has wanted to make for quite some time.

    Supposedly, this story is loosely based on a true taster, a woman named Margot Woelk who at the age of ninety-five told her story. The book is interesting but at times does really require large leaps of faith to believe the narrative. The war and its many problems inherent in the behavior of Hitler and those that followed his every word was a true testament to how evil one man can be especially when he molded the minds of an entire nation.

    Thank you to V.S. Alexander, Kensington Books, and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book for an unbiased review.

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