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 Berlin. Young German women are expected to do their duty--working for the Reich or marrying to produce strong, healthy children. After an interview with the civil service, Magda is assigned to the Berghof, Hitler's mountain retreat. Only after weeks of training does she learn her assignment: she will be one of several young women tasting the Fuhrer's food, offering herself in sacrifice to keep him from being poisoned.Perched high in the Bavarian Alps, the Berghof seems worlds away from the realities of battle. Though terrified at first, Magda gradually becomes used to her dangerous occupation--though she knows better than to voice her misgivings about the war. But her love for a conspirator within the SS, and her growing awareness of the Reich's atrocities, draw Magda into a plot that will test her wits and loyalty in a quest for safety, freedom, and ultimately, vengeance.Vividly written and ambitious in scope, The Taster examines the harrowing moral dilemmas of war in an emotional story filled with acts of extraordinary courage.Praise for V.S. Alexander's The Magdalen Girls"Fans of Barbara Davis and Ashley Hay will enjoy this tenderhearted story of sinner, saints, and redemption." --Booklist "Alexander has clearly done his homework. Chilling in its realism, his work depicts the improprieties long abandoned by the Catholic Church and only recently acknowledged. Fans of the book and film Philomena will want to read this." --Library Journal

The Taster Details

TitleThe Taster
Author
ReleaseJan 30th, 2018
PublisherKensington Publishing Corporation
ISBN-139781496712271
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, War, World War II

