Mixed Relations 3

An Unexpected Ending

Non-Fiction - Historical
183 Pages
Reviewed on 11/11/2020
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Author Biography

I am not Gertrude Mueller von Deham, I am her great-granddaughter. I was cleaning out a cupboard in my father's house and found a box with loose leaf writings and 2 case bound books. Upon reading them, I realized that my great-grandmother had written her life story. What a privilege it has been to meet this remarkable woman and to watch my grandmother grow up through her eyes. I hope you find the characters and settings as gripping and compelling as I did.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tammy Ruggles for Readers' Favorite

Mixed Relations 3: An Unexpected Ending by Gertrude Mueller von Deham is the conclusion to a fascinating memoir about the life of the author, named Evelyn in the book. In book one, we learn about her childhood, and that she was born to royalty in 19th-century England but was illegitimate, and grew up with a violent, unstable mother instead. In book two, we read how she goes on to marry a cold, difficult man named Eric, but persevered for the sake of her marriage and her children. Her indomitable spirit prevails through the first two books, but can it carry her through this third offering, with events of World War II and personal struggles that challenge her even more? This third installment ties her life together with an exquisite bow that is sometimes heartrending, sometimes joyful.

It's the character of Evelyn herself that will keep you clinging to each page to find out what happens next in this amazing woman's life. Sometimes you read a book or watch a film where the personality of the main character defines it, and this is one of those books. She faces each storm in her life with unflagging optimism and strength. It's what carries the plot of each of the books in the trilogy, and this final piece doesn't disappoint. The book hints at a follow-up of short stories, and that would be nice, but this one certainly has an impact of its own. It opens with divorce being a possibility during a time when stigma surrounded the notion. Most people in Evelyn's shoes would have given up, but her positive attitude is her saving grace and such an inspiration to others. She doesn't just survive. She transcends. This book focuses on their children and their issues, her rise to social status and success, and the ways she reached out to others in times of need, racism, and war. The ending is as shocking as it is fitting, yet tender, in keeping with such a dramatic life. I would love to hear one day that this award-worthy trilogy is being developed into a film because it would easily translate into one. Mixed Relations 3: An Unexpected Ending by Gertrude Mueller von Deham is a feather in the cap of a beautiful series.

K.C. Finn

Mixed Relations 3: An Unexpected Ending is a work of historical writing and personal autobiography, which was originally penned by author Gertrude Mueller von Deham and brought into print via Jennifer Cowie. As the final book in the Mixed Relations trilogy, we find ourselves examining the unusual twists of fate that befall our heroine later in her life in Vienna, and the amazing turnaround that causes her to become the ‘Soul of Moloch’, one of the most celebrated socialites of her age. Not only this, but we also find ourselves in the midst of another world war, this time aiding Jewish people to escape Austria before the Nazis can discover them.

Author Gertrude Mueller von Deham’s incredible life story is one for the ages and penned in her own hand, it delivers so many important life lessons from the past that we can take into the future with us. Having followed this trilogy avidly, it was wonderful to find myself still surprised and amazed by the difficulties which Gertrude balanced so beautifully in her lifestyle, and also delighted by the turn of events which saw her get the recognition she had so dearly deserved all her life. The wartime elements were, once again, devastatingly beautiful in the bittersweet recollections of the raw prose, making me feel as though I was there, living under such an oppressive and unfair regime. Overall, I would highly recommend Mixed Relations 3 to those who have been following the series thus far, and the complete trilogy as a highly accomplished work of historical importance and empowerment for women.

Lesley Jones

In the final book of the trilogy, Mixed Relations 3 by Gertrude Mueller von Deham, Evelyn faces further moral dilemmas regarding her marriage and her life in Vienna. Her husband, Eric, seems entirely focused on ousting the present owner of the financial newspaper, The Great Moloch, and taking the throne of power for himself. As Eric threatens to divorce Evelyn to further his career, she uses every tactic to keep her fragmented family together. Evelyn not only struggles to keep her marriage together but also ensures she is a constant support to her two daughters who are now experiencing relationship difficulties of their own. Then news arrives that the Nazi party is gaining support and moving ever closer to Austria. With Eric's Jewish family background, this places them and the entire Jewish community in danger. As the Nazi party demands that Eric supports their cause via his newspaper, he faces an impossible decision. When WWII begins, Evelyn uses her contacts and intelligence to devise an escape attempt from the Gestapo for herself and many others from the Jewish community.

Once again I stand in admiration of the courage, selflessness, and kindness of the main character Evelyn. She is certainly an inspirational woman who is constantly supporting others to find peace and happiness. Her courage is outstanding. There are so many emotional moments where you feel the pain and desperation of Evelyn and her daughters. Through every struggle and obstacle, Evelyn never lowers her standards and manages to navigate herself through dreadful situations with grace. The dialogue was faultless and really authentic and highlighted the views and personality of each main character perfectly. There are many moments of tension interspersed with fantastic areas of conflict, especially during the escape attempt. Those scenes were extremely stressful to read as you never knew what the outcome would be. I thought the author described life under the rule of the Nazi party with the utmost care and consideration towards the Jewish community. As with the two previous novels in this series, the historical references added a great deal of realism to the story. The trilogy ended perfectly and Evelyn certainly suffered a great deal but, in my opinion, was a true success as a mother, friend, and human being. Although Mixed Relations 3 by Gertrude Mueller von Deham is a stand-alone read, I would certainly recommend you read the first two books to give you a better understanding of Evelyn's background.

Deborah Lloyd

Mixed Relations 3: An Unexpected Ending is the third book of a non-fiction trilogy, written by Gertrude Mueller von Deham. Evelyn, an Englishwoman, and her husband Eric lived in Vienna. His life centered around his position at Moloch, the largest financial newspaper in Europe. He also had an ongoing affair that threatened the marriage. Evelyn supported her grown daughters through several marriages and divorces, and eventually welcomed her cherished grandchildren. She was a fixture in Viennese society and was able to utilize her connections in various ways. This all changed when Hitler’s reign of terror struck Vienna and its Jewish citizens. How Evelyn managed to secure the escape of Jewish friends and relatives was truly remarkable.

The editor of this unforgettable work is a great-granddaughter, Jennifer Lisle Cowie, who found the diaries, art, and other information that formed this book. She has weaved together a flowing, coherent story while utilizing the language of an Englishwoman during the 1920s and ’30s. The horrific Nazi tragedy that ended the lives of many Jewish people, and forever changed the lives of survivors, is described in heartrending ways. Evelyn’s strong commitment to the welfare of others is truly admirable. Another lovely feature of this book is the “rest of the story,” as the reader is informed of the later years of Evelyn and her family members. The memoirs of Gertrude Mueller von Deham have been brought to life in Mixed Relations 3: An Unexpected Ending. It is a beautiful reminder of the courage, strength, and love of those who overcame one of the darkest times in human history.

Edith Wairimu

Mixed Relations 3: An Unexpected Ending by Gertrude Mueller von Deham continues Deham’s fascinating life story. Her tragic childhood and earlier years have prepared her for what is yet to come. At this point in her life, she continues to play a resourceful role in her husband’s journalistic career and to his employer, Moloch, the largest financial newspaper in all of Europe, at the time. She has also established her place in Vienna’s social scene. Evelyn balances her role as a wife and a mother, as she tries to keep her husband in check and guide her daughters through the murky world of dating and marrying a suitable mate. Her advice is, however, not always taken and her daughters make tragic mistakes. Hard times follow when World War II begins. During chaos and loss, Deham’s courage and quick wit save not only herself but also others trapped in the brutality of the war.

Mixed Relations 3 by Gertrude Mueller von Deham is a reflection on World War II and the consequences of racism and political violence. The memoir also offers a straightforward account, revealing the imperfections of the family and the struggles they face. Deham notes her daughters’ impetuousness with concern as they are young and excitable. She offers her wisdom and looks out for their future financial and overall well-being even when they are married. Her character continues to shine even in this last part of her life. When faced with marital struggles, she remains at her husband’s side and is committed to him even during the war when being married to a Jew could cost her life. Mixed Relations 3 is a powerful ending to the life of a forgiving, brave, and intelligent woman who defies the obstacles she faces in her era to establish a better life for her family and friends.