The Taster Review

  • Holly B
    January 1, 1970
    4.5It'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? YESMagda lives with her parents in Berlin and Allied bombs have been falling along with r 4.5It'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? YESMagda 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.
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  • Christopher Hawke
    January 1, 1970
    A unique look behind enemy lines. In “The Taster” we follow the story of young Magda Ritter, the newest poison tester for Adolf Hitler, as she wrestles with her beliefs (and what to believe) in the midst of war-torn Europe. A winning novel, well worth reading!
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  • Alyssa Maxwell
    January 1, 1970
    Magda Ritter is a young German woman intent on getting through the war and living her life. Politics don't particularly interest her, and she has no use for Third Reich idiologies. When, by necessity, she goes to the party looking for a job, she's thinking it will be something inocuous, maybe clerical. What happens next changes her life and her outlook on her country forever, challenges her faith in human nature, and at times makes her question her own humanity. I felt as though I were living ea Magda Ritter is a young German woman intent on getting through the war and living her life. Politics don't particularly interest her, and she has no use for Third Reich idiologies. When, by necessity, she goes to the party looking for a job, she's thinking it will be something inocuous, maybe clerical. What happens next changes her life and her outlook on her country forever, challenges her faith in human nature, and at times makes her question her own humanity. I felt as though I were living each page along with her, and I felt every nuance of her trepidation as she battled to stay alive. We all know about WWII from our own perspective; this book brings to life the perspective of someone trapped on the other side, who wished to bring about change but for the most part was powerless to do so. This is a story of hope, resilience, courage, sheer determination, and redemption. Highly recommended!
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  • Traci Hall
    January 1, 1970
    I remember being fascinated with the Holocaust when I was a teenager and I couldn't get enough of what life might have been like. Anne Frank was a favorite. The Taster shows another view entirely as Magda--impoverished but with her family, comes of age as a young woman during the war. German born, she is forced to do her "duty" and work for Hitler as his food taster. She struggles with her own views politically, and morally, and yet finds the courage to act. V.S. Alexander has crafted an epic no I remember being fascinated with the Holocaust when I was a teenager and I couldn't get enough of what life might have been like. Anne Frank was a favorite. The Taster shows another view entirely as Magda--impoverished but with her family, comes of age as a young woman during the war. German born, she is forced to do her "duty" and work for Hitler as his food taster. She struggles with her own views politically, and morally, and yet finds the courage to act. V.S. Alexander has crafted an epic novel guaranteed to make you feel as if you are in the thick of it all. I highly recommend this book!
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  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Barb Klein
    January 1, 1970
    The circumstances surrounding the death of Adolph Hitler have long been discussed and disputed since the end of the war. “The Taster”, written by V.S. Alexander and published by Kensington Publishers is a novel based on a woman who was among Hitler’s “tasters”. These women were chosen for their fidelity to the Fuhrer and were required to taste every bit of food and drink prior to its presentation to Hitler. Hitler was scared to death that he would be poisoned and thought that everyone was out to The circumstances surrounding the death of Adolph Hitler have long been discussed and disputed since the end of the war. “The Taster”, written by V.S. Alexander and published by Kensington Publishers is a novel based on a woman who was among Hitler’s “tasters”. These women were chosen for their fidelity to the Fuhrer and were required to taste every bit of food and drink prior to its presentation to Hitler. Hitler was scared to death that he would be poisoned and thought that everyone was out to kill him. At the Wolf’s Lair and at The Berghof, Hitler’s places of residence, the tasters followed him and were required to stay within the compound at his service.Magda Ritter, is the name of the young woman in this novel who is chosen by the Reichstag to be one of Hitler’s tasters. She is schooled in the different forms of poison so she can recognize them by taste and smell. If she falters, then she will be the one poisoned. Magda meets a member of the SS assigned to Hitler’s guard and they become involved. He is also involved in a group planning to assassinate Hitler. This story is so interesting and menacing at the same time. All the while reading this book, I was constantly feeling terrified for all those involved. I thought that this was a great read and very rooted in historical fact. The author’s list of background books and articles made the book seem real. Based on a true character, who would not believe it?You can read this review on my blog at http://wp.me/p2pjIt-qA. Check out other book reviews at http://imhookedonbooks.wordpress.com.
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  • Bethany Swafford
    January 1, 1970
    When she goes in search of a job, Magda finds herself assigned to be a taster for Adolf Hitler. Though she had little political inclination herself, she slowly comes to see just how inhumane the war is. Somehow, she must keep her true opinions to herself as she lives in the heart of the Reich.To be honest, this left me with mixed feelings. The story is well researched and, for the most part, well written. Magda starting off with no real opinion about the war was a brilliant move, as it makes it When she goes in search of a job, Magda finds herself assigned to be a taster for Adolf Hitler. Though she had little political inclination herself, she slowly comes to see just how inhumane the war is. Somehow, she must keep her true opinions to herself as she lives in the heart of the Reich.To be honest, this left me with mixed feelings. The story is well researched and, for the most part, well written. Magda starting off with no real opinion about the war was a brilliant move, as it makes it easier to follow her journey. She did change her mind very quick merely because the man she was attracted to showed her pictures, but they were graphic images.I especially liked the approach of "what-if" that the author used to tell this story. The telling of the story, how it ends, made it seem likely it could have happened in a similar manner.There is a sex scene, though thankfully it is not detailed. There is also a rape scene which was in more detail. Towards the end, Magda's journey did seem a little far-fetched, and the end was even more unbelievable. Overall, I found it interesting if not exactly an instant favorite.
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  • Truusje
    January 1, 1970
    The Taster tells the story of Magda, a young woman who tasted Hitler’s food to make sure he didn’t get poisoned. It’s an interesting premise, but sadly the book doesn’t live up to it. I think the main issue is the writing. It’s very distant, with lots of telling instead of showing. I never felt connected to the characters or the events described in the book. The story covers several years and is told in a linear fashion, without any suspense or surprises. It all makes the book a little uninspiri The Taster tells the story of Magda, a young woman who tasted Hitler’s food to make sure he didn’t get poisoned. It’s an interesting premise, but sadly the book doesn’t live up to it. I think the main issue is the writing. It’s very distant, with lots of telling instead of showing. I never felt connected to the characters or the events described in the book. The story covers several years and is told in a linear fashion, without any suspense or surprises. It all makes the book a little uninspiring. The one surprise at the end was so farfetched, it didn’t really make sense. I had to work hard to suspend my disbelief at some other points in the book as well. *** I received an ARC through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review ***
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  • John Pendolari
    January 1, 1970
    The Taster by V.S. Alexander is an exciting World War II novel with a twist. This riveting book is set in Nazi Germany and includes a believable cast of characters including the heroine, a food taster for Adolf Hitler. The Taster chronicles Magda Ritter's journey from ordinary German girl to an opponent of the Nazi dictator.Well researched and brimming with suspense, the novel sheds light on the war in a way that others of its kind have not. Men, particularly war history buffs, should enjoy this The Taster by V.S. Alexander is an exciting World War II novel with a twist. This riveting book is set in Nazi Germany and includes a believable cast of characters including the heroine, a food taster for Adolf Hitler. The Taster chronicles Magda Ritter's journey from ordinary German girl to an opponent of the Nazi dictator.Well researched and brimming with suspense, the novel sheds light on the war in a way that others of its kind have not. Men, particularly war history buffs, should enjoy this book as well. Highly recommended.*I was given an ARC for an honest review*
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  • Amber
    January 1, 1970
    This was just a book, nothing special. And when you add in the main is on the side of Hitler for the first part, not a winning strategy.
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